Is there power in the color white? - page 6

Hi all. I'm looking for some opinions on whether you believe that returning to wearing all white uniforms might give us back some power. Now let me explain power. I've been an RN for 21 years and... Read More

  1. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    If you wear your scrubs like a uniform- neat, clean, unwrinkled, no cheesy plastic clogs, etc.- and conduct yourself with a certain kind of "trust me, I know what I'm doing" bearing, then people will treat you like you know what you're doing.
    My "cheesy plastic clogs" happen to be what relieved the pain in my feet. The do not define me as a nurse.
  2. by   PANurseRN1
    I guess we know how oldshoes feels about Crocs!
  3. by   Allie070
    Quote from Miss_Chybil
    Hmmm... I always thought red was the power color.

    I've always thought red was the seductive color :wink2:
  4. by   peds4now
    Quote from ruby vee
    [font="comic sans ms"]if the problem is that nurses wearing scrubs can't be distinguished from housekeeping, dietary, pharmacy, etc. then perhaps nurses should be the only ones wearing scrubs. if someone doesn't do patient care, i fail to see the need for them to wear scrubs.

    well, your typical floor nurse doesn't actually need scrubs any more than the cleaning staff or linens delivery person. they are not somehow cleaner than street clothes, and we don't usually carry extras along to change between messy patients. if something will get messy, you wear a disposable gown these days. pockets are nice. i wish non or/ed nurses, not just administrators, would wear business attire with practical shoes and a lab coat over it for id/storage.
  5. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from casualjim
    as a student i dont feel qualified to talk to "what gives power" or "professionalism" in nursing.
    when i was in the military though, every once in a while someone would pull out the "professionalism drum" and beat it. what i learned in fairly short order is when they said professionalism, what they really meant was appearance. it wasnt until i had 15 or 16 years in and was a senior leader though that i learned that there was an entire world of incompetance that some people attempted tohide with a snappy crease in their pants and a good shoe shine. from that point forward my yardstick for measuring professionalism is "how professional (knowledge, demeanor,drive etc)does this person appear. you can teach a monkey to dress up fancy and shine his shoes. my thoughts,
    [font="comic sans ms"]as a student, jim, you make a lot more sense than some of the experienced nurses!
  6. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from runningfool
    as casualjim said, i'm not yet qualified to talk about power and problems in nursing, but in my humble opinion i wouldn't say it's power. you're just conforming to how people think you should be or look and it makes them more comfortable to have you in the little box they want you in - that's all. every time i read the debates about white uniforms on here and someone mentions positive reactions from the patients i think back to my sociology classes. i can't remember the concept but it's about how people unconsciously act more negative towards people who don't conform to their personal beliefs or standards in an attempt to beat them down so that they will conform. i can see that as clear as day when i read people's stories of how they were treated when they wore all white solely by the words other people use when they "compliment" the nurse when she wears white, for instance, "now you look like a real nurse!"
    if every nurse wore white they wouldn't have any more power or be treated any better than you are now. the problems in nursing are beyond uniform colors.
    [font="comic sans ms"]your sociology concept is an interesting one, and i believe you're right. the thing that frightens me is how many nurses are jumping on the white bandwagon in an effort to win more "respect." the problems in nursing aren't about uniform colors!
  7. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from bbfw2
    wow! you've submitted some strong and wonderful replies. i get the feeling that basically we need to take ourselves, and each other, seriously as professionals. respect each other and others will respect us in turn. too true. there in lies some new problems we need solutions to;
    1. how to stop sniping at each other?
    2. how to get upper management to take the role of the hands on nurse more seriously?
    3. how to open the eyes of the public at large to the true power of nursing and the profession?
    the uniform thing....some style, or color, that distinguishes us from other workers, at a mere glance. certainly does not need to be white.

    thanks all

    [font="comic sans ms"]after reading this and many other similar threads, i still don't understand the need for some unifrom thing that distinguishes us from other workers at a mere glance, but if there is a need, perhaps getting other workers out of our scrubs would do the trick.

    i just got home from a 3 day hospital stay, and can assure you that i had absolutely no problem distinguishing my nurse from any other worker. my nurse introduced herself at the start of each shift, and wrote her name on an eraserboard on my wall. my nurses were knowlegeable and professional. the pcas also introduced themselves and wrote their names down for me . . . something that i appreciated because the drugs made my memory somewhat fallible.

    i suspect that these threads are more about some nurses wanting to wear a uniform like cherry ames used to than about the inability of patients and families to distinguish who is who.
  8. by   RNOTODAY
    White has nothing to do with our image, power, or anything else. The wearing of white , and those hats, are from a different time and place. People, doctors included, were different then. To think that if nurses to change to wearing all white, or any color, is going to make anybody change their attitude, or gain respect for nurses, is completely rediculous.
    And for the nsg instructor, who wears all white and the cap..... for you to have so many pts asking for "the nurse" (you) just because you are wearing white and a cap, and not even realizing that their are actual nurses taking care of them, well........I find that odd........not that I dont believe you, but how can they be that clueless that nurses are not required to dress like that anymore? And that YOU are the only nurse there? That struck me as weird.
    I have an anecdote to share. I went to an old school-school, a diploma program. We had this old fashioned instructor, who until the year previous, wore her cap while doing patient care. Well, she was doing a dressing one day, and the hat fell right off her head and landed right in the wound.The pt got an infection. She vowed that day, it was a safety issue, and she wouldnt wear it , and made it a school rule that they are not allowe to be worn at clinical. (this used to be required). So, I think that is a pretty good reason NOT to wear the hats. And the white? I cant think of any reason not to wear it, or any other color exclusively for that matter. It's just a non issue. Wear what you want.The respect comes from being accountable, professional, and knowing what you are doing. Period.
  9. by   Gragorin
    I just want to say that as a male and someone who is transferring into a nursing program, I refuse to wear the white uniform (outside of school requirements). Even the currently being tested all navy blue hospital bought uniforms at my current hospital irk me, as long as they are mandatory. The respect that I see is all about the demeanor of the person, not what they are wearing.

    "Professionalism" is what you are, not what you wear.
    Last edit by Gragorin on Oct 17, '06
  10. by   casualjim
    Quote from ruby vee
    [font="comic sans ms"]as a student, jim, you make a lot more sense than some of the experienced nurses!
    thank you, i appreciate that
  11. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from Gragorin

    "Professionalism" is what you are, not what you wear.

    Well said.
  12. by   Multicollinearity
    I think professionalism is how you present yourself, how you act, AND your attire.
  13. by   oldshoes
    About the hats: The really old school hats were actually practical- they covered your hair. Somehow, they were gradually reduced to something merely ornamental. I guess today's equivalent of the old caps would be an OR cap. Or, a bandana, I guess. Or a hair net? Anyway, I wouldn't object to being required to have my hair covered, or pulled securely back. Um, as long as I didn't have to wear a hair net, that is...