The sloppy image of nurses today

  1. Imagine a hospital in which all nurses and doctors exhibit professionalism, beauty, splendor, and awe among colleagues and patients. A place where the people taking care of you appear greater than human, larger than life, infallible figures, portraying an image that captures total trust and total confidence from those nearby. What a wonderful place that would be. But alas, we have work ahead of us.

    This thread is designed to discuss the importance of impressions in nursing. While many nurses take pride in appearing beautiful or handsome, many walk in to work with a case of the feck-its when it comes to appearance. Unfortunately I feel that nurses are much worse than doctors in this arena. Where I work the majority of female doctors wear their hair down, liberally apply makeup, wear form fitting clothing, and hard soled shoes. They try to appear as beautiful as they can. Likewise, the male doctors come in with tailored clothing that had been ironed, they have well-oiled hair, nice watches, and other things reminiscent of the show "General Hospital."

    Meanwhile, in the ICU I've worked in, we've got a female nurse with a buzz cut, one woman wearing a pirate-like black eye patch, nurses with baggy wrinkled scrubs, nurses wearing those ugly skechers shapeups, everyone wearing their hair up or back in a plain boring pony tail instead of letting it flow, men or even women with untrimmed or unneatly trimmed facial hair and people exhibiting other drab or and in my humble opinion, embarrassing features. I feel like no other college educated profession dresses down as much as nurses do and it bothers me.

    What do you think of nurses and the images they portray in the professional setting? Use this thread to talk about what you like or dislike, what you think should change and what shouldn't.
    Last edit by RNdynamic on Jan 15, '16
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    About RNdynamic, ASN, BSN, RN, EMT-B

    Joined: Dec '12; Posts: 550; Likes: 909
    from US
    Specialty: 5 year(s) of experience in Critical Care, Float Pool Nursing

    354 Comments

  3. by   AceOfHearts<3
    Hair SHOULD be pulled back in a "drab" ponytail, otherwise it gets in the way and is an infection risk. Per my facility's policy we are required to have our hair pulled back. I have short hair and can't put it in a ponytail, but I frequently wear a nice headband to keep my bangs out of my face and the rest of it from falling into my face while providing patient care.

    I come into work everyday with neat (not wrinkled) scrubs and my hair nicely blow-dried. I do not wear makeup and it's not part of my job description. I have sensitive eyes and makeup just bugs them. It's not my responsibility to be a "pretty" nurse- that is so condescending. I've never had a patient have a problem with my makeup free face. Also, why should I put makeup on when I am just going to probably sweat it off in a patient's room who has the heat set on high (especially if I'm wearing an iso gown)? Maybe the people in ICU are too busy doing their jobs and saving patients to worry about looking "as beautiful as they can" (and no, I'm not an ICU nurse).

    There is a big difference between looking professional and "as beautiful as can be". Professional is coming in with neat hair PULLED BACK, neat scrubs that fit well (are not clingy, don't show cleavage or butt-cracks, etc.) that are wrinkle free, no perfume or cologne, and not wearing nightclub makeup. Nowhere in being professional does it state I have to put on foundation, mascara, eyeshadow, lipgloss (for my not pulled back hair to get stuck to), etc. I am there to work, not act like I'm on a set of a soap opera (ie. General Hospital).
  4. by   Rocknurse
    Are you kidding me? Where do you work....Stepford General? Why is it any of your business if a nurse chooses to have a buzz cut? I've been in nursing a long time and I've never see a slovenly nurse. As long as dress policy is adhered to...not a problem. Not everyone is the same or has the same fashion ideals as you. I guess everyone is far too busy working to worry about what they look like. I'd absolutely hate to be at work and know you were looking me up and down with a sneer on your face. Wow.
  5. by   LibraSunCNM
    This has to be a joke, it's too flipping weird. Mind your own business and let others dress/style themselves as they like. What's important is their intelligence, competence, and work ethic, not their attempt at looking like they stepped off the set of GH.

    Also, I personally assume, when I see someone wearing a "pirate-like black eyepatch," that they, um, NEED IT.
  6. by   margin261
    Quote from RNdynamic
    Imagine a hospital in which all nurses and doctors exhibit professionalism, beauty, splendor, and awe among colleagues and patients. A place where the people taking care of you appear greater than human, larger than life, infallible figures, portraying an image that captures total trust and total confidence from those nearby. What a wonderful place that would be. But alas, we have work ahead of us.

