Should I wear my white nurse's uniform?? - page 3

Hi everyone. I am graduating my RN program this weekend. I had a white nurse's dress made for pinning that looks really nice ( it's from a pattern from the late 70's early 80's- looks really... Read More

  1. by   feralnostalgia
    Quote from BabyLady
    If you walked into a physician's office...all the nurses and physicians looked like they just crawled out of bed...no makeup, crazy hair, cheap scrubs...wrinkled, never ironed...worn out tennis shoes...McDonald's cups and wrappers covering the counter from breakfast that morning...that they are still eating.
    in what you quoted above, I specifically said that "clean and neat are important, especially for nurses." none of this sounds like what I was describing. I was saying that being clean, neat, and wearing nice scrubs to our interviews should be enough, not that we should get to not shower and eat nachos while drawing blood.

    there's a group of girls in my anatomy class that always look amazing. perfect hair, flawless skin, expensive clothes. they care a lot about how they look. one of them actually started painting her toenails in the middle of lecture one day. on the other hand, I shop at thrift stores, occasionally wear wrinkled clothes, cut my hair (myself, with kitchen scissors) once a year, shave when I feel like it. the only "products" I use on any part of my body are baking soda and generic deodorant.

    I am clean, but they look more "professional". my lab partner, for example, is gorgeous and very well groomed. since she's begged for my help nearly every week, (after not even bothering to buy the book), I also happen to know she'll be lucky to make a D, despite the fact she tries to cheat on tests. my scores on lab practicals this semester? 100% and 97%. class averages were in the C range. from full-time work to full time school, I've observed absolutely no relationship between looking professional and knowing what the hell is going on.

    how we look when we dress up has nothing to do with how competent we are. there are some very high-prestige professionals (certain politicians and wall street executives come to mind) who I wouldn't trust to be able to tie their own shoes in an emergency situation.
    Last edit by feralnostalgia on May 6, '09
  2. by   BabyLady
    Quote from feralnostalgia
    how we look when we dress up has nothing to do with how competent we are.
    You are 190% correct.

    Stephen Hawkins...one of the most brilliant minds of our time..if you didn't know who he was, by looking at him, you would think his mind was shot. His body is, but not his mind.

    However...we live in a society that is superficial and perception is reality.

    Think about when you go to a bookstore to browse without anything in mind before you got there...you pick up a book...look at the cover in the section you want, you flip it to the back, and wait for the summary to grab your attention and command that you buy the book...you may look through a couple of pages and read a few, but that's pretty much it..right?

    When you go to an interview...here is the comparison:

    Your appearance: Book cover
    Your transcript from school and references from instructors: Body of the book.
    Your resume: Your summary on the back of the book.
    Your interview: A promotional campaign to buy the book.

    It doesn't matter if you would be the best new grad in their entire stack of resumes...they will be looking for something in you that separates you from everyone else.

    I haven't hardly bought new clothes in three years due to being in school. We just couldn't afford it. When I started gaining weight I think I spent about $60 at Old Navy on two pairs of jeans.

    I spend about two weeks looking for an outfit for my interview. I could only afford one. Then I got an internet coupon for Ann Taylor, and I saw where they were doing pretty heavy discounts....I went and bought ONE suit. It was a dress suit. I made sure it matched shoes I already had so I wouldn't have to purchase new ones.

    I went to Claires and spend about $15 on fake pearls, pearl earrings and a bracelet...if you are only using them a few times, they don't have to be expensive.

    When I walked into the office at Human Resources, there were about 9 other people there waiting to interview with different departments. I did full makeup, hair, the whole 9 yards. I DRASTICALLY looked different...everyone else was in business casual except for me....some, were TOO casual. One girl was even in flip-flops.

    There were a ton of applicants for the job...they ended up getting 7x as many applicants as they had slots available. I have a good GPA, but a 4.0 it is not....I am in an ADN program, and not a BSN....and this hospital was in a city with 2 other nursing programs offering BSN's.

    I knew going in, that I wasn't going to have the best resume...and being middle-aged wasn't going to help me either...people that are middle-aged usually have other obligations...and they know that.

