Hospital goes back to white dresses/caps

  1. 8
    At JFK Medical Center, health care reform is already under way, in the shape of a traditional white nurse's cap.
    The nurses in the Atlantis hospital's cardiovascular step-down unit have temporarily tossed their royal blue scrubs for retro nurses' whites - starched cap, hose and shoes included.
    "It's a little bit of an oddity," admits registered nurse Corrine Harvey. "When we go to other departments in the hospital, the other nurses say, 'Oh my god! You look so cute!'"

    The eight-week experiment began about a month ago when the nursing staff was brainstorming ways to boost patient-satisfaction scores.

    They saw room for improvement in this area: With so many hospital employees dressed in scrubs, patients had no visual clues as to who was their nurse, and who was an aide, an X-ray tech, a member of the transport team...
    As a remedy, many hospitals nationwide have adopted color-coded uniform policies. St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach, for example, addressed the problem when it implemented a new uniform policy in February.
    Nurses now wear white tops and blue pants, pediatric nurses wear kid-friendly tops, unit secretaries are clad in khaki, and all clinical departments are assigned specific colors.

    The switch to a traditional-looking nurse's uniform at JFK has already resulted in a greater respect for the profession, says Cheryl Farrell, nurse and manager of the cardiovascular step-down unit.
    "If patients are on the phone when we walk in their room, they quickly say, 'I gotta go, my nurse is here.' They really pay attention."

    According to the results of a 2007 study at a large Midwestern health care center, patients and visitors perceived a nurse modeling a white uniform to be more professional than the same nurse modeling printed or solid-colored scrubs.

    And the older the patient or visitor, the more likely they were to feel that way.

    It's the familiarity factor, says Rosemarie Hayes, JFK's chief nursing officer.

    Hospitals are big, intimidating, often-scary places, she says, "and any kind of comfort that you can give patients is good."

    Jon Cole, a 71-year-old Palm Springs resident recuperating from a traffic accident at JFK, said he likes the white uniforms. "Takes me back to when I was a youngster, and reminds me of the '40s and '50s when they were wearing them."

    Plus, he said, "It lets people know how hard they worked to get where they are."

    Here is the whole article with pics! http://www.palmbeachpost.com/health/...677.html?imw=Y

    I dunno....I would be pretty upset if I had to wear the traditional uniform with a hat and everything. Its pretty ridiculous!

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  2. 91 Comments...

  3. 0
    At JFK Medical Center, health care reform is already under way, in the shape of a traditional white nurse's cap.
    The nurses in the Atlantis hospital's cardiovascular step-down unit have temporarily tossed their royal blue scrubs for retro nurses' whites - starched cap, hose and shoes included.

    "It's a little bit of an oddity," admits registered nurse Corrine Harvey. "When we go to other departments in the hospital, the other nurses say, 'Oh my god! You look so cute!'"

    The eight-week experiment began about a month ago when the nursing staff was brainstorming ways to boost patient-satisfaction scores.

    They saw room for improvement in this area: With so many hospital employees dressed in scrubs, patients had no visual clues as to who was their nurse, and who was an aide, an X-ray tech, a member of the transport team...
    As a remedy, many hospitals nationwide have adopted color-coded uniform policies. St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach, for example, addressed the problem when it implemented a new uniform policy in February.
    Nurses now wear white tops and blue pants, pediatric nurses wear kid-friendly tops, unit secretaries are clad in khaki, and all clinical departments are assigned specific colors.

    The switch to a traditional-looking nurse's uniform at JFK has already resulted in a greater respect for the profession, says Cheryl Farrell, nurse and manager of the cardiovascular step-down unit.

    "If patients are on the phone when we walk in their room, they quickly say, 'I gotta go, my nurse is here.' They really pay attention."

    According to the results of a 2007 study at a large Midwestern health care center, patients and visitors perceived a nurse modeling a white uniform to be more professional than the same nurse modeling printed or solid-colored scrubs.

    And the older the patient or visitor, the more likely they were to feel that way.

    It's the familiarity factor, says Rosemarie Hayes, JFK's chief nursing officer.

    Hospitals are big, intimidating, often-scary places, she says, "and any kind of comfort that you can give patients is good."

    Jon Cole, a 71-year-old Palm Springs resident recuperating from a traffic accident at JFK, said he likes the white uniforms. "Takes me back to when I was a youngster, and reminds me of the '40s and '50s when they were wearing them."

    Plus, he said, "It lets people know how hard they worked to get where they are."

    The whole article (and pics) can be found here: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/health/...677.html?imw=Y
  4. 4
    I Love It!
  5. 7
    The cap and white hose (not so much the white uniforms, since everyone in hospitals wore those) used to be a badge of honor that set the nurses apart from all the other folks in the hospital. I wore them for a while (in school and when I first started my career), never had a problem with it, and still wear "whites" (including my cap) on the rare occasions when I'm in uniform (I've worked in psych most of my career, so I've usually worked in street clothes).

    People on this site talk all the time about how what we wear to work doesn't matter, and people will take us seriously as professionals because of how we conduct ourselves, not how we look, blah blah blah -- but this article (and numerous, repeated polls of the public on their impressions of nurses) shows that our appearance DOES make a difference.

