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Do You Wear a Lab coat?

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by L3Janit0r37 L3Janit0r37 (New Member) New Member

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A 3/4 length white lab coat with our school patch on the left sleeve is part of my school's dress code. Some clnicals require us to wear our scrubs (hospital, etc) but other clinicals require professional dress and our lab coat (flu vaccine clinic, assessments in the elementary schools, etc).

Personally, I hate the lab coat. I'm comfortable in my scrubs (and have loads of pockets) but still feel like I'm playing dress up in my lab coat.

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GitanoRN has 48 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in Trauma, ER, ICU, CCU, PACU, GI, Cardiology, OR.

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In answer to this post, when I was working on med/surg. or urology ER, I never use a lab coat. However, since I became a case manager it fit the bill, and my name is followed by the alphabet of tittles that I have earned over the years and I proudly exhibit RN,BSN,MSN :D. However, there's two of my colleagues that are so far apart in the way they represent their careers they will remain anonymous. To begin with, I'll describe the first one as the Hollywood T.V. management nurse, she wears costume made lab. coats with her name embroidered in royal blue followed by these degrees RN,BSN,MSN,CNL,RNC,ND, keeps a manicured "Ivanna Trump" hair do,and for the finishing touch her lab. coat long sleeves expose stainless steel cuff-lings. On the other side of the spectrum is the other management nurse with same credentials, however, she wears scrubs with baby rhinos or huge sunflowers, she resembles Rossanne on T.V., she never wears a name badge, her nursing shoes gives you the impression that they been with her since she was a student in 1975, and she has the physical appearance of a woman working in the fish & meat produce at the local Farmer's Market. Therefore, when it comes to lab.coats or dress codes in the medical filed, the subject can be a vast one. Lastly, every time there's a need to meet with other board members or officials the Rosanne look-alike begs me to go on her place and takes care of the tedious duties that I don't care to perform, so I guess it works for the two of us :cool:

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NeoNurseTX is a RN and specializes in NICU Level III.

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We wore them when we picked patients in clinicals for nursing school but I've never seen a nurse wear one at work. Sometimes the docs wear them but not often.

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luvtranscendsall has 8 years experience and specializes in Neurosurgery, Long Term Care,.

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There's a middle-aged male nursing student at the hospital where I'm doing clinicals who wears a looong white lab coat. I suspect he gets his kicks by looking like a physician and confusing patients. Surprised, too, that his instructor lets him dress this way for clinicals.

My nursing school requires us to wear lab coats for lab and if we are cold while doing our clinicals. I am sure that this guy is not intentionally trying to confuse patients, instead he is following his programs protocols.

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klone has 13 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership.

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No. Only the physicians and med students wear lab coats. Short coats = med students. Long coats = MDs. Our facility has a pretty explicit dress code for everyone who is there, from the unit secretaries to the housekeeping staff, to RT, nurses and physicians.

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14,861 Visitors; 2,642 Posts

No. Only the physicians and med students wear lab coats. Short coats = med students. Long coats = MDs. Our facility has a pretty explicit dress code for everyone who is there, from the unit secretaries to the housekeeping staff, to RT, nurses and physicians.

That may be in your facility. My nursing school dress code required me to wear a lab coat, that went down to my knees, when I picked up my patient information for the next morning.

Each place is different.

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PatMac10,RN has 6 years experience as a ADN, BSN, RN and specializes in Float Pool.

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I am a first year and currently 4th week nursing student. Like many of you, I was required to buy a lab coat as a part of my nursing school uniform. In the past, our schools lab coats were knee length, but this year, for the first time, where are doing hip length lab coats. I am required to where it whenever professional dress is required for clinical or school outings. We are also required to wear it for warm-up, as we are not allowed to wear anything else over our uniforms during clinical and preceptorship. I am actually going to have to wear it later this morning (it's 12:06 am here) for orientation at the hospital we will be starting our clinicals at starting next week.

As far as I can see, all the nursing schools in my area or around, which adds up to over 8 schools/ programs, have the same policy towards white lab coats, most go just past the hip in length now though.

I work as a CNA the same hospital that we are doing clinical at and our policy is that most Professional clinical staff may wear lab coats Including the following:Medical Personnel/ Staff (Physicians), Pharmacists (Who wear knee length ones mostly) , Physical Therapist, Nursing Staff (Nurses: Idk if the differentiate between LPN and RN, because we still have a few LPNs in our hospital, but very few), Radiological Staff (Radiological/ X-Ray Techs, who usually wear consultation lab coats)

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Aurora77 has 4 years experience and specializes in Med Surg.

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We had to buy lab coats for nursing school, but weren't required to wear them. Most of my classmates did, but I was always hot. I wore it to the floor and off it came. None of the nurses I work with now wear lab coats; I wouldn't for the same reason--it's still hot. I don't need that extra layer. I just buy scrub pants with lots of pockets.

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GitanoRN has 48 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in Trauma, ER, ICU, CCU, PACU, GI, Cardiology, OR.

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undoubtedly, there is an advantage when you wear a lab-coat. for instance, as a msn nurse i like the idea of having the freedom to wear my dress clothes under my lab-coat. unquestionably, it sets you apart from the rest of the staff, since you're in charge of the other nurses; specially when one has to conduct several meetings with other managers. in addition, if by any chance you need to be the spokesperson for the hospital or institution on the media, it's a very professional look after all you're representing your facility. therefore, it all depends on your position within your institution. however, ultimately it's your decision to wear one or not :cool:

Edited by GitanoRN

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I actually wear my lab coat for a different reason altogether. I have tattoos on my neck that I got long before I ever decided to become a nurse. I wear special smudge-free makeup to cover them up, however the makeup still looks like makeup and I decided to wear a lab coat because of the higher collar (in addition to the makeup). No one even knows that I have tattoos and no one seems to care that I wear the lab coat. It actually works out since I am usually cold anyways. :D

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turnforthenurse has 7 years experience as a MSN, NP and specializes in ER, progressive care.

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I wear a scrub jacket. I find that with a lab coat the patients confuse with being an MD...even though my scrub jacket is white just like the MD lab coats!

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DSkelton711 has 25+ years experience and specializes in OB/GYN/Neonatal/Office/Geriatric.

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This is a fun thread! I wear a lab coat to the hip for the pockets. I am always hot. Pants pockets are too low for me. Plus I carry alot of stuff. I am in management--I wear scrubs for anything I have to do hands on. I don't see a lot of docs wearing lab coats anymore.

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