I also like teasing already angry cats by poking them with pointy sticks.
Anyway, some free and completely unsolicited thoughts on nurse uniforms, just to throw a little gasoline on the fire.
1. White is dead. Deader than Florence Nightingale. More out of date than IV theophylline. Sorry. It’s ugly, hard to clean, gets that dingy-grey colour, looks crappy on me, and did I mention it’s ugly? Also has unfortunate and disturbing overtones of the old nurse-as-physician’s-handmaiden-and/or-sex-toy meme. I think of nurses in white uniforms, and nursing caps, capes and Marcus Welby, MD come to mind. And the olden days when nurses would all stand when the physician came to the floor.
Years ago, nurse uniforms were all white, very basic. Well, that look is making a comeback of sorts. This time at Heartland Regional Medical Center in Marion.
“The nursing staff went with white. Because how basic can you go back to then seeing a nurse in all white. It signifies purity and professionalism and caring and that’s what we’re about,” said surgical unit director Greta Smith.
I get the professionalism thing. But the purity angle? What the hell is that about? We’re pure of heart? We wash our hands? Morally pure? Have never known men carnally (or women, as the case may be)? Gratuitous aside: I often think managers tend to project their own neuroses into the policies they write.
2. On the other hand this I think is just plain silly:
I’m with At Your Cervix: if you are wearing cutey-bears — makes TowontoEmewg Fwow Up, it does — I cannot take you seriously. Unless you are a paeds nurse. (Frankly, even then I would be a little doubtful.*) Can you imagine explaining thrombolysis to your STEMI patient dressed in this? Personally, if I were the patient, I would either get the giggles or be very, very afraid. Because, as we know, nothing bespeaks competence in health care like teddy bears. Not to mention infantilizing the wearer, which brings us back to the basic problem with All White.
3. For my money, it’s got to be your basic solid colours. Nothing too frilly. No apple blossom pink, or anything like that. (See infantilization, above.) Even better, pick one colour to wear, all the time. Then you don’t have to worry about matching anything, and you don’t have to think about what your going to wear. Face it, you’re going to work in blood and faeces, not walking down the runway at Chanel’s spring show. Add stethoscope and name tag, and you’re Nurse Deluxe.
You’re welcome. You can direct hate mail/flames to my employer, Acme Regional.
*Also, everyone always says it’s okay for paeds nurses to wear bears. Or what-have-you. Why?