Many people do not like the idea of uniforms because they represent conformity and seem to squash individuality. However, uniforms for healthcare providers actually have many positives.
Nurses’ uniforms can have a few positives. What are those positives?
- Colour Coding- Some hospitals choose a colour for nurses to wear and a colour for doctors to wear. These colourscan help patients identify who holds what position. Healthcare uniforms separated by colour can benefit those staying the hospital with the ability to distinguish between the care provider levels, making their stay easier.
- Professionalism- Dress code for healthcare facilities helps the nurses and doctors to feel more professional. This is the point of using any uniform, and it is accomplished in the hospital setting as well. Healthcare uniform helps the nurses appear cleaner and more reliable. This can help patients feel more confidence in the practice as the doctors and nurses appear more as though they have professional knowledge about what they are doing.
- Variety- Variety within uniforms can make them less constricting. While the nurse may need to choose a certain colour as the base of their uniform, there is often still some variety available to them.
- Patient-friendly- Within the uniform’s specifications, nurses can have some freedom about what shade of blue they will wear, for example. They can choose to pick a uniform with teddy bears on it, or with pink swirls. This freedom of creativity within the guidelines allows the nurses to pick uniforms that are more child-friendly. The children will enjoy seeing a character on the uniform, and this makes the nurses seem less intimidating in regard to children. Even though adults will not admit it, the uniforms that have colours can also be cheering for them.
- Ease- The worker does not need to think about what they will wear in the morning, making it easier to get ready quickly.
While there are many positives, there are also a few negatives of strict uniform policies.
- White- White is a common uniform colour, and it can be easily soiled. This problem means that the nurse is either forced to wear a soiled uniform, or that they constantly need to buy new uniform shirts. This cost can be frustrating for a nurse, so while white does appear professional, it is not a great selection for a uniform colour.
- Other Problems- Nurses have experienced other problems that are not related to uniforms. Instead of focusing on uniforms for nurses, it can be argued that the hospitals should be focused on regulating the other problems typically experienced by a hospital employee. Some of these problems include excessive jewellery, long nails, and strong smells found in perfumes or smoking. However, because these regulations seem to control females more than males, they have not been heavily enforced. Focusing too much on uniforms can take away from working on fixing these other, more important problems.
Overall, there are more pros than cons of hospitals regulating uniforms for healthcare workers. The workplace uniform has many benefits to be gained both for the workers and the patients.