Nurses Protest Dress Code Changes - page 2

Ordered to wear white, nurses at 15 area hospitals say the new scrubs will accentuate blood stains, reveal undergarments and turn yellow. North Shore LIJ says white uniforms will help patients... Read More

  1. Visit  QTNurseBSN profile page
    6
    I had to wear white pants and green top at a facility I once worked in..this separated nurses from other staff. The only downfall was as a woman, certain times of the month were quite risky to wear wear pants. Doesn't matter how "safe" and double protected you may be, accidents do happen and DID happen. That would be my ONLY con against wearing white, especially white pants
  2. Visit  DizzyLizzyNurse profile page
    2
    I would hate to wear all white. The few times I've worn a white top I've managed to spill things like juice on me. Nice big stain for the rest of the night.

    My facility has us wear a tag that's visible under our name tag with our title. So my name tag with my picture and name and title in smaller print and right under that is a big RN. The aides say ASSISTANT, so on and so forth. I think that makes it much easier to identify which staff is a nurse, PCA, etc.
    anotherone and VivaLasViejas like this.
  3. Visit  somenurse profile page
    13
    Quote from wooh
    I think if I worked for a place that instituted all white, I'd stage a revolt where we all wore white, and all looked like huge slobs with stains all over our clothes. And I'd do stains like chocolate, so the patients would wonder what I had all over my clothes when I walked in the room.

    All one color, fine. But make it navy or some other color that's not completely impractical.

    and Wooh,
    don't forget to wear some sexy cut undies, thigh highs, whatever, maybe draw some interesting tatoos on your skin to show through the whites,
    to help them reconsider how "professional" white uniforms actually look...




    EDIT: btw, i am an old nurse, been a nurse longer than many members here have been alive, i am not fond of white uniforms because i DO remember them!! shiver!! Lol, we had a coworker nicknamed "5 hook" cuz she wore such massive bras...we could count she wore a 5-hook bra.
    nah, lets not go back to sheer uniforms that can be seen through, and the white uniforms thick enough you can't see through, are very very hard to find, and
    are really hot to wear on busy shifts, like wearing wool almost...
    Last edit by somenurse on Feb 10, '13
    anotherone, DogWmn, Not_A_Hat_Person, and 10 others like this.
  4. Visit  psu_213 profile page
    1
    I may have said that I like it when all nurses where one color in a facility...however, that color should, most definitely, NOT be white.
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  5. Visit  amoLucia profile page
    2
    As a 'fossilized' nurse, I used to wear 'whites' when I first practiced and for a few years after until the uniform trend shifted. Then it became all the colors. One problem was that every place had its own color pallette, so was it any wonder that there was never any easily recognizable continuity for pts to identify? A nurse in navy at ABC, a nurse in cranberry at XYZ; however, the housekeeper wore cranberry at ABC and they wore navy at XYZ. Respiratory wore green; oh wait, were they in beige? Or was that transport?

    It all depended on where you were to identify the staff. The only color that used to remain constant was WHITE, which only the professional nurses (LPNs, too) wore regardless of the facility. In the parking lot, the white uniform wearer was a nurse; in the local grocery, the whte uniform wearer was a nurse; on Sunday, before/after church services, the nurse was the one in white. Easy to distinguish and at the time, easy to afford courtesy and respect. No guessing about it.

    I've discussed that lack of respect and courtesy for nurses that is so pervasive in healthcare today with acquaintances. I've noticed that for folk in their mid 40s and on, they all seem to remember wistfully the nurses wearing white (and to some degree, our CAPS). They all comment on how much things have changed, but there is no real acknowledgement of nsg professionalism. And there's their comment about not knowing who's who. And they all seem to have liked our 'whites'.

    I'm going to offer this as a far-fetched, out-there comment but maybe we DO NEED to go back to whites. As PP, NurseGuy, points out, there IS a positive difference. The younger generation of nurses has not really experienced it. To those who would complain - sheesh, we too,used to dirty our whites - we used bleach for the stains and now Oxyclean for yellowing. Wore neutral color underwear. And oh, by the way, we also had our menses way back in the day while wearing whites (and DRESSES were the requirement).

    Also, has anyone else noticed that MDs (males & females) still dress pretty much as they always have, professionally and with a lab coat. Their respect by the general public remains stable while management still treats them with a degree of deference. And nobody dares to disrespect nuns and ministers like they do us.

    And as my final observation, I note that nurses on a new job invariably complain that they must now buy new colored scrubs - the old navy, cranberry, etc are not the new required color. Whites would NOT be a problem.
    Szasz_is_Right and Hygiene Queen like this.
  6. Visit  DoGoodThenGo profile page
    0
    Have freinds who work or worked at Lenox Hill and seem to remember they put floor nurses back into whites years ago. This was around late 1990's early 2000's before the NS-LIJ purchase. Certainly remember going to visit someone on one of LH's med-surg floors and seeing the nurses in whites including one or two in dresses with hose and *ahem* real shoes.

