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Why white shoes?

Nurses   (9,164 Views 47 Comments)

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The word you're looking for is sanitized. Typically it's pretty easy to hit an all-leather shoe with a Cavi wipe and (kind of) sanitize it after it trudged through God knows what. Whereas a shoe made with mesh-like breathable material will soak up all the urine, blood, whatever. But they're still germy and gross.

Its tradition mostly.

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TiffyRN has 26 years experience as a ADN, BSN and works as a RN.

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I was so proud to have that little blue heart on my shoe. It made me feel so special.

Yep, me too. My school-era nurse-mates were the only ones I ever wore consistently, because they were all but required. I bought 2-3 more pairs of various styles of Nurse mates and never wore them more than a couple of shifts each. They do NOT match my feet!!

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DoGoodThenGo works as a Entrepreneur - Business Owner.

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There is a school I applied to near me (public, small state college) that requires nursing students to wear all white - top to bottom, including socks and shoes. For the pinning ceremony, they even have the women wear the ancient style white nurses hats.

The pictures of the pinning ceremonies look like they were taken in 1955.

Caps while not exactly a hot item here in NYC pretty much now are dead as a Dodo. That is unless a facility or school is fine with the idea of males wearing them also.

This is because recently the progressive/liberal NYC city government *updated* policies regarding anti-discrimination. The new efforts added stronger protections for LGBT issues but mostly the latter. The upshot for employers and so forth is they cannot mandate gender specific dress codes without an excellent reason. That is if female nurses or students are allowed to wear caps, then males must as well. Ditto for skirts, dresses and so forth.

Commission on Human Rights - Gender Identity/Gender Expression - Legal Guidance

Another bit of the legislation (which caused and is causing some furore or jokes) is that it is now illegal in NYC for employers or landlords and businesses to refer to a trans person and or accommodate them in any other way than they choose once informed.

So if nurse "Bruce Jenner" leaves duty on Friday and reports back on Monday in whites (dress or other obvious feminine attire and yes even a cap), and tells all and sundry from now on her name is "Caitlyn", from that moment on any slip of the "wrong" pronoun and or failure to accommodate said preference can lead to a complaint with NYC and possible legal action.

Just as with sorority rings, there are some out there who have strong feelings as to who (or whom) should be allowed to get their hands on much less wear certain nursing school caps. They aren't happy seeing men or anyone else not qualified parading around with them on Halloween or whatever in them, nor really want anyone who shouldn't owning at all. For this reason some places never released the pattern for their caps to places like Kay's. That and or in order to purchase caps from certain schools one must provide proof of graduation IIRC. You rarely find the Bellevue "Fluff" cap or anything to do with that school/hospital such as pins or uniforms on the open market for instance, and am sure a large part of that is due to efforts by alumni.

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NurseOnAMotorcycle has 10 years experience as a ASN, RN and works as a Emergency Nurse.

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I've had many people tell me that in order to find a nurse they would look at shoes because everyone wears different scrubs or T-shirts now. They don't know who is a pharmacist, CNA, doctor, nurse, etc even with many badges that have large label tags.

It doesn't help them much because not very many people still wear white shoes, but I find it interesting that it was a common theme among patients.

I do tend to wear white sneakers but that is more of a coincidence from purchasing new shoes. I tend to try to get shoes that are easily wiped and will match everything I wear. They end up being either white or black.

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DoGoodThenGo works as a Entrepreneur - Business Owner.

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I've had many people tell me that in order to find a nurse they would look at shoes because everyone wears different scrubs or T-shirts now. They don't know who is a pharmacist, CNA, doctor, nurse, etc even with many badges that have large label tags.

It doesn't help them much because not very many people still wear white shoes, but I find it interesting that it was a common theme among patients.

I do tend to wear white sneakers but that is more of a coincidence from purchasing new shoes. I tend to try to get shoes that are easily wiped and will match everything I wear. They end up being either white or black.

Outside of LTC, nursing and rehabilitation facilities you rarely see whites in NYC area. Think both here and elsewhere fear of prompting open rebellion keeps places from mandating white uniforms. Today's young girls/women just don't want to know from a traditional uniform and don't like wearing all whites. Many places have a hard enough time keeping nurses from reporting for duty looking as if they are going out clubbing or entering Miss. Georgia World (heavy make-up, drenched in scent, painted nails, long flowing hair, etc..).

As we have often discussed here the most visible sign of a professional nurse for most patients still remains whites with a cap. You can print all the name badges and or embroider "RN" in letters any color or size you like, the former still wins hands down from patients.

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RNforLongTime works as a Registered Nurse.

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Same reason that nursing uniforms cost so much! WHY is a pair of pants $10 at Walmart and from Landau/Cherokee/Koi companies they're 3 x that much...why? Because they can! I spend MORE on my scrubs than I do for my every-day life clothes. It's ridiculous.

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RNforLongTime works as a Registered Nurse.

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Cleveland Clinic and it's affiliates Nursing staff ALL wear white :/ I'm 44. I hardly remember any nurse ever wearing a cap when I had my tonsils out and had to stay overnight in 1978.

With as sick as patients are in hospitals these days, it's not practical to require nurses to wear white. I've had blood splashed on me, tube feedings, betadine, pus, vomit, sputum....and if I had been wearing white, getting those stains out would be practically impossible. That and white doesn't stay white. After so many bleachings, it takes on a dingy grey color.

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RNforLongTime works as a Registered Nurse.

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YUP! I have coworkers who constantly complain about their backs killing them. Look down and they're wearing a pair of tennis shoes. I never complain about back pain and if you look down, you'll see Danskos on my feet. When I point this out to them, they will not believe the correlation. OK, then!
Danskos don't work for everyone. I have a pair and tried wearing them during a 12 hr shift in a Level II Trauma ICU. My feet never hurt so bad. My back ALWAYS hurts...the herniated disc and 2 bulged ones assure me that I'm never without pain. Danskos had nothing to do with it

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Danskos don't work for everyone. I have a pair and tried wearing them during a 12 hr shift in a Level II Trauma ICU.

My wife had an allergic reaction to them. After an hour of her first shift wearing them, I had to take her different shoes. Her feet were swollen several sizes beyond normal, with hives, and only on her feet. In the trash they went.

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aeris99 works as a new grad.

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The program I just graduated from required full leather shoes, either black or white.

When asked why, we were told that fluids or a dropped needle could "penetrate" a shoe with mesh. I suppose this would reduce potential contamination?

I opted for black leather slip ons. I will never wear them again. Full leather with an Isolde absolutely bakes my feet!

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TiffyRN has 26 years experience as a ADN, BSN and works as a RN.

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The program I just graduated from required full leather shoes, either black or white.

When asked why, we were told that fluids or a dropped needle could "penetrate" a shoe with mesh. I suppose this would reduce potential contamination?

I opted for black leather slip ons. I will xnever wear them again. Full leather with an Isolde absolutely bakes my feet!

I'll emphasize that we all have to follow the rules, especially when you are in nursing school.

But I never understood what was so vulnerable about my feet that they needed to be wrapped in leather, while my arms could be bare and the rest of my body covered in only a thin layer or two of fabric.

But that's me.

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