Uniforms.. color scrubs vs whites - page 4

Is anyone else sick of hearing "I can't tell the nurses from the housekeeper"? My response is "here's a hint... your nurse is the one who does your assessment, gives you pills, pokes you with... Read More

  1. by   bethin
    Quote from DutchgirlRN
    I agree except when it comes to telling the nurses from the tech. Between the techs telling the patient they are their nurse (hey I know many don't, I'm not starting a discussion here) and them taking vitals and such many patients get confused. I like the RN or LPN patch sewn to the right sleeve that was proposed but evidently fell through. I certainly don't want to go back to white. I might consider wearing my cap but certainly would rather not.
    I don't identify myself as the nurse but I see the pts in the morning before the nurses so many think I'm their nurse. I tell them I will be their aide and that their nurse is in report and will be in to assess them in a bit.

    I wear two ID badges. One is the credit card size that is displayed at eye level so the pt can see it. It is clearly marked CNA. I also wear a smaller clip that has my name and CNA on it. I think the problem with many pts is that they just don't know what CNA, LPN or even RN means so when they see someone in scrubs they assume nurse. I wouldn't mind wearing the same colored scrubs, but I think even then pts would have a hard time remembering who was who. I figured I'd be easy to spot as the CNA's at my hospital don't wear stethescopes. I was wrong.
  2. by   bethin
    Quote from ruby vee
    no. whites are not a tool akin to the judge's robe. whites harken back to the days when a nurse was a handmaiden, and i think the push to shove nurses back into white is shoving us back into the handmaiden role. i'm a professional, thank you, and i'll choose what to wear to work. my professionalism stands for itself.
    in addition to that, i think all white (at least for me) reminds me of starkness and emptiness. i see alot of newer hospitals going for a homey feel because there is evidence that shows pts recover faster in a home like setting. white just feels so cold. honestly, i have had nightmares of white uniformed nurses entering my room.

    i don't wear white and i look professional. i usually wear navy blue or ceil blue scrubs. nothing psychedelic as you can sometimes see. my scrubs are ironed and not dragging on the floor. i don't wear low riders. i wear appropriate undergarments. makeup is a min. and the only jewelry i wear is a watch. my nails are clean and kept short. to me, that's professional.
  3. by   tinabrat1
    My namebadge has a huge RN in white on a dark background on it. PCT's say just that, and we where whatever scrubs we like!
  4. by   blueheaven
    Quote from DutchgirlRN
    Another point of view from another oldie:

    Wearing all white and a cap was a real thrill to me when I first graduated. (1976) Quickly I realized it was uncomfortable. The pantyhose were a pain. The uniforms fitted and thick. Everything stained. The shoes were well, ok. I had long hair and had to keep it under my cap which gave me a headache.

    I'm thrilled to be able to wear scrubs and birkenstocks. I am comfortable. I recently retired from the hospital nursing. Working in the hospital got increasing more difficult each year. I ran, perspired, got "stuff" on me. Anytime there was a problem I could get a replacement pair of scrubs from the OR. Presto, clean again.

    In all those years I never had one patient or family member complain that I wasn't wearing white. I let my professionalism speak for itself. Patients enjoyed my different scrubs. I always got comments. I got many cards from families thanking me for my compassion with their loved ones at their time of passing. In 31 years I've never had one patient complain I wasn't wearing white. Now in home health, the patients seem to enjoy my scrubs.

    With todays busy pace in nursing I just don't think there's any place for thick white fitted uniforms, pantyhose, and caps. It may be sad, and I agree, but it is true. Gone are the days where we spent hours sitting at the desk charting, pouring meds, following the doctors around on their rounds, carrying their charts. There just isn't time for that. Nursing has dramatically changed!
    WoW, I graduated 2 years later and I never had a job where I spent hours at the desk!!! I remember having to tote charts for the docs :P. LOL I absolutely agree with you on the "nurse whites" and you female nurses, remember having to do CPR with a dress on?? Wasn't that FUN!!!! LOL
  5. by   pagandeva2000
    I am not for the whites making their return. I am a recent LPN who walked into our hospital trying to obtain magnet status. I remember posting this before (hopefully not in this same thread), but I have seen nurses walking in with crisp bright whites with the personalities of a viper. I'd rather see solid colors, (maybe), but white is aggreviating to me.
  6. by   oldshoes
    I may not need a certain outfit to express my professionalism, but I also don't need clothes to express my individuality- my personality and behavior do that. I'm in the camp that says that uniforms are a tool, a way of announcing yourself before you've said a thing. Some patients don't need it, some prefer it. In either case, the idea that you can't be an individual without Mickey Mouse scrubs is as silly as the idea that you can't be a professional while wearing Mickey Mouse scrubs.