    I had done prior research on the hospital and researched the organizational structure and even found some information on the manager, and her awards, etc...before I went.

    I used this site to research possible questions.

    When we sat down to interview...I answered every one without hesitation...because I had rehearsed. I also had a list of questions prepared for her...as well as to tell her some things that I would like to do for them, if hired.

    I didn't think I had a chance getting that job.

    But I did.

    The Nurse Recruiter called me back after the job offer was made by the NM and said that I was not only hired, but was picked with NO hesitation from the Nurse Manager...no mulling over...no, "let me think about it"...it was an immediate..."I want her".

    I had no connections to this hospital...none. I didn't do a single day of clinical or an externship there.

    My point in mentioning this...is competition for jobs right now is HUGE. You cannot allow, the slightest detail to pass by their eye...nothing.

    I even took 10 copies of my written resume with me (which you should always take with you)...just so I could hand her one that didn't have a wrinkle in it....I am not kidding...that was why I took that many.

    In PROFESSIONAL sports, they don't go out there and wing it...they practice, they analyze, they work at figuring out how to beat the opponent and win.

    Right now, you have to approach a job interview the same way.
  3. by   kwkrnc
    Wow, you have received some excellent answers and some that make me shake my head. The last one was particularly good. I must admit that I mostly scanned until the last one. Something you said really stood out for me....about taking care of people and not going the corporate way. I understand what you are saying as most nurses go into nursing because they want to take care of people. So did I and I loved working at the bedside. Fortunately I also know my own temperment so knew that I would be making the move up eventually and also recognized that bedside nursing can be a dangerous place. Depite the fact that I was OCD when it came to using proper body mechanics I still was injured in the process of attempting to move a patient. Had I not been prepared to make the move from charge nurse to a different position I would have been permanently sidelined. After two years on WC, lots of PT and two surgeries I am thrilled to be returning to the hospital I so admire and respect and will be working to lead their journey to Magnet designation. I encourage all nurses to keep up with their education, join their professional association and make sure you take care of yourself because if you don't then you won't be able to take care of anyone else. To paraphrase Aristotle, Excellence, then is not an act but a habit. Welcome to the profession! kwkrnc
  4. by   diane227
    You know, this is interesting. I worked with a nurse about two years ago who always wore white and her nursing cap. She was a young nurse. I cannot tell you the respect that she received from patients who she cared for. All the patients loved her. She could have been the worst nurse on the unit and they would have still liked her because they identified her as their ideal of what a nurse should be.

    At work, as the charge nurse, I wear a starched white lab coat every day to work. And the wearing of that white lab coat demonstrates who is in charge and offers me respect from patients and family members. When we have a difficult patient or family when they see me come into the room in that lab coat, most of the time their entire manner changes. I truly believe that the public would still love to see nurses wearing white, especially older people. They associate that white uniform with competence and identifies you as the nurse. Now days you can't identify the nurse from the lab tech and I think it makes it harder for the patients to know who their nurse is sometimes. I am not recommending that we all start wearing white. With all the stuff we have to deal with, they would get dirty fast. But it is an interesting concept.
  5. by   BabyLady
    Quote from diane227
    You know, this is interesting. I worked with a nurse about two years ago who always wore white and her nursing cap. She was a young nurse. I cannot tell you the respect that she received from patients who she cared for. All the patients loved her. She could have been the worst nurse on the unit and they would have still liked her because they identified her as their ideal of what a nurse should be.

    At work, as the charge nurse, I wear a starched white lab coat every day to work. And the wearing of that white lab coat demonstrates who is in charge and offers me respect from patients and family members. When we have a difficult patient or family when they see me come into the room in that lab coat, most of the time their entire manner changes. I truly believe that the public would still love to see nurses wearing white, especially older people. They associate that white uniform with competence and identifies you as the nurse. Now days you can't identify the nurse from the lab tech and I think it makes it harder for the patients to know who their nurse is sometimes. I am not recommending that we all start wearing white. With all the stuff we have to deal with, they would get dirty fast. But it is an interesting concept.
  6. by   DA314
    Quote from feralnostalgia
    in what you quoted above, I specifically said that "clean and neat are important, especially for nurses." none of this sounds like what I was describing. I was saying that being clean, neat, and wearing nice scrubs to our interviews should be enough, not that we should get to not shower and eat nachos while drawing blood.

