Published Sep 22, 2004
I Listened to a news story this morning about Grady Memorial Hosp in Atlanta going back to all white uniforms for Nurses. The overall feeling is that we are indistinguishable from anyone else in the hospital. Other reports discuss the overall lack of a professional image with all the cutsy scrubs and or tired wrinkled scrubs that look like we slept in them then came to work.
I have to agree with the assesment that we all look the same from environmental services to nurses. It is confusing to patients and visitors who we are and what we do (all of us ). They may think "do I ask that person a question about my illness or is that the tray lady." Some of the scrubs have gotten out of hand too...at times it is more than my eyes can take.
I see this problem comming from Physician staff as well and this is confusing for patients. I work with Physicians who hire office personel and even surgical assistants to work with them who have no formal training, who may at best be a CNA or ORT at worst someone with little or no medical background and a high school diploma, and they introduce them to their patients as their "Nurse". I have been in rooms with physicians who place all of us RNs, ORTs, CORTs, LPNs, CNAs ect and say "I never can keep up with all you Nurses" around here. They dont even seem to know or care to make a distinction between any of us and to them we all are Nurses. So how can we expect the general public to know or even care when the Hospitals and the Physicians dont seem to care.
I cannot imagine what would happen if a PA, RNP or RN who had been mistaken for a Dr. by a patient didn't correct that error in perception. I cannot imagine knowingly introducing someone as a nurse to a patient who is not a nurse. I cannot imagine standing there smiling and letting that person think I am something I am not.
I am not sure all white uniforms are going to restore our identity. How did we lose it in the first place? What is the general feeling out there on this issue?
rainbows and blue skies
caroladybelle, BSN, RN
As Grady cannot keep staff, and has some of the poorest payrates/conditions in the Country, I somehow think that this one will fall by the wayside quickly.
If the hospitals would let secretaries dress in street clothes, and other hospital personnel dress appropriate to their station instead of having everyone wear scrubs, there would be little problem.
But hospitals themselves have tried to confuse the public by putting everyone in scrubs...so that it looks like there are more nurses than there actually are.
I so agree with this remark! However, why do they have to be dressed in whites? I know many will disagree with me on this, but when I think of whites I think of days when the nurses were "handmaidens." Why not delineate by what caroladybelle said, secretaries in street clothes etc. Or just put the nursing staff in all one color, and all auxilliary personnel in another. I think it is a good idea to differentiate, b/c having been on the other side not too long ago, it was very difficult to tell who was who when they were coming into the room.
Spidey's mom, ADN, BSN, RN
There are lots of threads on this issue. I'll just say what I always say in regard to someone not knowing by their dress who the RN's are. When you walk into a bank, can you differentiate between the bank manager, the financial aid officer, the bank president or the teller by the way they dress? (NO) Do you ask? Do you look at name tags?
All someone has to do is ask "Are you a RN/LVN?". All we have to do is wear name tags with our "RN" prominently displayed. All we have to do is introduce ourselves. It isn't that hard.
We are professionals based on our abilities, our schooling, our attitude.
I prefer being able to choose my own style of dress. I'm not a robot. I don't like all white. I'm as professional as I want to be ... . :)
"Clothes don't make the man" ... . or woman either.
Now, unclean and rumpled . .. .now that is a whole different ball of wax.
Well, I'm not so sure I would like to go back to all whites, but I do think there is a distinction between the folks who work at the bank and nurses. Nurses have a long history and tradition of wearing white (with that cap), while I think the people at the bank have pretty much always worn business wear.
It's interesting to me that most of the representation of nurses in the media and in our own catalogs has something to do with wearing a cap and dressing in white. I mean, who hasn't seen the little bears with the white uniforms and the nurse's cap?
Although this may not be everyone's experience, I've noticed that both the respect out there for nurses and the power we used to have has gone down considerably over the past thirty years even though our education and responsibilities have grown many times over. I don't know, could this have anything to do with how we present ourselves?
Like I said, I don't particularly want to go back to whites (or caps or hose or even my beloved Clinic 411 shoes). But for those of you who say you can't keep those whites clean, not so. I had no more problem keeping my whites white than I do keeping my scrubs looking clean (and I do find fading a problem with colored scrubs).
Just a couple of thoughts.
I'm not so sure I want to wear all white, but I totally agree with you on the topic of, "I never can tell all you 'nurses' apart" meaning CNAs, RNs, MAs. This drives me crazy!!!!!!! I recently went to my podatrist and was literally just finished telling him about school etc (he's very talkative) and then he goes and introduces an UAP as his 'nurse'. Granted he didn't say, "heres' a nurse like you" but URGGGGGGG! There is also a vocational school in my area that runs ads on TV that shows their graduates working in L&D settings, full scrubs, doing a RN/LPNs role (putting on the fetal monitor), and it drives me crazy. No wonder the public is confused. I recently got "oh I didn't know you had to go to college to be a nurse" from my young hairdresser. Again, ARGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGg
Thanks just had to vent
Where I work it is frowned upon to wear a uniform, business casual is expected ie: khakis, slacks, jeans on weekends, etc. We do patient care, but it is a psychiatric unit. I would say about half the staff don't even wear their name tags. We have RNs, RPNs, and family counsellors, but we are all called nurses. I like scrubs because I don't need to worry about my own clothes...scrubs are cheaper to replace. I have a hard time wearing "work" clothes on off days, even though they've been washed I KNOW there have been bodily fluids, germs, etc on them! I think white is taking it too far though! Too institutional.
BeenThereDoneThat74, MSN, RN
there is an active thread "mas calling themselves nurses". no one really talks about uniform in it, but would say that that is a factor in this who's who problem in healthcare.
i don't think it has to be white, but just one color or "uniform" (meaning everyone wearing the same thing) would look much more professional. even if everyone on a maternity floor all wore scrubs with bottles on them (i've seen that on some of these medical documentaries. i think it looks good!)
even if everyone on a maternity floor all wore scrubs with bottles on them (i've seen that on some of these medical documentaries. i think it looks good!)
bonemarrowrn - maternity units who have baby firendly designation may have a problem with scrubs with bottles. bottles may be "offensive" to breastfeeding mothers... may even be construed as "supporting" bottlefeeding... hummmmm
I so agree with the point hospitals started putting everybody in uniform scrubs to mislead the public into believing there were more licensed staff around. Now they're coming full circle because of the problem they created...so typical!!
I also think they like to tell us what to wear to keep us under their thumb, personally. Everytime we get a new manager or DON they have to rearrange things and dictate 'their' dress code...control freaks abound.
I agree with Stevielynn's points, and that professional is as professional does.
This topic comes up every now and then and while I agree - we all look alike, I don't want the white look at all. I also disagree with the comparison to the bank staff - we are dealing with life and death and when a patient asks a question they are always assuming they are talking to a nurse - no matter who they are really talking to and there are times that the patient may be disoriented, elderly, young or any other person who is not able to make the distinction between all the degrees of healthcare provider. My solution would be to let secretaries wear business attire, color code the different members of the staff (one color for RN, one color for CNA, etc.) and make the distinction larger on id badges that we all have to wear. I hate it when the unit gets a new manager and the first order of business is to change the color of scrubs ... my closet looks like a rainbow (an expensive rainbow...)
i hope you're joking. you know, i was just using an example., the first thing that came to my mind. now you're forcing me forcing me to suggest the next logical thing. scrub tops with boobs on them?!?!?!?
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