    There's a huge movement all over the country- sort of a backlash, I guess- toward people being more formal in general. More attention to etiquette, stricter dress codes in school, and so forth. Many people believe that erring on the side of formality is a sign of respect. I imagine this is the reason some hospitals are going back to more of a uniform look, even if it's only uniform scrubs- it's not for the nurses, but for the patients.
  7. by   staceylee67
    Quote from BSN74
    You might start changing you mind about some of this anit-white stuff when you get a little older and start being the paitent

    I have been a patient.. Cancer w/ surgery, Chemo and radiation. My brother has had 4 open heart surgeries in 40 years. I will never change my mind about the color of a nurses uniform. I want a nurse who is proffessional and caring. I agree that sloppiness has no place in nursing. I don't think nurses should show their middles as some do now. UGH! I am merely suggesting that wearing white has nothing to do with being tidy vs sloppy or a good nurse vs bad nurse. :spin:
  8. by   justme1972
    Here is a point to ponder...

    Have you ever walked into a hospital and couldn't tell the doctor from the rest of the staff?

    I actually, never have. They have always dressed the same...dress clothes with a lab coat, unless they were doing surgery, or other things...but they are still easy to spot. Their "uniform" has went unchanged for almost a century.

    Medical schools fully intend to keep it that way....and you can bet there is a reason for it.

    What you wear in a profession is extremely important, and the image sets the tone and perception. It doesn't have to be reasonable or rational, it's just human nature.
  9. by   mdoze911nurse
    Quote from haircanada
    ok this might fan some flames!!!!

    imo this is a huge problem!

    nurses at my hospital look like bums! they where mixed match scrubs, printed vests of all description, crazy jewelry, last night's hair!!!...what the hell ever!!...honestly if it weren't for a stethascope and the badge i could not tell them apart from half the skids that stroll into the ed!

    what does this say to, patients, co-workers, and prospective employees???

    1. we are not a team!----when's the last time you saw the chicago bulls stoll out on the court in whatever they please- as long as it is high tops and shorts

    2. we are not professionals!---do you ever see trial lawyer's show up in comfy clothes, to fight for thier clients interests!

    3. respect is not really important!---have't we earned the right to wear a nurses uniform?---try stripping a uniform off a serviceman..or service women

    4. the doctors are the only ones who know anything!-- i mean, you are in an intimidating place, at a vunerable time--and you can't tell between the janitor and the nurse?...who do you want to put your trust into?

    5. they must not be regulated very tightly?---the fact that our proffession is so tightly regulated is not represented when we present ourselves like this---when you walk into a casino, every single job has its own very distinguishable uniform, it says: this place is tightly run--and we know what's going on, all the time.

    on this board i constantly read posts that have a common thread, how we are not respected and treated like the professionals we are. there are many obstacles to solving this problem, and imo this is step one! i am not saying everyone in the country must be in starched whites,...but ...there needs to be some cohesiveness with our uniforms, for the 5 reasons cited above.

    ps. i know that this is not the case for all hospitals and treament centers, but for many it is.

    well said! also, i graduated in the early 80's and we were wearing whites and caps. and no hair on the collar. no tennis shoes etc and we looked great. don't remember being uncomfortable. i do remember being proud to look like a nurse! i don't think the uniform makes us but it goes a long way to showing our professionalism.

    i do remember in 1990 i was at my first job where we could wear 'colored' shirts/blouses with white skirts/pants and a white jacket - wow - we thought we were cool. ha!

    i am not sure about the color code, all whites or any of the above arguments but i am sure that we need to look & dress professionally.
  10. by   justme1972
    Maybe I'm a sucker for the good old days, but I think when nurses got away from an all-white uniform and you couldn't tell them from the rest of the staff...I think THAT measure, is what set the profession backwards a few notches in terms of professionalism and how the general public sees the nursing profession.

    Clothes matter. I just does. It doesn't matter, at the end of the day, how people feel about it on an individual basis...clothes do matter in perception.

    Ever wonder why if you go to a Mercedes dealership, everyone there is wearing an expensive suit (even the women), and you go to the Toyota place and the guys there are wearing khaki's and a polo shirt?