    I've had several physicians over the years and ask me, v. seriously, why nurses don't want to wear their caps any more -- as one (young, new!) physician put it, "If I had anything as cool as a cap to wear, I'd wear it every day!"
  6. 0
    The comments after from the public are especially enlightening. Besides one nurse, who won't give up her scrubs for their functionality (can't say I disagree there), the majority of posters love the old school uniform! Interesting social experiment.
  7. 4
    Are any of you familiar with JFK hospital, or the other hospitals in the WPB area?

    They have some of the worst reputations around.

    Having worked several hospitals in that area, there is no amount of money that you could pay me to work that area again. Nasty entitled patients, rude MDs, serious understaffing. I personally saw inappropriate practices as far as infection control, because the staff did not want to "inconvenience" or "upset" the pt/visitors.

    Is anyone going to do what we used to do and wash and starch those caps regularly. Or wear a grobby cap from isolation pt to isolation pt.

    Despite large numbers of unemployed new grads/nurses, those facilities consistantly have difficulty staying staffed.

    And whereas most facilities require 2 to5 years of experience for travelers, I have known travelers to the WPB area to have less than 6 monthes.

    JFK was a Columbia forprofit hospital, with the usual issues that accompany it. I don't know if it still is. And being in WPB, it wants to make the "client" happy at all costs, even if safe care suffers.

    You can dress the nurses up in all the pretty dresses that you want, it doesn't make the hospital cleaner, safer, better staffed nor improve the health care provided.
    OCNRN63, Woodenpug, tokmom, and 1 other like this.
  8. 7
    Quote from elkpark

    i've had several physicians over the years and ask me, v. seriously, why nurses don't want to wear their caps any more -- as one (young, new!) physician put it, "if i had anything as cool as a cap to wear, i'd wear it every day!"
    i quit wearing my "cool cap" just as soon as they became optional. not, as one elderly don suggested, because i disrespected flo and her newly trained nurses, but, rather, because for me (a new nurse working in orthopedics) having to wear a cap was a real pain in the neck.

    1. i continually knocked it off despite an insane number of bobby pins.

    2. i knocked it off and it would invariably landed dead center into a full bedpan.

    3. it would escape and land in bedpan hoppers.

    4. i tired quickly of hearing how much i resembled the flying nun.

    5. i'd hit my head on the overbed frames when i tried to avoid bumping my cap.

    6. wearing a cap is only exciting and fun for the first few shifts you work as a gn or rn.

    shar pei mom
    AtomicWoman, VickyRN, Woodenpug, and 4 others like this.
  9. 1
    Quote from caroladybelle
    Are any of you familiar with JFK hospital, or the other hospitals in the WPB area?

    They have some of the worst reputations around.

    Having worked several hospitals in that area, there is no amount of money that you could pay me to work that area again. Nasty entitled patients, rude MDs, serious understaffing. I personally saw inappropriate practices as far as infection control, because the staff did not want to "inconvenience" or "upset" the pt/visitors.

    Is anyone going to do what we used to do and wash and starch those caps regularly. Or wear a grobby cap from isolation pt to isolation pt.

    Despite large numbers of unemployed new grads/nurses, those facilities consistantly have difficulty staying staffed.

    And whereas most facilities require 2 to5 years of experience for travelers, I have known travelers to the WPB area to have less than 6 monthes.

    JFK was a Columbia forprofit hospital, with the usual issues that accompany it. I don't know if it still is. And being in WPB, it wants to make the "client" happy at all costs, even if safe care suffers.

    You can dress the nurses up in all the pretty dresses that you want, it doesn't make the hospital cleaner, safer, better staffed nor improve the health care provided.
    Aside from perhaps certain school caps, the "Perma-Starch" ones from Kay's Caps do not require starching or ironing.Take off band if any, wash by hand, lay flat or hang to dry, refold and attach band, job done. Indeed these caps cannot be ironed.
    SuesquatchRN likes this.
  10. 1
    Quote from sharpeimom
    i quit wearing my "cool cap" just as soon as they became optional. not, as one elderly don suggested, because i disrespected flo and her newly trained nurses, but, rather, because for me (a new nurse working in orthopedics) having to wear a cap was a real pain in the neck.

    1. i continually knocked it off despite an insane number of bobby pins.

    2. i knocked it off and it would invariably landed dead center into a full bedpan.

    3. it would escape and land in bedpan hoppers.

    4. i tired quickly of hearing how much i resembled the flying nun.

    5. i'd hit my head on the overbed frames when i tried to avoid bumping my cap.

    6. wearing a cap is only exciting and fun for the first few shifts you work as a gn or rn.

    shar pei mom
    i started my career on an orthopedic unit, also, and had no problems at all with my cap. however, i have a fairly small, unobtrusive cap that fit closely on my head, and it sounds, from your "flying nun" comment, like you had one of the bigger ones that sticks out in all directions. that could be a problem ... i didn't think of wearing the cap as "exciting" or "fun" -- just part of being an rn (and an honor and privilege to wear). i only stopped wearing mine because i went into psych and work in street clothes.
    SuesquatchRN likes this.
  11. 0
    That's why I wanted to be a nurse back in the early 70's so I could wear a white dress, hose, and shoes. I got accepted into PT instead, they wore white uniforms (dresses) and white shoes but weren't allowed to wear white hose (that was reserved for RN's only) so I quite. No joke.


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