Friday, January 8, 2010


One of the greatest things about being a nurse is that I get to wear scrubs. I'm not good at selecting outfits to wear. Scrubs are sold in sets or separates that go great together. My place of work allows scrubs of any color or print. When I first started, I only wore white pants with a solid color top. I gradually introduced prints, especially for holidays. One day, after growing weary of the staining and ruining of the white pants, I ventured into the world of wearing colored pant scrubs. Some people only wear white, and that's fine for them, but I tend to get coated in something by the end of my shift.
I don't wear the scrub jackets. They are too stiff and uncomfortable for me, though they do look good on other people, especially when they match the scrub outfit. I prefer cotton scrubs because they are so soft, comfortable, and flexible. I'm wearing a lot of Butter Soft scrubs from Uniform Advantage right now.
The aides also get to wear whatever color or print they choose. The result is a colorful assortment of scrubs running around the place, with residents and families unable to distinguish between nurses and aides. Most people already think that any female in a health care setting is a "nurse," but that's another topic. And some of the aides I work with do not correct people who call them "nurse," and even refer to themselves as "nurse." I have been in other facilities that require aides to wear a specific color, which may help. But the fact still remains that a resident can ask an aide for percocet or to suction their trach, but the aide will never do this because only a nurse can do this.
Doomsday supervisor says that it's best to wear all white so that you are taken seriously. I've seen studies in which people state which uniform, if any, people like to see nurses wear. Some prefer white; some don't care about the color or print of the uniform; while others prefer regular, professional outfits seen in other sectors. I do wish that the facility would consider having the staff of the dementia unit wear street clothes. I've read that people with dementia can be fearful of people who look like medical workers, especially if they have had a long history of treatment for medical or psychiatric issues. In addition, the residents with Alzheimer's are not of this present time and do not understand why a bunch of medical personnel are running around their house. One of the problems with instituting this approach in my current facility is that the staff can't be trusted to choose appropriate clothing and staff is floated too much, requiring that everyone have a scrub outfit and a regular outfit to go to work, which most of the staff could not handle.

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