The answer to this question is that both LVN / LPN schools and the state of California require boundaries. According to Anne Katherine, M.A., author of Where To Draw The Line: How To Set Healthy Boundaries Every Day, “A boundary is a limit that promotes integrity.” One type of professional boundary-setting discussed in her book involves the use of dress and attire.
Have you ever wondered why a LVN or LPN program, such as Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts requires the students to wear professional uniforms? Katherine says, “Our appearance and attire are the first signals we send to people. By our attire we reveal who we are, [and] what we care about…” The next time you go to a health clinic notice how safe or unsafe you feel in response to the attire worn by members of the office staff. If you find yourself wanting to run out the door, it might simply be your sensitivity to the nurse’s jewelry that looks like s/he fell into a fishing-tackle box, or the fashion-torn jeans. There is nothing wrong with jewelry or fashionable clothing. The key is to find a balance between personal expression and sending a message that relays “Don’t worry – I won’t hurt you.” As you become more aware of how appearance can either stimulate fear or foster reassurance, the nursing-career-focused attire can become a tool to support both therapeutic and professional relationship.