Uniforms- color coded or personal choice?

  1. I work at a LTC where the executive director has decided that we should color code the staff uniforms, nurses in one color, stna's in another, etc. This is basically his decision, imposed without any input from staff, families, or residents. Does anyone have any research- or know where I can find some- about the effects of this? The entire staff is livid-and some of the families and residents are not happy either.
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   stidget99
    Quote from lpn1313
    I work at a LTC where the executive director has decided that we should color code the staff uniforms, nurses in one color, stna's in another, etc. This is basically his decision, imposed without any input from staff, families, or residents. Does anyone have any research- or know where I can find some- about the effects of this? The entire staff is livid-and some of the families and residents are not happy either.
    I work in a hospital setting. Now I know that it's different but...anyways...we are personal coded....RN/LPN wear navy blue and white...in any combination (blue top, white botton or vice versa)...CNA wear wine, RT wears green/white comb, Xray wears khaki/white. And you wanna know what? No matter who just walked out of the room, the pt almost always comments on "that nice nurse who just left". I have been referred to as an aide, aides are referred to as nurses, RT referred to as nurses or aides. Makes no sense to me. Now, management is thinking about going ALL white for nursing. Let's say we all just become part of the nursing robotic team! (Sorry for the sarcasm and sorry for that vent).

    Now, I also worked in a state institution for the developmentally disabled. To me that is akin to LTC. Uniforms were discouraged. We wore street clothes only. To me, this made more sense. To make it a more "homelike" environment. It seems to me that LTC facilities should also be trying to promote that same "homelike" environment.

    Also, I am just wondering...will your employer pay the money to re-wardrobe all the employees???? That is a very large investment.
  4. by   RainbowzLPN
    Where I work, when I started back in Jan, we had to wear white pants, but any kind of shirt/jacket. Now they have decided (must have announced it in a meeting that I missed, beacuse there hasn't been any official posting in the lounge, or even a note with our paychecks). Now the pants are still white, but shirts are "preferred" pastel, but can have flowers, shapes..stuff like that. But no "child like things on them. So that's most of my wardrobe. Go figure.
  5. by   Antikigirl
    I work in assisted living where I felt an aire of home should be felt! We use to be able to wear scrubs of any color or print, have fun and wear sunny prints in the summer and what not...it was great! The residents loved it, and enjoyed all those visually stimulating colors and prints .

    Then, someone chose to change all that and moral dropped to an all time low, and has never recovered! CNA's were forced to wear blue v-neck tops (oh yeah that's nice..bend over and you can see down them! Oh they were furious!!!!!!!) with kakhi pants, nurses pastel button down tops (no prints) kakhi pants and white vests with only ONE pocket (okay that was HARD to find!!!!!!!).

    Their rational...residents needed to be able to distinguish between a caregiver and a nurse...after a year most of them still don't remember that the different unforms mean a different title! I am just as much a nurse to them as the person that does their direct care even if our uniforms are different, and vice versa (some don't even believe I am an RN because I am the youngest nurse..about the age of our caregivers).

    At least they started implementing Friday fun day where we can wear our colorful scrubs again (happened after much debate from us and residents)..and suprisingly..they know when it is FRIDAY..because of all the extra visual stimulation of fun colors and prints...fridays are happier days...

    So do I think it is a good idea in assisted living or some other LTC faclities...no, I believe so much in the visual stimulation creating memories and connections even if it is a colorful scrub worn by those that care for you. Also, it seem to make the patients more relaxed or cheerful to see their caregivers/nurses wearing happy colors vs the bland stuff we are forced to wear now!

    Also, it brings up moral and a feeling of more satisfaction to choose what you wear...because we all felt..if I wear sunny colors, I feel sunny, they feel sunny!

    It was the worse of many of the bad choices my facility ever made!!!!!!
  6. by   lpn1313
    They have decided on the following- if you work 5 days they will supply 3 tops, 2 pants and a lab jacket. If you work less than that you get 2 tops, 1 pant, and a lab jacket. No reimbursement for any other uniforms you may have or need. I think they should scrap buying all those uniforms and get more staff :chuckle The part that really burns us up is that they supplied two tops a year for us- but never said that they were changing. So even the tops that they bought for us we may not be able to wear!
  7. by   Antikigirl
    My goodness...we had to supply our OWN and within a week after the mandated new uniforms were announced! If you did not you could not come into work, which ment voluntary dismissal from your job...so basically fired without being officially fired...uhg!
  8. by   lisamc1RN
    I'm not a nurse yet but it drives me nuts that I can't easily identify the nurses on our floor at clinicals. We are rotating through a facility where the staff can wear whatever scrubs they want to. I don't think that would be an issue if it weren't for the fact that all of their identification tags look the same too. I literally have to stare at the person's chest and read through the small print to find out who's an aide and who's a nurse. It's embarrassing to me and it seems rude as well. It's incredibly frustrating to me and I can only imagine that it must be frustrating with other people as well. Who wants to keep going up to staff, "Are you a nurse? No? Where is the nurse?" Some way or another, a facility has to make it easy for people to identify who is who among the staff. I think I would do a happy dance if all of a sudden the facility I'm at color coded the staff. I only have 2 more clinicals there, thank goodness.
  9. by   CapeCodMermaid
    We used to have to wear all whites...nurses and CNA's. The resident's got together at resident council and asked that we be able to wear colored tops...this isn't a hospital they said...one thing led to another and now we can wear any colored or print scrubs. The DNS and ADNS wear street clothes, the MDS nurse, street clothes with a lab coat...we ALL have name tags that list what we do and the residents are happy with it all.
  10. by   meownsmile
    We tried that for a while. It doesnt work. Especially when people start floating to other units. It may work for a little while and in theory it seems like a easy remedy for making distinctions between staff, but in reality it isnt worth the extra money for new uniforms.
    We went back to personal preference. As long as you introduce yourself to your patients and make them aware of your role in their care, thats all thats needed.
  11. by   Nurse Hatchett
    Nurses wear whatever scrubs they want, CNA's wear green scrubs, QMA's green pants with 2 scrub tops(printed), dietary pink, housekeeping blue. MDS nurses same as all nurses, social workers wear street clothes. It has been like this for about 4 years I think and it works out fine. But we are LTC and our families get to know us and who we are anyway
  12. by   donmomofnine
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    "We use to be able to wear scrubs of any color or print, have fun and wear sunny prints in the summer and what not...it was great! The residents loved it, and enjoyed all those visually stimulating colors and prints . "

    Exactly why I encourage staff to "get crazy" with colors and prints! They wear scrubs and the residents love the colors, prints and patterns! When we build a more "home" oriented LTC, I may look at street clothes for staff, not really sure yet!
  13. by   robin_mds_nurse
    We can wear any colored scrubs. I do MDS/Care Plans, and I wear scrubs too. I was an aide for 10 years, and then worked as a floor nurse for 8 years, so when I first started in the office, I wore street clothes. That lasted for about a year. It gets old trying to find something to wear everyday. I am much more comfortable in my scrubs! Plus, if I would happen to get pulled to the floor, I don't have to worry! I agree that the residents love the colors & patterns!
  14. by   mercyteapot
    I don't like the color coding idea because it means you can't wear "fun" tops, with flowers, animals and such. I think residents enjoy that. I agree with wearing street clothes in group homes for people with developmental disabilities, but I suspect that uniforms may inspire a sense of confidence in the care older people are receiving. I have nothing to back that up, I am just thinking of the few people I've known in LTC and how much faith they had in their nurses. It was touching! It may be hard for them to get used to not having the staff in uniforms.

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