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Prisca Smith | Scrubs Magazine

October 04, 2010

Should nurses wear uniforms? And what about all those cute scrubs out there? Are they professional?

Recently I have had to say good-bye to the cute scrubs of old–I now wear scrubs in the same color and style as the rest of my coworkers. Nurses on other floors can choose a solid color scrub set or all whites. Yes, WHITE! Can’t believe we are back to that, can you?

The upside–the hospital pays for my scrubs. The real downside to uniforms in general? I don’t think there is one (except for this whole white thing)!

I will never forget the first time time I put on a nursing uniform. I was newly accepted to a nursing program and had been through all the rigors of “getting in.” Being accepted had been a huge battle for me, so I was excited to be buying all my school supplies–but getting that uniform was thrilling. Yes, I am a geek of sorts.

But when I removed my nursing school scrubs from the plastic bag they came in, things really did change inside me. Maybe I sound overly sentimental, but honestly, I had tears come to my eyes when I looked in the mirror and saw a potential “nurse” there. I think wearing those scrubs for the 1st time symbolized the beginning of a journey long-awaited journey.

Interestingly enough, just last week I was sitting at the nurses station at work when my manager came to talk to a group of us. She was in very nice business attire and looked very professional. The moment she walked away, a charge nurse said, “I wish she would wear some scrubs like the rest of us–she needs to get down and dirty again.” Another nurse stated, “Yeah, she dresses that way because she makes more money than us.”

I sort of laughed at those comments but it struck me how much the uniform or lack thereof in a clinical setting differentiates who is who. I also wondered at the time who looks “more professional”–my manager in her pretty clothes or us floor nurses in our same-colored scrubs. I’d have to say that my managers wearing business attire has created distance (whether good or bad) between her and her staff. And I wonder if patients get confused about her role when she goes into their room. Do they know she is an actual nurse? Scrubs kind of visually make a nurse, ya know?

Next: Patients Prefer Nurses in White >>

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