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Who is a professional nurse?

Nurses   (7,254 Views 30 Comments)
by jmqphd jmqphd (New Member) New Member

5,959 Profile Views; 212 Posts

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Patients cannot consistently recognize an RN. You cannot expect patients to be able to read the name tag. Everyone is in random colors/pattern/prints scubs. They don't know if I'm the housekeeper or the CNA or a real nurse.

Do you see this as a problem? If so is it a clinical (patient welfare) problem? Or do you see it as a professionalism problem?

What would you suggest to correct it?

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RockinChick66 has 10 years experience and specializes in LTC, medsurg.

151 Posts; 5,180 Profile Views

Where I work, the RNs are required to wear specific colors and are easily recognized. It is not a problem at all at my facility.

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nfdfiremedic has 8 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ED, Neuro, Management, Clinical Educator.

60 Posts; 2,646 Profile Views

This problem exists in my workplace, but the staff are "violently opposed" to any sort of dress code. They almost staged a mutiny last year when the policy changed to no longer allow them to wear T shirts (requiring them to wear scrub tops.) There has been talk of enforcing a color requirement, but I think it would really get everybody all fired up.

Personally, I think it's a great idea. I want to be recognized for what I am. I guess being a man makes it easier since I don't exactly wear anything but solid colors anyway.

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246 Posts; 7,039 Profile Views

I can see how if everyone is wearing whatever they wanted how it can be really confusing and I see it first as a professional problem then a patient problem.

The hospital should implement a dress code and then stick to it. At ours the housekeeping is in green tops with black pants. The dietary staff in black pants, white top and a black smock/apron. The RNs on our floor either wear white, ceil blue or a combo of both and the PCAs wear white pants with a solid color top.

Unfortunately a majority of patients just think everyone is a nurse. I can't tell you how many times I'll go in a room and introduce myself as the PCA, let them know who their nurse is AND write it all down on the whiteboard in their rooms only to have them address me as nurse for the rest of the night.:rolleyes:

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tokmom has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Certified Med/Surg tele, and other stuff.

4,568 Posts; 47,746 Profile Views

The other sister hospitals have a dress code. I think it's a good idea and would like to see it. The patients in the community caught wind of it and didn't like it. They enjoy the bright colors the nurses wear. I wear solid colors anyway, so it wouldn't bother me.

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nfdfiremedic has 8 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ED, Neuro, Management, Clinical Educator.

60 Posts; 2,646 Profile Views

The last thing you just mentioned there, about the patients enjoying the bright colors the nurses wear, is the leading argument against a required color in my facility. This really strikes me as a very hollow excuse.

They like the bright colors we wear? Doesn't that seem to cheapen or de-emphasize the work we perform as clinicians? If they want to look at pretty colors, tell them to bring a box of crayons to the hospital to keep themselves amused while the team of highly trained medical professionals are utilizing advanced skills and technology and drawing from years of experience to save their lives.

I'm not suggesting you subscribe to this theory or in any way writing this to bash you, I just really hate that excuse :D

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Flo. has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Developmental Disabilites,.

571 Posts; 8,101 Profile Views

My hospital has a color coded system. All RNs wear a certain color, we have huge RN written on our name badges and we have posters all over the place that says what the colors mean. The public still has no clue. I think the problem is everyone wears scrubs, even the secretary!

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359 Posts; 5,570 Profile Views

I find it funny that dietary wears scrubs! Nurses and tech's need to wear scrubs.. that's all.

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180 Posts; 3,726 Profile Views

male dominated professions tend to have dress codes, whether formal, or informal. military, police, etc have formal codes and standards that are easily interpreted. engineering and many industries and manufacturing/industrial/comercial businesses have informal codes indicating who should wear a suit, who should wear a button up shirt and tie, and who is allowed to wear denims and tee shirts, and who should wear what color hard hat. in either case, a purpose is served.

long and short, nurses ***** about not being taken seriously and not being respected as professionals. perhaps they should begin to dress like professionals. in the real world appearance is 70% of authority, and people who do not conform are not invited into the higher levels.

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212 Posts; 5,959 Profile Views

I was shown an article about a unit of nurses who decided among themselves to conduct a test on how patients would respond to nurses in white. THey really got into it... They had to design and construct caps because their alma maters no longer had them. Some wore dresses/skirts and white hose. This did not involve everyone on the unit. I wasn't required, it was just a nucleus of people doing an experiment for about 2 weeks or so.

The patients went nuts. They loved having a "real nurse" and one that was a little bit retro. Their responses were highly flattering of the gals in white. After the end of the experiment, some went back to regular colors and patterns. But several have stayed with the white dress, white hose, white shoes with or without the cap.

My colleague and I decided to wear white when we are supervising our students. I've never been mistaken for anything but a nurse. (I sort of feel like I'm dressed like a nun... but the patients seem to like it.) A complete stranger came up to me in the cafeteria to say how he appreciated nurses who dress like nurses.

I'd like to replicate that study and see if it was a flash in a pan or if a significant number of patients at our institution would respond the way they did in the study.

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caroladybelle is a BSN, RN and specializes in Oncology/Haemetology/HIV.

5,486 Posts; 29,411 Profile Views

Color coding, in the places that I have worked, made not one bit of difference in recognition of who is a nurse and who is not. Those that are sick can rarely keep track of all the colors.

And I have worked in the "white only - hose - wear your cap" places. Yes, it looks pretty, but gets ugly very fast, when the cap gets caught on equipment, and the white gets stained beyond repair quickly and easily.

I currently wear colored scrubs and have never been mistaken for anything by a nurse (or an NP) because I behave "professionally", introduce myself and carry myself well. It sets me apart from my much louder coworkers, talking about how drunk they got, wearing their MP3 players, or cellphones w/"Tequila makes her clothes

fall off" ring tones, or wearing cartoon scrubs/low slung hipster pants/excess cleavage/ tongue piercing/loud perfume/absurd nail decor.

I have never had any problem being seen as a professional.....if I behave as a professional.

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212 Posts; 5,959 Profile Views

I think that people can infer from what I do and say that i am his nurse. But he will ask for care from the cleaning gal. And he might tell me that "that other nurse gave me this ice-bag and I think the soreness is better.

So,I guess our patients just assumes we're all nurses.

I think CNA's and other ancillary folks should have dark blue (green, maroon, whatever) scrubs with thier title very boldly written on the top.. ""CNA," HOUSEKEEPER, DIET TECH, TRANSPORT

I would like to see Nurses with a bold RN name tag on it the front breast pocket 4 x 3"

The impressing ppart of the story was how they kept their data about patients responses to an RN in white dress/cap/hose/and shoes. The patients loved it.

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