0 Hello everyone. I am a new nurse working in Florida. I have tons of experience in mental health as a tech. I am also Muslim and wear a head scarf. My question is ...Should I not wear it to work??? I currently work in mental health and I get questioned all the time by my patients, which I don't mind. I am also going to be interviewing for a position at a correctional facility. So I dont want to single myself outo if I work there. My head scarf identifies me as muslim so I can't exactly say "no" when I'm questioned. In my religion, it says that we "should" wear it but not if it makes life more difficult than it has to be. I am thinking I should remove it because I don't want to get questioned, inmates will see this as an opportunity to get to know me, which is not appropriate in this setting. I also must say that I don't have the best boundaries when it comes to things like this and I anticipate myself having a hard time not discussing it. Advice please!

Alex Egan, LPN, EMT-B

6 Articles; 857 Posts

Specializes in Home Health (PDN), Camp Nursing. Has 9 years experience.

I see no problem with wearing a scarf in the corrections setting, so long as it can be easily removed and not used as a handle to control your head in a scuffle.

I don't know about Florida, but I can't believe it is any less enlightened than my area of central PA. We have Muslim woman who cover their heads, just like we have Amish, brethren, and Mennonites who cover their heads as well so maybe we're a little more used to it.

Has 10 years experience.

I work with two muslim doctors who cover their heads. I don't think it's a big deal at all. You should be ok.

Specializes in LTC and Pediatrics. Has 3 years experience.

In my opinion it would not be a good idea to wear it in those situations, Why? You don't want anyone to grab it if they become enraged and harm you. Wear it to and from work. If your mental health is not inpatient, you are probably ok. You may want to reconsider if doing inpatient work.

We were taught in our mental health (RN classes I have taken) how to dress and how to act when on our clinical.


8,343 Posts

Has 18 years experience.

I work with many Muslim women who do not wear the hijab. They dress modestly and seem to take a lot of flack from patients and other nurses who do wear the hijab.

I dont think a hijab makes makes one woman more devout than one who doesn't wear one.


29 Posts

Sounds like you have two dilemmas; a religious one and a safety one. You have to evaluate your work environment and go with your instinct.

I know that for psych rotations you're basically stripped of anything that could be used as a weapon and I wouldn't put inmates above using a hijab to take you off guard or as the above posters have mentioned, used it other ways.

but, if it's a religious issue, wear it and be proud. I'm Christian and get flack for it, so learn ways to deflect questions that make you feel uncomfortable.

Good luck!


71 Posts

My only concern would be safety. Since nursing school, I wear nothing around my neck/head that could potentially be used to strangle me. So for me, it would depend on the environment I work in. I would be leery of that in corrections due to your personal safety. I went through school with a Muslim girl; she wore her head covered in our LTC rotation. I really think it's situation specific.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 17 years experience.

I worked with two good nurses who wore the hijab to work on a regular basis. Unfortunately, they received occasional harassment from patients and families who disliked Muslim adherents.

Regrettably, we live in a time in America where people seem to have less inhibitions airing their religious intolerance at the expense of people who deserve the freedom to adhere to their respective religious beliefs.


29 Posts

So true and being being in not only America, but all over, it seems. I think that's where being a Nurse needs to rise above that... If possible. I have hope still. :up:

nrsang97, BSN, RN

2,602 Posts

Specializes in Neuro ICU and Med Surg. Has 22 years experience.

I have worked with many Muslim women in the past. Some wear a hijab and some do not. In the setting of mental health or corrections I would not recommend wearing it. It would be a safety issue.

Specializes in NICU. Has 7 years experience.

One of my good friends wears the hijab, but when we did psych rotations in nursing school, she modified her head covering for safety. Instead of wearing her scarf around her neck, she wore a modest blouse and tied her scarf around her head (see an example photo below). This ensured that the scarf could not be used to strangle her - it would simply slip off of her head if it were grabbed. She said it felt like a good compromise between safety and her commitment to wearing hijab.



45 Posts

I plan to wear mine like that ^

OP, it's completely up to you at the end of the day.