Is there power in the color white? - page 4

Hi all. I'm looking for some opinions on whether you believe that returning to wearing all white uniforms might give us back some power. Now let me explain power. I've been an RN for 21 years and... Read More

  1. by   RNsRWe
    I don't wear white frequently because I feel it gives me power. I earn that myself by striving for my best every day. I wear it frequently because I like the comfort it seems to give to many of my patients and their families. You can argue that "white doesn't make the nurse recognizable" all you want, but I disagree. It makes us the most visible of all. That doesn't mean you can't wear teddy bear scrubs and NOT be recognized as "the nurse". It just means that you'd have to first explain you're not there to get their lunch tray, rather than have it taken automatically that you are, in fact, their nurse.

    However, I do admit to not wearing my whites when I know school clinicals are going to be in. All the local programs, both RN and LPN, wear whites, in different styles. And I worked too hard for too many years to get mistaken for someone in her first month of school!
    Last edit by RNsRWe on Oct 8, '06
  2. by   VivaLasViejas
    Quote from JMBM
    Mine went into the donation bin.
    And mine went into the bonfire at our after-graduation party nine and a half years ago. Haven't worn whites since. They make me look like the Pillsbury Doughgirl.........hardly what I'd call a professional appearance!
  3. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from Retired R.N.
    What does the U.S. Navy demand in the way of uniforms for their nurses?
    The military is different. To the extent that the Navy has a 'white' uniform, it is worn by all service members so it is not a good example of setting apart RNs.

    Besides, and a Navy Nurse can correct me if I'm wrong, but such uniforms are 'dress' uniforms and are not necessary worn for duty.

    For the purposes of this discussion, and the perceived goals of wearing white, it's apples and oranges.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  4. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    And I agree: semantics (we should change our name from 'nurse') and window dressings (let's all wear white) are not solutions, they are simply symbolism over substance.

    The only real way to BE professional is to actually be professional.
    Respect is earned, it isn't creased, pressed, or starched.
    Amen.
  5. by   casualjim
    Nurses, both active duty Navy and civilian (yep there are both) at Navy clinics and hospitals wear pretty much what all nurses wear, scrubs. Navy nurses are officers. In the Navy officers and Chief Petty Officers and above can wear the Khaki uniform pretty much year round for working purposes. If you find a Navy nurse in a "real uniform" it'll probably be Khaki. Junior sailors ,corpsmen,(Petty Officer 1st class and below) will probably wear scrubs if they're doing direct patient care or whatever the seasonal uniform of the day is. Typically blues in the winter or whites in the summer. Like Timothy said though it's not the same whites we're talking about here. It's a universal uniform worn by all sailors, not just medical personnel.
    aloha
    Jim
  6. by   banditrn
    NO - my power is who I am, my respect is how I perform.

    In the LTCF where I now work, we can wear print tops, so I've gotten several different pretty ones and the ladies love them. They comment every time I work.
  7. by   imenid37
    I want real power for nurses. Respect from patients, physicians, colleagues, and employers. Better staffing. Less "junk" paperwork and computer work from well-meaning, but poorly implemented govt. regs. The white uniform thing is, as Timothy says, window dressing. It is something some hospitals and facilities come up w/ every few years because they don't get it as far as what truly makes for genuine respect and a positive image of nursing. It is a diversion from many of the real issues out there. It is who wears the uniform (scrubs, whites, business casual, etc.) and how they carry themselves and perform NOT whether of not they look like a museum piece.
    Last edit by imenid37 on Oct 8, '06
  8. by   CapeCodMermaid
    Quote from Katherine RN
    I work with a heavy geriatric population and they do verbalize a preferance for the traditional white uniforms. Personally I think as long as nurses maintain a clean professional appearance with "natual looking make up and hair color" the same professionalism comes across. I would like to see less characters on scrubs unless of course the nurse is working on a ped floor.
    The residents of one of the long term care facilities I worked in were the ones who petitioned the management to allow the nurses to wear colored uniforms. They said they were tired of the 'hospital atmosphere'...management reluctantly agreed.
  9. by   piper_for_hire
    Yikes! The color white (is it really a color?) just screams "DON'T TAKE ME SERIOUSLY!"

    My hospital has color coded nursing uniforms for the different units in the hospital and for certain non-nursing staff - like respiratory therapy. However, we're not required to wear the colors so it matters not. Still, sort of a nice idea if a) you actually wear the chosen colors and b) your color isn't a bad one - like white or pink.

    -S
  10. by   RNsRWe
    Quote from piper_for_hire
    Yikes! The color white (is it really a color?) just screams "DON'T TAKE ME SERIOUSLY!"

    My hospital has color coded nursing uniforms for the different units in the hospital and for certain non-nursing staff - like respiratory therapy. However, we're not required to wear the colors so it matters not. Still, sort of a nice idea if a) you actually wear the chosen colors and b) your color isn't a bad one - like white or pink.

    -S
    Really? White screams "don't take me seriously" and yet perhaps blue screams the opposite? How does green or tan rank on screaming seriousness?

    Interesting.
    Last edit by RNsRWe on Oct 8, '06
  11. by   piper_for_hire
    I suppose I look at how I would be taken seriously in the non-hospital world. If I showed up for work in a pink or white suit, well, I'd be a mockery. I don't think too many guys in a pink suit are taken seriously. Not too many women are either - at least in my "business" experience before my nursing life. Green, brown, gray, etc. are considered serious colors for whatever reason society thinks so. This is also true of docs who may wear the white coat, but often show up in the ICU in a nice suit underneath. Why? Because of tradition? Of course not, I'm sure they'd rather show up at 3am in their PJs just like anyone else would. Obviously it's because they want to be taken seriously! Nursing is a serious business and should project an image of seriousness.
  12. by   imenid37
    The LPN students in my hospital wear lt. pink. Even the males. Now at least everyone has white pants, not all pink like several years ago. It looks silly on the men, especially. Where my daughter does her clinicals, they have LPN students who wear maroon scrubs w/ their school's logo. They look much more appropriate. My daughter's nursing class still wears all white w/ a patch for the university on their sleeve. Personally, I do think the LPN students look better. The darker colour is more flattering to a lot of people's build. Also, it doesn't get stained or worse yet yellow. I had yellow armpits from all of the sweating I did in school and had to bleach them out. White is very impractical!
  13. by   bbfw2
    Wow! You've submitted some strong and wonderful replies. I get the feeling that basically we need to take ourselves, and each other, seriously as professionals. Respect each other and others will respect us in turn. Too true. There in lies some new problems we need solutions to;
    1. How to stop sniping at each other?
    2. How to get upper management to take the role of the hands on nurse more seriously?
    3. How to open the eyes of the public at large to the true power of nursing and the profession?
    The uniform thing....some style, or color, that distinguishes us from other workers, at a mere glance. Certainly does not need to be white.

    Thanks all

    Wendy

close