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are mandatory scrub color-coding in hospitals the wave of the future?

Uniform/Gear   (35,068 Views | 97 Replies)
by kelligracie kelligracie (New) New

755 Profile Views; 2 Posts

The hospital in Twin Falls, Idaho has recently gone to a color-coding system. Every position is color-coded and everyone MUST wear the color assigned to their position. This cannot even vary in shade. Is this how it is in the rest of the country? How about the rest of Idaho? Do you see this as a trend or something here to stay? Pros and cons?

Thank you for your input.

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Esme12 has 40 years experience as a ASN, BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma.

6 Followers; 4 Articles; 20,908 Posts; 149,048 Profile Views

Well in my day we all wore white with white hose, white very specific shoes, your nursing cap. No jewelry except small stud earrings. Hair up and off the collar and of "natural color". A necklace was "allowed" if it was a cross. White or blue sweater only. Pantsuits were eventually allowed...ONLY IF they matched

As staffing became more of an issue.....we then we went to solid colors your color identified your working rank or unit. Solid colored lab jackets only.... to appease staff AND they wanted to cut out uniform allowances. Still solid white shoes but may be leather athletic shoes.

Then they allowed "seasonal" jackets and "tasteful" patterned jackets. Still white shoes and socks/hose.

They they didn't care as long as it was clan and neat as the staffing "crisis" became worse.

NO there is no longer a real staffing crisis. Actually there is surplus. They feel now that they are back in the drivers seat and will again dictate instead of shared governance.

Sadly...A sign of the times. On the bright side they're tax deductable

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SycamoreGuy has 1 years experience.

363 Posts; 5,724 Profile Views

The theory is that it helps patients ID who is caring for them. I.e. If they have dark blue scrubs they are a nurse, green for PCAs, brown for RT, red for PT, grey for radiology, etc. Of course that only works if the patient knows what each color means.

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psu_213 has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Emergency, Telemetry, Transplant.

3,869 Posts; 28,251 Profile Views

I have had 3 jobs as an RN (none were geographically close to ID). Each has had "color coded" scrubs for an employee's position. One place I worked it was navy for RNs, cranberry for aides/techs, some other color for respiratory therapists. While each place did have assigned colors, each was a bit different in how strict they were about the dress code.

I may be in the minority, but I kinda like the color coded system. I know if someone is in a particular color, they are a respiratory therapist and they can take a look at the beeping vent. I know someone in a different color is a tech and can help me get someone off the bedpan. And when I respond to an emergency outside of the ER, I can quickly identify another RN.

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T-Bird78 has 6 years experience.

867 Posts; 14,567 Profile Views

A local hospital system had a specific color for L&D and mother/baby units and they had a special color ID tag. The L&D nursing staff told each and every pt to only give their baby to a staff member wearing that color and having that certain ID tag. Another hospital system has color-coded scrubs; RNs are navy, LPNs are teal, CNAs are sea foam green, environmental services is cranberry, etc. That system provided two free scrubs and one jacket but you could buy additional sets if you wanted; the first one has the scrubs in the locked nursing locker room and they don't leave the facility at all.

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applesxoranges is a BSN, RN and specializes in ER.

2,241 Posts; 15,601 Profile Views

All 3 systems have the scrubs color coded and one of them has it where the nurses have to buy the uniform top from their vendor and have their logo sewen on it. Generally we have a green-color for nurses and another system has galaxy blue or navy blue. The third one with the logo has 2 different colors. Another system further south has black but I don't know if that is system wide.

Around here, L&D wear hospital-provided scrubs so one is light blue stamped with the name of the hospital system or it's green for the galaxy blue hospital system.

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62 Posts; 2,381 Profile Views

Our hospital system is color coded. Nurses do get the choice of royal blue or white or a mix of the two. CNAs wear light blue. Pediatric RNs and CNAs can wear pattern/character tops. The only thing that confuses me around here is that both respiratory and radiology wear all black scrubs. Pharmacy and laboratory wear a very similar color too.

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156 Posts; 5,922 Profile Views

A local hospital system had a specific color for L&D and mother/baby units and they had a special color ID tag. The L&D nursing staff told each and every pt to only give their baby to a staff member wearing that color and having that certain ID tag. Another hospital system has color-coded scrubs; RNs are navy, LPNs are teal, CNAs are sea foam green, environmental services is cranberry, etc. That system provided two free scrubs and one jacket but you could buy additional sets if you wanted; the first one has the scrubs in the locked nursing locker room and they don't leave the facility at all.

The hospital I volunteered at was like this. The scrubs were also embroidered with "ABC Hospital Cardiac and Vascular Institute" "ABC Hospital Health Neuroscience Center" etc for the main branches.

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BuckyBadgerRN has 4 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in HH, Peds, Rehab, Clinical.

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We're color-coded where I work to, with posters hanging in many areas so that patients/visitors can have a guide as to who is what. Nurses wear ceil blue, CNA's get navy, etc. I'm just thankful its not burgundy for us, or peach. I'd puke, seriously!

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TheCommuter has 14 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

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The specialty hospital where I work has been color-coding scrubs for years. Licensed nurses wear royal blue, CNAs wear gray, unit secretaries wear khaki, PT/OT wears ciel blue, dietary wears black and white, and housekeeping wears hunter green.

With all these colors, patients still do not know who's who!

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75 Posts; 2,436 Profile Views

At our facility, we can wear whatever scrubs we want. Not only does color coding confuse the patients, but the point is for us to introduce ourselves when we walk into the room and say our title.

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

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The theory is that it helps patients ID who is caring for them. I.e. If they have dark blue scrubs they are a nurse, green for PCAs, brown for RT, red for PT, grey for radiology, etc. Of course that only works if the patient knows what each color means.

Management tells us that's the theory. In practice, the patients still don't know who is caring for them. At least in the past they could identify "my nurse" as "the one with the Sponge Bob scrubs" or "the one wearing the green scrubs", but now that we're all in navy they have no idea which nurse is theirs. Even if you introduce yourself and your CNA hourly.

Dictating scrubs color is just another way of stepping on our necks and showing us who is boss.

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