Nurses please try to look a little more polished at work - page 3

to the smokers i work with, please do yourselves and patients a favor by brushing your teeth after smoking. the smell of smoke makes me gag, and i feel sorry for your already nauseated patients. ... Read More

  1. by   orthonurse55
    I teach CNA's and have a very strict dress code. One of the issues you are discussing is fingernails. I was at our local hospital last year when JACHO was inspecting. They actually took out a ruler and measured the length of the fingernails of some of the staff. This is an infection control issue! So is hair that is "unrestrained". Pants dragging on the floor are another thing the state inspectors will ding our facility for. I agree with the OP, we should present a professional image. Even if you don't ever wear make up, that's your preference. But coming in looking like you are hung over, or smelling like you just left a bar, is another issue.
  2. by   canesdukegirl
    OP, I do understand what you mean. As professionals, we SHOULD try to look polished. Everyone has their own sense of what looks professional and what doesn't-a lot of it depends on how you were raised, or what's going on upstairs-a very depressed nurse that I work with doesn't adhere to regular housekeeping duties on the homefront. She comes into work smelling like a litter box because she lets her cats pee all over the floor-where she dumps her freshly washed clothes to "fold some other time". Her depression has made her feel helpless and hopeless regarding her appearance, so she has a "what's it gonna matter" attitude. I know some nurses who won't step out of their house without makeup, a button down shirt and pressed slacks on. I know others who think that it's perfectly fine to skip an appointment with their shower in the morning. I had to have a heart to heart conversation with one nurse who had really offensive BO, and she told me that her boyfriend LOVES the way her natural smell radiates from I had to let her know that her pt's didn't share the same sentiments, and that she should shower during the work week so we ALL didn't have to deal with the 'radiation'.

    The best thing that you can do to encourage your co-workers to look professional is to look professional yourself. Don't judge them, don't admonish them, but continue to set an example. Be aware of your facial expressions and your body language. Be positive with the nurses that you encounter who don't seem to look professional. Negativity will only make them defensive.
  3. by   OCNRN63
    you know, when i was working and going through chemo, there were plenty of days i went in to work wearing no makeup. heck, i didn't even take the time to draw on my eyebrows. sometimes my scrubs were a little wrinkled; clean, but wrinkled. so, maybe i didn't look my best, but i did give my patients my best.

    we may not know our co-worker's personal circumstances. really, that doesn't even matter. what matters is that they are competent and do their job well. if a co-worker isn't wearing makeup, even though you think she'd look better with a touch of lip gloss and blush, who cares? is she good at what she does? does she have your back? make sure you know what's really important about your colleagues.
  4. by   Nurse Fee Fee
    I don't think makeup is really the issue for me anyway. But if a nurse came to my bedside to care for and she was smelling bad, bad bo and her her clothes looked really messing had spots all over them. I mean just looked a hot mess, my mind is going to wonder how clean is this person who is fixin to give me and injection, put some meds in my IV. I would be to comfortable with that. A clean professional appearance goes a log way, especially in patient care.
  5. by   amy007
    Judge much?
  6. by   QueenMangin
    Ok, I'll take the bait. Yeah man, if you smoke - you have got to do that on the down low. Excessive perfume or cologne should be a no-no, especially like OP said when patients are already nauseated. Exploding hair or crazy hair color, I would only care about hair as it relates to infection control... you don't want to be doing wound cleaning and your hair is all over the place. What else was in there? Oh fingernails - yeah we are told to not ever wear nail polish and no no no fake nails - for increased risk of infection/transmission. Body odor, sometimes it can't be helped but I believe you got to tell someone, nicely, diplomatically - although some people have no control over that...
  7. by   Gordon Gekko
    Well, I am NOT going to bite my tongue on this one, OnlybyHisgraceRN, obviously this is more inspired by your own moral code than anything else, are you afraid to "witness" on your job? I agree with you in principle, but next time, either address those that you are offended by, or have the guts to bring it up at the next nurses meeting, or to administration.
    Last edit by dianah on May 16, '12 : Reason: Terms of Service
  8. by   sherdk
    yep and coffee breath too
  9. by   nekozuki
    Nurse or not, any professional should be free from offensive odors (BO or perfume), come through the door in a clean, unwrinkled uniform, hair pulled back and off the shoulders and with the basic tenets of hygiene (toothpaste and deodorant).

    That being said, finding someone's hairstyle uncool, disliking that a fellow nurse isn't wearing clothing as baggy as you prefer or deciding someone is not professional because they won't slather themselves in make-up? There's a word for that: High school. Walking into a patient room attentive, smiling and exuding warmth and confidence will go further on a first impression than nail care will, and THAT is why this profession rocks. Trust me, when you're holding a rectal suppository, no one is going to notice your lovely but subtle lipstick shade.

    This might be a case of you needing to step outside yourself and re-evaluate the way you perceive others. I have heard patients complain about many things (justified and often unjustified), but appearance has never been one of them.
  10. by   leslie :-D
    i believe makeup is a personal choice, and have worked with many (MANY) nurses who don't wear it.
    that should not be considered in the totality of a "polished" appearance.
    but yeah...
    an elemental self-respect and your basic hygiene, should suffice.

    i also believe nurses should wear their (longer) hair tied back, vs just hanging down.
    if that makes me judgemental, i'm ok with it.

    and while i agree with the premise that we should only care about one's competency, unfortunately appearances do matter and do form impressions on most.
    we (nurses) need to be the total package in terms of professionalism and credibility.
    we need to be talking and walking that long, arduous walk.

  11. by   Jasel
    I agree with the OP. I also don't think she was advocating for make-up just saying she goes above and beyond what should be the bare minimum of professionalism when it comes to your appearance as a nurse in a working environment. Fortunately most nurses I've worked with dress and keep their appearance very professional but every now and then you get one with Peg Bundy hair, or tattoos splattered all on their neck, or reek of cigarette smoke that they track all through the facility and in their patients rooms, etc. Fortunately I haven't worked with any nurses who had BO problems but scented lotions and perfumes? Seriously??? *head desk* Really don't see anything wrong with her post. Honestly there are some nurses out there who just don't know these things and need to be made aware of it.
  12. by   Stephalump
    And Bump-Its! And unibrows! And colored contacts! And green nail polish! And fake designer handbags! And Velcro wallets! And the word "irregardless!"

    I trust all these things will be made illegal, since I find them very annoying.
  13. by   MamaStacey
    Yes! And that is why I brush my teeth when I get to work (after my coffee on the drive in) regardless of how many people tease me about it.