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Dress Codes

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by energyhlrRN energyhlrRN (New) New

energyhlrRN has 11 years experience and specializes in Oncology; End of Life Care.

441 Profile Views; 3 Posts

I've been nursing for 19 months, a 4th career, and LOVE it. I work in a hospital - on the Oncology unit. I work with newly diagnosed patients, patients receiving chemo and other treatments, and also, do a lot of hospice and end of life care. I am very happy with my new career and look forward to going to work everyday (I work 3 days a week - 12 hour days).

My only problem with my job is the mandatory dress code. Most - not all - of the staff is color coded. RNs and LPNs must wear white pants/white top or navy pants/white top. This code has been in effect about 2 years.

The nurses and other personnel tell me they had no say in this policy. They were not asked their opinion. An administrator (who is no longer employed there) arbitrarily made the decision - the objective being that patients would be able to identify the nurses from other personnel.

This objective has certainly not been met. The patients and their families think anyone in scrubs is a nurse. They don't even notice the color codes unless they've stay in the hospital over a week or so. And even if they notice, they don't know what each stands for.

There are 4 hospitals in this area that are all affiliated. One is new - just opened a few months ago. My hospital and the new hospital are the only ones with the strict dress code. The other two wear whatever kind of scrubs they want. Word is that they "tried" to change the code at these two hospitals too but the nurses "wouldn't stand for it".

I am working my way up the ladder to try to get this abolished. I polled 43 nurses and other personnel with 3 quick questions and received an overwhelming response in favor of abolishing the dress code as it is.

I'm at the 3rd rung up the ladder at this point, with only one more to go after this. The last administrator I approached (with a well written thoughtful, research based proposal) pretty much just blew me off. She stated that staff has "accepted" the policy and there is no need to address it further.

I am stressing the importance of how much it would mean for the nurses to have some autonomy in their wardrobe choice; to show their personality through their scrubs; show creativity; and to offer some vibrance and color to the patients. :clown:

The hospital doesn't pay for our uniforms. Many people have old, dingy whites but they are so tired of them, that I believe they just don't care anymore. Having a choice improves self-concept and self-image.

I've asked that we be able to wear regular scrubs just on weekends, or casual Friday's. They don't seem to care. I think they think it makes the hospital look good. I think it's archaic.

Have any of you out there had to deal with this? Do you have any suggestions of a better way to deal with it? :confused:

Sorry his was so long.

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4,700 Posts; 38,386 Profile Views

Are you in a union shop? Maybe its time to call SEIU or another union to ask about the organinzing process.

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energyhlrRN has 11 years experience and specializes in Oncology; End of Life Care.

3 Posts; 441 Profile Views

No, I live in Virginia which is a no-union state for nurses, teachers, and others.

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Beary-nice has 18 years experience and specializes in Almost everywhere.

514 Posts; 8,267 Profile Views

In my state, unless the facility is giving you some sort of a uniform allowance, they cannot tell you what to wear. They can tell you that you must be clean, your uniform must be clean as well as your shoes, stuff like that. One place I was at wanted us to wear certain uniforms and we were given 8 cents and hour toward that, which doesn't seem like much, but it was an "allowance." Good luck!

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malinne has 30 years experience and specializes in OR, Med/Surg, Renal, Oncology.

9 Posts; 899 Profile Views

At my hospital we can wear any scrubs we want, but I'm hearing more and more about nurses losing their identity. The argument is that we want to be recognized as professionals, but we do nothing to differentiate ourselves for aides, resp. therapists, etc.

I love my scrubs, but I have to admit that I see some validity in the argument.

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GIJay has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ER, IR, Endoscopy.

31 Posts; 1,324 Profile Views

At my hospital in Houston, nurses are required to wear either royal blue or white scrubs or a combination of the two. Shoes have to be either black or white. There was resistance at first to a mandatory color but the CNO of the hospital told us to form a committee and do it or she would pick the color for us. Nurses in the OR and L&D are excluded.

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Pupnshnooter has 8 years experience and specializes in Office Management.

36 Posts; 904 Profile Views

I was just at a meeting with other healthcare recruiters discussing this same topic. Many nurses are feeling less respected or noticed because their scrubs match those of a janitor, dietary aide, nurse aide, therapist, etc. I am not suggesting that we go back to the old white dress and cap, but I would like see those distinctions being made. Even when I go to the doctor's office the receptionists are wearing scrubs. You all have gone through extensive training and should be proud of who you are and not have to blend in like anyone else. If there is a problem with color coding, maybe the hospital can create a "who's who" guide for patients to understand those who are treating them.

Just my humble opinion.

:paw:

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357 Posts; 4,497 Profile Views

I am stressing the importance of how much it would mean for the nurses to have some autonomy in their wardrobe choice; to show their personality through their scrubs; show creativity; and to offer some vibrance and color to the patients. :clown:

I wouldn't ask for autonomy, I would exercise it.

Wear what you think is appropriate. It is unlikly you will be fired. It is more likly others will follow your lead.

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237 Posts; 4,492 Profile Views

I don't understand why non-nursing personnel need to wear scrubs. I do agree that it can get confusing to the patients so why not just limit scrubs to nursing?

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57 Posts; 1,760 Profile Views

I've seen this topic come up over and over in other threads and forums. The main concept is that because everyone wears scrubs, no one can tell who the nurses are. Many have proposed a return to the traditional white. How about this idea: all RNs dress like the doctors! Lab coat over scrubs or street clothes. Then we'll be confused with the docs instead of the janitors (hee, hee!) And all those pockets !!! It just might work...:D

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39 Posts; 1,479 Profile Views

I'm at 2 different hospitals. The one w/o a dress codes has the STNAs, LPN/RNs wear a yellow tag below their name tag identifying their position to help patients. The other has "colors" that different departments wear but it is very confusing to the patients. There is a clothing allowance. Only those in the clinical setting are allowed to wear scrubs but the STNAs, LPNs and RNs are still confused. I'm for professional dress but I don't like white. My pet peeve is that Scooby-Doo scrubs are great for peds but not really profession for adult healthcare. Mgt got a complaint about the number of people wearing "kid-themed" scrubs on adult floors or in ICU. Does anyone else notice this?

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69 Posts; 2,378 Profile Views

Our administrator was honest and said it was so SHE (not the patients) and the other employees could walk on any unit/floor and know immediately who the nurses/techs/secretaries were. Which, to me, makes more sense than thinking the patients are going to figure it out. ;)

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