nursing caps - page 5

I'm in a RN program and it is required for us to wear our caps. We hate it What do you think? Did you have to wear one? and What year was it?... Read More

  1. by   MultipurposeRN
    We just had an LPN retire after 58 years of working for our hospital. She always wore her cap. She did wear white uniforms but was modern enough to wear pants. Now we only have one RN in the hospital who still wears her cap. We had another on the same floor, but she has retired as well. Don't think we'll be seeing anymore cap wearers anytime soon. I and my classmates hated ours with a passion and couldn't wait to get rid of them. I graduated in 1990.
  2. by   angelcharm
    i do not like to wear my cap either but i have to
    its in my hospital's policy and its part of the uniform..
    to distinguish us from the *other health workers
  3. by   Retired R.N.
    Quote from ehallie
    I was also required to wear a cap during nursing school as a LVN in the early 70's and as a RN in the early 80's. Once pinning was over, I never put the thing on my head again. Our school did away with cap the next year. The nurses cap was design to replace the veil that was worn in years past. They were worn as a symbol of subservance to the doctors. What other profession do you know of that has such a silly and demeaning requirment. In the early 70's we were also taught not to sit in the presence of a doctor in the nurses' station. We all had to stand up as long as they were present. We were treated like a servant by most doctors in those day and given very little credit for our knowledge. I for one am glad that time have changed and we are treated with more equality in our scrubs that we ever were in our white starched uniform and cap.
    I don't know where in the world your teachers got the idea that the nursing cap was a symbol of subservience. At my hospital school back in the early '50s, we were taught that our caps were the insignia of officers of the health care team and represented our school wherever we worked. We were definitely NOT ever treated like hand-maidens, but with respect as skilled professional nurses.

    Oh yes, for whatever it's worth, back in those days we were also deemed worthy of time to sit down and eat a decent meal and to take bathroom breaks whenever we needed them.
  4. by   barbyann
    I am shocked that any hospital is allowing caps in this day and age. Caps disappeared around the same time as IM injections of antibiotics in hospitals and for one very good reason, MRSA.

    In the good old days, when drawing up IMs it was found that nurses were inadvertently aerosolizing the antibiotics while getting air out of the syringe and releasing the drug into the "air". Hence, the antibiotic would fall into the crease and fold of the cap on their head. At the same time this is going on those silly caps keep falling onto the beds and floor, nurses pick them up, now staph covered, and put them back on. The caps also required a lot of hands on adjustment. The staph became resilent this way, by introduction of the latest antibiotics floating through the air. This scenario repeating itself frequently is thought to be the root cause of nosocomial infections like MRSA and VRE.

    I learned this in Microbiology class in 1998 and it sure made sense to me. The professor also predicted that MDs will no longer be allowed to wear neckties to work in the near future, again as an infection control measure. I know on my last visit to Yale New-Haven Hospital I was amazed at how many MDs were wearing bowties (which don't dangle into the unsterile field).

    Now I'm all for a symbol worn for RN/LPN status but lets make sure its appropriate for men and women, whether they have thick hair or not.
  5. by   gauge14iv
    Caps had VERY little to do with resistant strains of bacteria I am sure - this would have occurred with or without caps.
  6. by   sarahbellum
    We don't have to wear caps, and the students take a vote on whether they wear their caps at graduation. Our class has discussed it and I bet they will vote not to wear them to pinning.

    I am a little dissapointed in this, I am earning (with blood, sweat and tears ) the right to wear that cap. I would like to wear it at pinning.

    I'm not so sure about wearing it everday.

    We still wear whites, a lot of nursing school have gone with the white tops and colored bottoms. I don't like it, I think its had to distinguish you from the hospital staff.
  7. by   PANurseRN1
    Quote from gauge14iv
    Caps had VERY little to do with resistant strains of bacteria I am sure - this would have occurred with or without caps.
    I was thinking the same thing. The misuse of abx. is what got us the superbugs, not caps. I sure would like to see the research to back what that prof. said about caps. Sounds more like a theory than something based on research.
  8. by   biker nurse
    Well I was the one to start this discussion. I completed the program a few weeks ago. While I did my preceptorship the Patients and their family showed me great respect and LOVED me being in white from head to toe!! (I have to say I was proud) The only time it bothered me was when I would talk to some of the doctors the saw my cap as a sign saying STUDENT and I had no Brains. One dr. told the Nursing supervisor to write me up "I will NOT have A student Question What I'M doing" All I asked was did he feel the pt was getting enough pain med? (MY teacher stood behind me) and the next class IS wearing caps. The night of pinning I gave it up to any family or friend who wanted it or it was going in the trash, I was tired of carring it, cleaning it and most of all WEARING it.
  9. by   gentlegiver
    A Nurse's cap is called her "Dignity", I for one would be proud to wear mine for something other than graduation. It sits in the closet gathering dust, kinda sad that a big part of our history is religated to storage.
  10. by   RNfaster
    The caps to me signify nursing as "ladies" work, and medicine as men's work. They are a throwback to a very sexist era, and one that I would like to fall farther into the past.

    Old-fashioned nursing caps are rooted in nuns' habits and servants' uniforms. Check out http://www.civilization.ca/hist/infirm/inevo01e.html --it offers some interesting history on nursing caps.

    I think that if caps are required at a particular facility, both men and women should have to wear them.

    As I see it, caps are no longer relevant. I also think white as a healthcare uniform is not sensible. I see that patients are aware that folks on the floor have varying titles and responsibilities. Personal patient boards orient the patients very well as I see it.

    EXCERPTS FROM SITE MENTIONED ABOVE:
    Some nurses' caps resembled, in modified form, the nun's coif, to signify the respected tradition of Roman Catholic nursing and service to humanity.
    Some hospitals chose for their uniforms the current fashions worn by domestic servants, including cap and bibbed apron.
  11. by   Loren2307
    I just graduated from LPN school about a month ago and when we had our pinning ceremony we were presented with caps and pins. We never wore them to clinicals or anything.

    There was this one nurse, however, who was very old-school and wore her hat and all whites everyday. One thing is for sure, everyone knew she was a nurse.
  12. by   RNfaster
    Quote from rach_nc_03
    This director, btw, also said that, if he had his way, we'd all wear dresses, white stockings, and the old-fashioned shoes. I thought the handful of men in our class would look pretty funny in that getup.
    So would the women.

    It's actually a bit sad to see that people think that the cap signifies education. That very notion points to ignorance of history.
    Last edit by RNfaster on May 21, '07
  13. by   Flare
    I was a little sad not to have a cap when i was in nursing school. We had a "pinning" ceremony at the end and all wore our uniforms. I wish the caps would come back if nothing else for nostalgia's sake.

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