'Uniform' Dress Code

  1. I was prompted to join a nursing forum today so I could research what my employer is implementing as far as a new dress code.
    Although the committee who drafted this new policy stated that this was a result of employee AND patient satisfaction polls, many of my collegues are furious that our opinions and input was never asked for. I work at a 350 bed hospital and level one trauma center. Specifics: we buy from the same vendor, the SAME style, and color-coded for our differing professions ie: RN's, PT, CNA's, RT, etc. will all have their own color. They are offering a stipend for three uniforms for start up, and after that we are to purchase our own.
    I wanted to gain the opinions of other professionals whose hospitals/employers have changed to this policy. Whether it worked or not and why. What actions were taken?
    This new policy seems like a step backward in time.
    The rationale for them is that we will look more professional, the patients will take more comfort in knowing who their nurse is as opposed to environmental services (funny, but I have yet to come across ANY RN, RT, PT, or CNA who does not introduce themselves as such upon entering the room).
    We feel like 'drones' who are now going to be dressed every morning because apparently we are unable to do so ourselves.
    Personally, my patients frequently give wonderful comments on my jackets.
    So tell me what your ideas are on this.
    How can we fight the battle and have a chance at ending this ludicrous and military type of policy?
    What's next? Limiting hair styles to above the collar?
    :trout:
    They are telling us that this is the NEW trend and that this is what patients want.
    From experience, I say that they are full of it.
    I would really like the local news to investigate...even if it is only an internet poll.
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  2. Poll: Uniform issues

    • Yes, dress code limits disciplines to same color/style/vendor enhances professionalism & respect.

      25.00% 25
    • NO, dress code limits disciplines to same color/style/vendor doesn't enhances professionalism.

      31.00% 31
    • Dress code policies should be reviewed/discussed by employees prior to implementation.

      34.00% 34
    • Management has the right to determine dress code policies.

      10.00% 10
    100 Votes
  3. 42 Comments

  4. by   fromtheheartRN
    Is having a same color/same style scrub per profession in a hospital will increase professionalism?
  5. by   grammyr
    No, it doesn't increase professionalism Wrinkled, dirty and and faded uniforms are unprofessional whatever the color.
  6. by   P_RN
    welcome to allnurses!! this is a recurring topic here. if you do a search for "uniform" or "scrubs" you can see what others have said.

    the word uniform itself implies the same, similar, alike.

    unemotionally what is the new policy's phrasing? for example, how are rns to dress?
    how are lpns?
    and how are cnas or nts to dress.

    i'm from the day of the white dress, white hose and real nurse shoes......
    then we were allowed pinstriped oxfords and white pants or skirts.

    scruubs entered my world about the same time as 12 hour shifts, but were limited to 2 colors-navy and caribbean blue. i liked that, we all blended, and it looked good.

    in the gulf war we lost 12 nurses to the military and one to death. when agency nurses outnumbered staff the different prints, colors, styles went off the charts.....that's what led to a dress code-again.

    if you like you can make a poll here and see how the members weigh in.
    edited to add: i neglected to add that polls are limited to premium membership.
    Last edit by P_RN on Nov 26, '06
  7. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Quote from jannieannie79
    Is having a same color/same style scrub per profession in a hospital will increase professionalism?
    I don't know how it affects professionalism per se, but I think it does help with the way we are perceived by pts.
    I worked in a hospital which required RNs to wear all white. LPNs wore navy blue, CNAs wore maroon, lab wore green and housekeeping wore ceil blue. Although, I personally feel that housekeeping should not wear scrubs at all.

    I did not like wearing all white, as I am very pale with very light hair. I just don't look too good in all white. Plus, it was very hard to try and stay clean for the shift. Stain removal was a problem, as well.
    However, the pts and familiy members were never confused as to who was an RN and who was not.
    This way, statements made to a pt by other staff are not perceived as having been said by a nurse.
    I've had a lot of instances in my career where a pt told me "a nurse at (another facility) told me blah blah blah" and I've foind it very unlikely that what they were told came from a nurse, based on the content.

    Also, I know the one color, one discipline format helps pts who are visually impaired. I've had legally blind pts tell me it helps a lot. They know if they see a person who looks like a blurry white blob come into their room, it's their RN. If a green blob comes in, they know it's lab, etc. This is especially helpful if the pt is HOH, as well.

    A couple of times in my life, I've mistaken a security guard for a cop, such as when my car was broken into at an apt complex. This was easy to do, becase the guard's uniform was just like a cop's. The security guard did not immediately correct me, either. I mean, many nurses have had experience with CNAs or MAs who were more than happy to be mistaken for nurses.