    IIRC at that time the nursing assistants voted to wear the blue dress with white bib job that was or still is the standard issue uniform for some local schools of nursing, including those that had clinical rotations at LH.
  7. Visit  DoGoodThenGo profile page
    0
    Quote from amoLucia
    As a 'fossilized' nurse, I used to wear 'whites' when I first practiced and for a few years after until the uniform trend shifted. Then it became all the colors. One problem was that every place had its own color pallette, so was it any wonder that there was never any easily recognizable continuity for pts to identify? A nurse in navy at ABC, a nurse in cranberry at XYZ; however, the housekeeper wore cranberry at ABC and they wore navy at XYZ. Respiratory wore green; oh wait, were they in beige? Or was that transport?

    It all depended on where you were to identify the staff. The only color that used to remain constant was WHITE, which only the professional nurses (LPNs, too) wore regardless of the facility. In the parking lot, the white uniform wearer was a nurse; in the local grocery, the whte uniform wearer was a nurse; on Sunday, before/after church services, the nurse was the one in white. Easy to distinguish and at the time, easy to afford courtesy and respect. No guessing about it.

    I've discussed that lack of respect and courtesy for nurses that is so pervasive in healthcare today with acquaintances. I've noticed that for folk in their mid 40s and on, they all seem to remember wistfully the nurses wearing white (and to some degree, our CAPS). They all comment on how much things have changed, but there is no real acknowledgement of nsg professionalism. And there's their comment about not knowing who's who. And they all seem to have liked our 'whites'.

    I'm going to offer this as a far-fetched, out-there comment but maybe we DO NEED to go back to whites. As PP, NurseGuy, points out, there IS a positive difference. The younger generation of nurses has not really experienced it. To those who would complain - sheesh, we too,used to dirty our whites - we used bleach for the stains and now Oxyclean for yellowing. Wore neutral color underwear. And oh, by the way, we also had our menses way back in the day while wearing whites (and DRESSES were the requirement).

    Also, has anyone else noticed that MDs (males & females) still dress pretty much as they always have, professionally and with a lab coat. Their respect by the general public remains stable while management still treats them with a degree of deference. And nobody dares to disrespect nuns and ministers like they do us.

    And as my final observation, I note that nurses on a new job invariably complain that they must now buy new colored scrubs - the old navy, cranberry, etc are not the new required color. Whites would NOT be a problem.
    Quite honestly think if Barco, White Swan and others put as much thought into "whites" as they do scrubs things might be a little better uniform wise. Most of the offerings you see today are poorly made with cheap and thin material. In contrast look out for vintage white uniforms from even as late as the 1980's. Much better quality it seems.

    As for the trend of putting nurses in whole or part back into whites be it scrubs or uniforms this has been coming for awhile now. There were reports in the media including professional nursing publications that many saw the "casual dress" pendulum as having swung too far with almost an anything goes attitude amoung some staff.

    What is amazing is the rationale people come up with in protest against white for uniforms. Yes, stains and soils are easily seen on such garments, but is it ok to wear blue, black or whatever colour scrubs/uniform that is stained merely because it cannot be seen? The pale green or blue scrubs so many are in love with don't offer that much coverage from stains either.

    I've been to hospitals in Germany where the entire medical and nursing staff are in whites (scrubs or uniforms) and the persons much less the facility are so clinically clean you'd want to eat off them. Will say overall staff there aren't permitted to travel to and from duty in uniform. You change at the start and end of shift with the hospital taking care of the laundry.
  8. Visit  DoGoodThenGo profile page
    2
    Quote from NurseGuyBri
    I'm going to sound kooky here too. I'm a guy. I wear white boxers (so now you know my boxers vs briefs story) and I LOVE wearing all white. Yes it gets very dirty. Yes, it gets discolored. But something happens when you wear all white. Try it. You start feeling the part a little more. You will be immediately sought out. FAMILY MEMBERS TREAT YOU DIFFERENT.

    When I got into management I stopped wearing scrubs and started wearing nice slacks, shoes, tie, etc. (and no, I don't wear ties much). Family members and angry patients responded better to me than when in any old scrubs. There is more of an internal transformation and you start to respect yourself more and act more professional. I know you think I'm crazy; to think that a simple white uniform can do this- but it can, and it does!

