This is a discussion on Harassment? in Nurse Colleague / Patient Relations, part of General Nursing ... Once a week, we've been asked to wear white. It's supposed to be voluntary. It's supposed to be a...by Angie O'Plasty, RN Guide Aug 14, '07Once a week, we've been asked to wear white. It's supposed to be voluntary. It's supposed to be a choice.
I know that one overzealous person has called people at home to "remind" them to wear white. I also know of one person who was taken aside and the same person offered to buy them a white uniform because the nurse said she didn't have any whites.
Every week people are being harassed and intimidated if they choose not to wear white.
Is this harassment? How would you go about handling this?
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- Aug 14, '07 by AltraJMHO ...
I'm not a specialist in employment law. However, the problem probably lies in "we've been asked to wear white." When an employer "asks" an employee to do something, they're not really "asking" and there isn't really "choice." If it has been decided that staff are to wear white once a week (a particular day of the week?) then that is what staff are required to do or they face the possibility of consequences ranging from verbal correction to formal, written discipline -- depending on your facility's policy.
When this requirement was communicated, verbally in a staff meeting, in writing via memo ... whatever ... I can picture that "we're asking that you wear white on x day of the week" or similar wording was used. IMO, this was simply politeness of speech -- it did not imply that wearing white was optional.
Of course, I may be way off base here ...
- Aug 14, '07 by CRNI-ICU20Hi Angio!
Is this a hospital? Are these people nursing supervisors, or are they co-workers, or administration? What is the "motive" behind the reminder?
I don't think this would qualify as harrassment, but it is definitely annoying and petty!
If someone called me at home MORE THAN ONCE to remind me what to wear to work the next day, I would politely tell them:
"It's wonderful that you take your job so seriously that you must remind each and every one of the ADULTS on your list what to wear to work tomorrow. However, I have been dressing myself since age 4, and so far, I haven't walked out of my house naked!" Then hang up.
What is the purpose behind the "let's all wear white to work day?" thing?
Personally, I think that hospitals/medical places that do this sort of thing are just silly. What a person wears to work has NO BEARING on their skills or capabilities.....I can code a person in green just as well as white....so it all boils down to"image"......
I don't know why administration and management focus on this kind of drivel, when the REAL issues of nursing get ignored, like staffing retention, adequate nursing staff, excellence in nursing care, and promotion of good collaboration between doctors and nurses. I would hope that among the idiocy, there might be one in the group that could wake up from their "meeting coma" and take a hard look at that.
This sort of thing goes round and round the same stupid wheel....and what it looks like to people on the outside looking in is that there are some who don't have enough to do with their time as a manager or administrator, so they meddle in minutia for the majority of their time!
They remind me of Chicken Little....running around in a flurry yelling" The Sky IS FALLING!!" all while the real world is functioning just fine without them...
This also reminds me of the movie "Office Space".....in the part where the character played by Jennifer Aniston shows up to work in her uniform, and her manager confronts her for "not wearing enough flair"....(these were silly little buttons that people were supposed to pin on themselves to convey messages to the eating public, she was a waitress.)
I guess your self-appointed fashion police/person is just reminding people to wear their "flair"....ugh. crni
- Aug 14, '07 by fultzymomI agree with the above poster (MLOS). It was probably a polite way of "telling" you to wear white one day per week. Not really considered an option. Maybe they should update the dress code to include this new rule.
- Aug 14, '07 by NatkatJust wear the white on the day they ask you to wear it. It's not worth fighting over.
- Aug 14, '07 by steelcityrnI do not feel that is appropriate to call someone at home a remind them to wear white. They should not be allowed to do that, imo.
- Aug 14, '07 by pagandeva2000I also think that this wasn't up for option; this was a polite way to say "Do it or else...". I'd just attempt to wear it with major attitude. Especially since I really, really hate white uniforms.
Now, at my job, because of magnet, we are forced to wear white shoes, pants and pastel colored tops. Not a good idea to me on certain times of the month. I was told several times that some of my scrub tops were not quite pastel, too bright, or had to wear a solid color rather than a few stripes here and there. I just try to comply now, but, I hate it.
- Aug 14, '07 by VivaLasViejasQuote from steelcityrnI was just about to say the same thing.I do not feel that is appropriate to call someone at home a remind them to wear white. They should not be allowed to do that, imo.
While I wouldn't define this sort of thing as harassment---which is actually a legal term---that caller needs to get a life, and the institution needs to stop treating its employees like children.
My philosophy of proper dressing for work is simple: if my employer believes, for whatever reason, that I am incapable of choosing my own clothing, they must supply me with whatever uniform or straitjacket they want me to wear and launder it when I am through with it. Otherwise, I will put on what I feel is flattering, comfortable, and appropriate for the work I do...........and anyone who doesn't like it can go chase a cat.
- Aug 14, '07 by MAISY, RN-ERIf it wasn't presented as a rule, and is only voluntary. I would definately not wear white! Some nurses like white, personally I would leave my job if made to wear white. It is not conducive to our work environment. I would imagine if the person calling is not a manager and this is a truly voluntary action-she/he is the person that wants white scrubs. If that is the case, I would go the opposite route and encourage anyone who is grumbling not to wear ithem.
I am all for workplace harmony, but not in white!
- Aug 14, '07 by DaytoniteQuote from Angie O'Plasty, RNWas this a manager or someone in a management/supervision position? I'd take them up on the offer to buy the uniforms for me! If they're going to pay, then I'll wear what they want.I also know of one person who was taken aside and the same person offered to buy them a white uniform because the nurse said she didn't have any whites.
The VA hospital I worked for provided our uniforms as well as the laundry service for them. Suggest that.