    This thread is designed to discuss the importance of impressions in nursing. While many nurses take pride in appearing beautiful or handsome, many walk in to work with a case of the feck-its when it comes to appearance. Unfortunately I feel that nurses are much worse than doctors in this arena. Where I work the majority of female doctors wear their hair down, liberally apply makeup, wear form fitting clothing, and hard soled shoes. They try to appear as beautiful as they can. Likewise, the male doctors come in with tailored clothing that had been ironed, they have well-oiled hair, nice watches, and other things reminiscent of the show "General Hospital."

    Meanwhile, in the ICU I've worked in, we've got a female nurse with a buzz cut, one woman wearing a pirate-like black eye patch, nurses with baggy wrinkled scrubs, nurses wearing those ugly skechers shapeups, everyone wearing their hair up or back in a plain boring pony tail instead of letting it flow, men or even women with untrimmed or unneatly trimmed facial hair and people exhibiting other drab or and in my humble opinion, embarrassing features. I feel like no other college educated profession dresses down as much as nurses do and it bothers me.

    What do you think of nurses and the images they portray in the professional setting? Use this thread to talk about what you like or dislike, what you think should change and what shouldn't.
    You're the same one that talked about doing 'whip its' while being monitored, right?
    Yeah. I wouldn't put so much stock in how professional people 'look'.
  7. by   elkpark
    I hope this isn't a serious thread. I see plenty of nurses that I wish would come to work looking more crisp and pulled-together, but the OP's emphasis on people being "handsome" or "beautiful," and women wearing their hair down and wearing makeup and "form fitting" clothing, really makes me uncomfortable. Looking professional isn't about being "handsome" or "beautiful," and we come to work to work, not cruise a bar.
  8. by   elkpark
    Quote from margin261
    You're the same one that talked about doing 'whip its' while being monitored, right?
    Yeah. I wouldn't put so much stock in how professional people 'look'.
    Oooooh, good catch! You're right -- same person who wants to know if it's okay to abuse recreational drugs while in a monitoring program if they're not 'addictive" is concerned about people not looking professional at work. Um, okay ...
  9. by   KatieMI
    Ever had a fun of searching for someone's diamond necklace in a wound with Pseudomonas necrotic pannus and a couple of active bowel fistulas fountanning content all over the place?

    Hair should be up and in pony tail or fixed in some other way, nails should be without anything artificial, uniform must be comfortable and easy to wash, there must be nothing potentially causing harm to an allergic or sensitive patient, including smells, cosmetics, cream-based tattoo coverings, etc, there should be nothing preventing good hand hygiene as per policy, and there absolutely should be nothing that delurious patient might accidentally pull onto or what can catch and pull a line or any other piece of equipment. Period. Yeah, and shoes must be comfortable, or you're gonna to feed your podiatrist, chiropractor, orthopedic surgeon and anesthesiologist forever. These guys have big appetites.

    Regarding "not any other college professions", you haven't met any theoretical physicists yet
  10. by   Sun0408
    Me thinks the whip it's are frying some brain cells[emoji23][emoji23][emoji23]
  11. by   RNdynamic
    editing
  12. by   Nurse Leigh
    Quote from RNdynamic
    Few things:
    (1) I didn't do the whip its while at work.

    (2) I am not saying it's a hard and fast rule that every nurse should be beautiful or handsome. But at least try. I've always believed that no matter how much natural beauty anyone has, they can always be "done up" to look pretty good in a certain light.
    Nope, this clarification post does not help your cause.
  13. by   RNdynamic
    Few things:

    (1) I've never done whip-its while at work. They don't last any longer than about 30 seconds either. So that isn't very germane to my professionalism. But it's fun to talk about nonetheless.

    (2) I am not saying it's a hard and fast rule that every nurse should be beautiful or handsome. But at least try. I've always believed that no matter how much natural beauty anyone has, they can always be "done up" to look pretty good in a certain light.
  14. by   Farawyn
    Quote from Nurse Leigh
    Nope, this clarification post does not help your cause.
    Nice catch, Leigh.

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