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. ;>)