    Now I don't mandate dress code in my facility. Why? It's just too difficult to get going and I don't want to kill morale because I know of the initial backlash. I'm coming up with a plan, though. Either way, I think it's a great idea.
    Well unless you want your staff to do to you what Sherman did to Atlanta I'd stay away from requiring caps! *LOL*
    kabfighter and DizzyLizzyNurse like this.
  9. Visit  DoGoodThenGo profile page
    2
    Quote from Ruby Vee
    I agree with the line in the article that says professionals ought to be able to choose their own dress. Color coding employees doesn't improve customer service -- "customers" will still ask the housekeeper for a glass of water and the nurse for more toilet paper. A lot of hospitals are going this way these days, and I think it's a way to "put nursing in its place" when we've gotten "too uppity."
    Think what is happening is that for many areas of the country hospitals are locked in an arms race to get butts in beds, and the losers are having to shut down. In particular everyone is going after private insurance or self paying customers as Medicare/Medicaid rates are being cut. Know no one wants to hear it but hospitals have become a quasi-service *business*. It is sad that things are going this way but whatever it takes to make *clients* (formerly known as patients) happy seems to go these days.

    I swear, if one hospital can find away to get their nurses back into starched whites and caps, and it is successful in terms of showing increased patient satisfaction/quality rates then the rest of ya'll better watch out. *LOL*
    amoLucia and anotherone like this.
  10. Visit  jrwest profile page
    1
    we've had to wear white scrub tops for a while now. I do find what is nice about white is that I dont feel bad about using bleach wipes on any spots I get. Especially when I spill my coffee. LOL
    anotherone likes this.
  11. Visit  AZMOMO2 profile page
    2
    I like white as well. I like wearing white, nonscrub as well. I have white scrubs I wear to work now, with a colored top under.It just goes with a lot of things. I agree that they are much harder to keep clean but in this day and age nurses are still depicted as wearing white and most people relate to that color with trust.

    When I was a CNA back in 2000, I worked for a facility that ALL nursing staff had to wear ALL white, and also had to wear white tights if you were a woman, even if you had pants on. Men had to wear white dress socks... I am sure those were MUCH harder to find.
    Szasz_is_Right and Hygiene Queen like this.
  12. Visit  SaoirseRN profile page
    6
    I don't have problems with dress codes per se. I agree fully that certain rules of dress are important and professional, such as being clean and not showing cleavage, and sometimes (in the case of shoes) are a matter of safety.

    However, I dislike the notion that an employer would mandate nurses to wear a specific "uniform", for the following reasons.

    Nursing is a profession, and nurses are educated professionals. We are unique in that, unlike most places of work where the ones with the education are fewer in number and the "lesser workers" make up the majority of the staff, in nursing (hospital nursing) the nurses tend to outnumber the other types of workers. We might have 10 nurses on the ward, but only 2 housekeepers, for instance.

    Places like fast food restaurants require their employees wear uniforms. Walmart employees and supermarket cashiers, likewise.

    Placing us in uniform, to me, feels like reducing us to mere "workers".

    Most of us wear scrubs as a matter of convenience and practicality on the job. I don't think that wearing a printed top makes me less of a nurse. I like to look nice. If I had a degree and career in a different profession, I would dress myself in nice clothing and it wouldn't match that of my colleagues. It's the same with scrubs. Why shouldn't we be able to pick something that's nice as well as functional, and why should we be made to look like cookie-cutter workers?
    mariebailey, wooh, monkeybug, and 3 others like this.
  13. Visit  DoGoodThenGo profile page
    0
    Quote from SaoirseRN
    I don't have problems with dress codes per se. I agree fully that certain rules of dress are important and professional, such as being clean and not showing cleavage, and sometimes (in the case of shoes) are a matter of safety.

    However, I dislike the notion that an employer would mandate nurses to wear a specific "uniform", for the following reasons.

    Nursing is a profession, and nurses are educated professionals. We are unique in that, unlike most places of work where the ones with the education are fewer in number and the "lesser workers" make up the majority of the staff, in nursing (hospital nursing) the nurses tend to outnumber the other types of workers. We might have 10 nurses on the ward, but only 2 housekeepers, for instance.

    Places like fast food restaurants require their employees wear uniforms. Walmart employees and supermarket cashiers, likewise.

    Placing us in uniform, to me, feels like reducing us to mere "workers".

    Most of us wear scrubs as a matter of convenience and practicality on the job. I don't think that wearing a printed top makes me less of a nurse. I like to look nice. If I had a degree and career in a different profession, I would dress myself in nice clothing and it wouldn't match that of my colleagues. It's the same with scrubs. Why shouldn't we be able to pick something that's nice as well as functional, and why should we be made to look like cookie-cutter workers?
    Historically aside from student's most hospitals never assigned a "uniform" just what it could or could not be under the dress code.

    Pipe: Professional Practical/Vocational Nursing - Lois Harrion - Google Books

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