    CNN Headline news, a couple of years ago, went to a new format of "business casual" for their morning news show. They advertised this heavily before the change as the "New face of CNN News". Not only did it get spoofed on Saturday night live, their ratings plummeted, and after viewers showed no signs of returning, CNN went back to their suit-and-tie formal format...and guess what? Their viewers mysteriously returned.

    Is white practical? No. I'll agree with everyone here on that...but does it make a difference in how the public perceives nurses? I believe if you took a poll among patients, you would find that it does.

    It used to be, that the only folks wearing colorful scrubs were the non-RN staff and the RN's in pediatrics...as an effort to cheer up the children, and so the babies who were in for the "long haul" wouldn't associate a particular uniform or look with painful stimuli...so the uniform was different every day. How that generalized to the rest of the staff, I have no idea. I saw another post from someone else awhile back that said, "there is something seriously wrong with being in the ER and working a code with Spongebob scrubs.." or something to that effect....and I totally agree.

    I very strongly feel, that white matters.
    Last edit by justme1972 on Mar 31, '07
  11. by   Alexsys
    I am going to go with the majority here. I hated to have to wear wites during NS. I could not keep them clean. I had to keep replacing them. (Got very expensive BTW). At work, I wear solid loose fitting scrubs, but I do look neat, my mid section is not showing, my hair is up in a french roll, abd I have an extra thing under ny badge that says in big, dark letters, RN and I am as professional as a nurse can be. I have even gotton some comments on how neat I looked from my patients and I never wore white after NS. I think that quality of care is most important. I agree with the poster that stated that nursing has evolved. It has. In more ways than one. That includes dresses, caps and capes becoming obsolete. Kinda had for me to bend and move and lift while wearing a white dress. But in some ways, I do see why the people of yesteryear would like to see the old image of the nurse return, I am just not one of them.

    My grandma was a nurse back in 1942. She told me stories. I am glad that thing are the way they are now for us nurses, including clothing as long as a nurse looks neat and professional, it should not matter what color.

    I have to pose a question. I was not a nurse back in the 70's ( I only made my debut into the world in the mid 70's)
    My question is; Didnt the caps become obsolete due to infection control issues?
  12. by   rn undisclosed name
    Quote from Hopefull2009
    Here is a point to ponder...

    Have you ever walked into a hospital and couldn't tell the doctor from the rest of the staff?

    I actually, never have. They have always dressed the same...dress clothes with a lab coat, unless they were doing surgery, or other things...but they are still easy to spot. Their "uniform" has went unchanged for almost a century.

    Medical schools fully intend to keep it that way....and you can bet there is a reason for it.

    What you wear in a profession is extremely important, and the image sets the tone and perception. It doesn't have to be reasonable or rational, it's just human nature.
    Unfortunately I have seen doctors who do not look like doctors and couldn't differentiate them from a visitor. It's more of a problem on the weekends. There are certain doctors we don't see on a regular basis and when they come in wearing jeans and t-shirt with holes and enter the nurses station we're like and you are who? We do ask them who they are. They don't always have their badge or lab jacket on either. We comment to them on that also. I have also seen a female doctor come in with her velour sweat outfit on tight fitting. So, just because you are a doctor doesn't mean you dress like one. Actually how should a doctor dress anyway??? I've yet to see a handbook on how a dr should dress anyway.

    I will continue to wear my colored scrubs with my print tops. I don't do cartoons, disney, or comic strips. I get many comments on my scrubs from patients/family and I enjoy wearing something that I think is a little more flattering than a boxy scrub top and pants. That is just my opinion. I always introduce myself to a patient in the am as their nurse and write my name on their board. They don't have a problem with remembering I am their nurse unless it is a confused patient and honestly if they're confused then they won't remember you're they're nurse anyway.

    ETA: Just because someone is dressed up doesn't make them a doctor. Have you worked on Sundays? Many visitors are dressed up because they went to church and then came straight to the hospital. So, do these people look like doctors just because they're dressed up?
    Last edit by rn undisclosed name on Mar 31, '07 : Reason: add more text
  13. by   CRIMSON
    I loved my L&D scrubs that had my name and title embroidered right on the Left chest where a name tag would be worn. They were in large enough print to be read and eliminated the need for the germ bearing name tag. It was even better they were laundered and returned wrapped in plastic by the hospital.