    Firefighter and military uniforms are very distinctive. I think nurses' uniforms actually being uniform would benefit us.

    However, I do wear colorful,scrubs. And, because most of my scrubs are custom made, my uniforms are even more colorful and distinct than most others' are. I mean, it would be weird if I were the only nurse wearing all one color at work. It only works when everyone does it.
  8. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Yes and no. If it would keep other non-nursing dept. like dietary and housekeeping from wearing the same deal, it might work.

    But having the same color and/or style is only as good as the person who is wearing it.
  9. by   MIA-RN1
    we have to wear lavendar pants and either white, lavendar, or a matching print top that incorporates lavender into it. I don't like it because I want to wear white pants. The nurses on labor side wear blue hospital scrubs...as do the docs...as do the techs...as does the housekeeping staff....
    I kind of agree that different groups should wear different colors. As far as having to get them from the same vendor its probably cost-effective for you and the employer.
  10. by   AtlantaRN
    OK, i've worked for several hospitals in the atlanta area over the last 10 yrs, and when they change the uniform policy it always burns my butt!

    I worked for a tenet facility that wanted all nurses to wear only all white and blue, or just all white, or all navy blue...My thought is, just "introduce yourself to your patients as their NURSE"!!!!!! they made the cnas to wear only khaki...granted, they did give us 6 months to "save up" to buy the new uniforms.......

    Frankly, i have to wear scrubs every day, and i LIKE to wear different colors and patterns.......

    just my 2 cents...but one of my pet peeves...
  11. by   NRSKarenRN
    pendulum is swinging back to white uniforms in some areas of country:

    nurses tossing scrubs for all-white uniforms

    is there power in the color white?
  12. by   Megsd
    In the LTC where I worked as a CNA, you could wear any kind of scrub top you wanted, but each department wore specific colored pants (RNs/LPNs wore white, CNAs/HHAs wore ceil blue, I think housekeeping wore navy, restorative wore green, etc.) I didn't really mind because I simply picked out tops that had some ceil blue in them, so I felt coordinated. That said, patients still didn't really get who was who... it was really more useful for the staff.

    As for people saying "Just introduce yourself as a nurse" (or whatever your role happens to be) well, sometimes even if you do, the patient believes whatever they want to believe. There's a saying I've heard... the patient's perception is their reality. When I was a CNA I always walked into patients' rooms and introduced myself as a CNA, but undoubtedly by lunch time they're calling me "nurse Meghan".

    I just finished my fiirst clinicals this quarter and despite the fact that the day before AND the day of care I introduced myself as a nursing student from soandso University, and introducing my CI as "my instructor" every time I walk in the room with her, I have STILL had patients comment that they thought I am a staff nurse, rather than a student. While it is flattering in some respects to be thought of as a "real nurse" and not have STUDENT tattooed all over my nervous little face, the point is that in spite of my best attempts to inform the patient about my professional role in their care, they still just assume I am "The Nurse".
  13. by   CHATSDALE
    what are you wearing now?/

    talk with other nurses and go as a group [or with the understanding that a smaller group will represent the nurses] and show the percentage that you have polled disliking the new policy perhaps that will envoke a change that you favor
    maybe they will make a change for the nurses, probably the hardest group for them to replace.
    color coding is one thing, requiring same vendor smacks of kickback
  14. by   sayitaintso
    Quote from nrskarenrn
    pendulum is swinging back to white uniforms in some areas of country:

    nurses tossing scrubs for all-white uniforms

    is there power in the color white?
    i really hope that the do go back to wearin the uniforms, i've always like seeing a nurse in her uniform as a child thats what made me wanted to be a nurse before i knew exactly who or what a nurse was and what they do, so everyone complains about the color they can change the color, maybe blue or somthing else. imho there is nothing neat about a pair of scrubs matter of fact i think it looks down right tacky on most people... everyone these days are wearing scrubs, dosen't make sense for someone to go to school for years and learn all that stuff and no one knows if you are a cook or an rn (some people figure that once you are wearing a pair of scrubs you are a nurse) i used to look up at the nurses uniform as somthing that was earned and rewarded after years of hard work and training, anyone can go out there and throw on some scrubs these days
  15. by   fromtheheartRN
    I wanted that question put into a poll-and the admnistrator moved it!
    Please read my entire post titled, "Uniform dress code"
    Thank you all for the great replies...keep posting please-we feel very strong about this.
    One thing, body types obviously differ.
    It is one thing to be forced to wear a certain color...quite another to force the same style...and simply RIDICULOUS that we will be forced to buy them from ONE VENDER!:angryfire

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