white uniforms vs. colored/printed

  1. Does anyone have research information about the effects of colored uniforms vs. white ones? My administrator wants nurses to go back to white. We want colored because of style, fun and "this is 2002 !". Thanks
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   fedupnurse
    I cannot believe that in this day and age, with the nursing crisis becoming worse, that there are still suits out there that think our work wardrobe is a priority issue! It is time the real issues in nursing are faced by these clearly underworked execs!
  4. by   l.rae
    Our facility had the back to white rumor circulating a few months ago. I told my NM l was saving my best zebra striped thong to wear under my white pants......later l got "wrote up" for spreading negativity about the uniform issue....Have new NM now.thank God. Still savin that thong just in case though!.................LR
  5. by   DebsZoo
    Originally posted by l.rae
    Our facility had the back to white rumor circulating a few months ago. I told my NM l was saving my best zebra striped thong to wear under my white pants......later l got "wrote up" for spreading negativity about the uniform issue....Have new NM now.thank God. Still savin that thong just in case though!.................LR




    ROFL, Love the idea.......................
  6. by   NICU_Nurse
    I went to Colormatters.com and found some information. I suggest that maybe you look up color theory or how color affects mood, or even therapeutic colors in a search engine. The actual research is hard to find, and I don't know exactly how scientific you need it to be.

    Quoting from the website:

    "The lack of visual stimulation that comes with over exposure to panoramic whiteness can be highly stressful. It does indeed create a morose mood among those who are already suffering from the stresses of illness and hospitalization."

    I don't think it's news to any of us that color affects how we think, feel, and even eat. Color has the ability to anger us, motivate us, and de-stress us (i.e., the use of blue or neutral colors in a waiting room to keep us calmer before a dental or medical appointment or procedure). If you're looking for examples in your own hospital, look at the children's ward and the uniforms they wear there. Children feel anxious and afraid when they enter a hospital; thus, typical children's units are covered in bright, friendly colors like red and yellow and blue, and also calmer colors, like daffodil or seafoam green (at least, ours is...). The staff doesn't EVER wear white, it would terrify the kids, and are instead encouraged to wear, cartoon prints and colored scrubs. On our neonatal unit, we chose soft lavendar scrubs because they aren't gender specific, and they seem to calm the parents when they come in, as opposed to the harsher 'Barney' purple that nurses used to wear a few years ago. We actually changed them because of comments on customer-survey cards we had parents fill out. Though not every unit is filled with children, we can take a good hint from the theories used to calm them because, at least in this instance, adults seem to be very similar. Not to mention the practical aspects of the issue, which at the very least, include being able to see through the white uniforms easily and them staining easily. God bless the menstruating nurse wearing white pants, and one wash at the sink with Betadine foam and the uniforms would cease to look clean and neat and instead look sloppy and unkempt. Instead of instituting white uniforms, the administration could perhaps look at requiring that colored uniforms be well-fitting, ironed, and not faded from washing? Perhaps instead of insisting that white be worn, they could look at other factors that may make a nurse look messy or whatever such as sloppy or overdone makeup application, long fake fingernails, too much jewelry, unshaven faces, or unkempt hair? You see where I'm going with this. Color actually can have a positive effect on patients- those other things can easily ruin the professional image that we are striving to impress on them. It shouldn't be too hard, ultimately, to win out on this issue- I'm sure the administrator would be in the minority. If all else fails, my suggestion to MY administrators, should they decide to insist upon this, would be that the only way I am going to wear all-white uniforms is if they buy them FOR ME with their own money, agree to pay for weekly dry-cleaning, and agree to pay my therapist for the sessions I will no doubt have to begin undergoing to combat my suddenly bleak attitude. ;>)
  7. by   KlareRN
    I have read two different views about the white uniforms- especially in dementia settings:
    1. The whites cause behaviors because it makes the environment appear sterile and institutional- not warm and fuzzy.

    2. The whites cause a decrease in behaviors because these folks grew up respecting healthcare workers in white- (drs. and the starched whites w/cap for the nurses) and they are more easily redirected because they relate to the whites as people who are "in charge".

    Guess it just depends on which side of the fence you wanna build your sandbox, huh? LOL

    KlareRN
  8. by   Lisa2902
    I once worked at a hospital where different units/floors had a specific uniform (yes colors & prints). It was very nice because we could differentiate as to where everyone belonged.
  9. by   Joan Saunders
    Contact Melbourne childrens hospital. They have gone one step further and uniforms have gone. Staff wear casual but smart clothes.
  10. by   Laurlaur
    I'm a student paediatric nurse, we wear a coloured polo shirt and a tabard over that with children's designs on, much more informal and creates a friendly atmosphere for the kids
  11. by   kmchugh
    Whites? My God, has this adminstrator offered to keep the uniforms clean for the nurses? I cannot imagine a worse idea for uniforms!

    Kevin McHugh
  12. by   RNforLongTime
    At my facility we can wear whatever color or pattern of scrub tops and pants that we like. It sure beats wearing all whites! And it's a lot easier to keep clean!
  13. by   kcl
    We have gone back to While at my facility. The ONLY one's who like it is management. The Staff hate it and Don't want it! But once again Management knows best! Ha
  14. by   DougL
    In this day and age of any and everyone wearing scrubs is is frequently difficult for the patients to distinguish between who is really a nurse and who is not a nurse. Maybe not going back to the all traditional white, but I think there is some value in choosing specific styles and colors for specific job categories. Maybe it is not the nurse that we need to focus on as long as they are actually dressing professionally but turn our focus to those other areas within health care and lets help them not look like nurses.

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white uniforms vs. colored/printed