What Does Your Scrub Style Say About You?

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Last Friday on our News Round-up I mentioned an interesting blog post over at Nurse Ratched’s Place concerning “old school” white nursing uniforms versus modern print tops and whether or not a patient’s perception of you or level of respect changes when you wear one over the other.  That post really got me thinking about uniforms and my own perception of people directly related to what they are wearing.

I know that my perception of people (not my respect level) can have something to do with how they are dressed. I’m more likely to take someone more seriously when they are dressed in a more professional manner than someone just wearing jeans and a t-shirt. I might deem them to be more of an “authority” even though logically I know that could be the complete opposite of the truth.

However, in most cases when I see a nurse in print scrubs, I don’t find myself thinking that they look unprofessional.  I love the self expression that print scrubs give to people who have to wear uniforms on a daily basis.  Tafford prints are selected to allow nurses to express their sense of style while remaining a professional appearance.  What one wears has increasingly become a platform of self expression and creates an image into who we are. A uniform, to some degree, takes that form of self expression away. So when I look at nurses in print scrubs, I often feel like I get some insight into who they are based on their style of  scrub top, which helps me relate to them and feel more comfortable around them.  Personalized scrubs help bring a little life into a place that can be  sterile and intimidating. It can be very comforting to those that are in the hospital for an illness to see something bright and cheery – especially for children and the elderly.  Part of a medical professional’s job is to keep the patient calm, comfortable and prevent stress from interfering with the healing process.  Fashionable or fun uniforms play a small part in this process.

I don’t have the answers to the debate and, from the nurses and medical professionals that I’ve spoken with, there doesn’t seem to be a clear cut answer. At the end of the day, my level of respect for the nursing profession doesn’t waiver based on what scrubs you wear but rather on how I was taken care of and how I was treated.  How well you are able to perform your job matters more to me than if you have an affinity for floral scrubs or if you dress formally in a starched white dress.  Thanks to Nurse Ratched for a thought provoking blog post!

Do you prefer solid scrubs or prints and do you think perception changes based on your choice? Have you ever seen this elevation of respect that Nurse Ratched talks about when wearing a more “old school” hospital uniform?

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