    there's a group of girls in my anatomy class that always look amazing. perfect hair, flawless skin, expensive clothes. they care a lot about how they look. one of them actually started painting her toenails in the middle of lecture one day. on the other hand, I shop at thrift stores, occasionally wear wrinkled clothes, cut my hair (myself, with kitchen scissors) once a year, shave when I feel like it. the only "products" I use on any part of my body are baking soda and generic deodorant.

    I am clean, but they look more "professional". my lab partner, for example, is gorgeous and very well groomed. since she's begged for my help nearly every week, (after not even bothering to buy the book), I also happen to know she'll be lucky to make a D, despite the fact she tries to cheat on tests. my scores on lab practicals this semester? 100% and 97%. class averages were in the C range. from full-time work to full time school, I've observed absolutely no relationship between looking professional and knowing what the hell is going on.

    how we look when we dress up has nothing to do with how competent we are. there are some very high-prestige professionals (certain politicians and wall street executives come to mind) who I wouldn't trust to be able to tie their own shoes in an emergency situation.

    On the flip side of this, There is a girl who sits next to me who wears no makeup, wears the same ratty shirt to every lecture, never brushes her hair, and is failing. She had to ace the finals to pass this semester, which I doubt she did.

    I am one of those people who puts a great deal of effort into looking nice. I wear nice clothes, always fix my hair, and never leave the hosue without makeup, and I have like 35 pairs of shoes. I also get all A's and B's in my classes, and I would never dream of cheating.

    I only point this out because you make it seem as though people who care about appearances are unintelligent.

    As for looking professional, it says "I care enough about getting this job to make an effort to look nice and impress you." Wearing scrubs to an interview says "I am confident that I already have this job bagged, so I only need to show up in what I'd work in." Heck, I've interviewed for waitress jobs wearing business attire, even though I knew I wouldn't have to dress like that for the job. It just says "I Care, and I'll make the extra effort"
  7. by   Bettie P
    Quote from feralnostalgia
    aw man! here I was really hoping I could get away with scrubs as professional-wear and just buy clothing I actually wear the rest of the time. I loathe "business" attire, and it pretty much always looks awful and awkward on me.
    Then you're buying the wrong style or size. Go to a quality clothing store and ask for help. Buying a quality set of clothes that you feel and look good in is one of the best things you can do for yourself, but it's not easy! Don't give up after trying a few items.

    I want to get hired, so I'll do the business casual thing to get a job, but I really don't see why anyone would hold it against someone if they interviewed in the clothing they were going to wear to work every day for the rest of their career.
    Because an interview is not just any other day. It's the one chance you have to make a first impression and stand out. They won't hold it against you...they just won't remember you.

    correct me if I'm wrong...but a suit says "I can afford a suit", not "I am an honest person", "I am hardworking", "I know the first thing about nursing", or "I give a damn about patients." working with the public in another career, I can't tell you how many disgusting, manipulative, and very "well dressed" people I have met, while some of the most honest and hardworking people I know wear home-made or second-hand clothes.
    OK...you're wrong. Wearing occasion-appropriate clothing (suit, secondhand, homemade, whatever) says that you are an adult. It says that you respect the occasion, you have prepared for the occasion and you give a damn about it.
  8. by   kwkrnc
    Don't you think this point has been belabored long enough? We have very real issues in nusing that need the kind of attention this is getting.
  9. by   BabyLady
    Quote from kwkrnc
    Don't you think this point has been belabored long enough? We have very real issues in nusing that need the kind of attention this is getting.
    This is a huge issue in nursing. Nurses have worked very, very hard to elevate themselves from a physician's sidekick to being a viable members of the healthcare team and leading healthcare teams.

    EVERY facet, from our organizations, our schools, our political actions, even our dress, matter to me.

    It ALL matters.

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