Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Dress Code

  The Dress Code, everyone has one, most people hate it. That little bit P&P that tells you how you must look when showing up to work, even when some days just showing up deserves a medal.

  You would think that as nurses we are used to this idea of someone dictating what we wear right down to our socks, I mean we all went through nursing school and I DID have an instructor tell me to wear white socks instead of the colorful ones I was wearing. Sheesh! Talk about Nurse Ratchet! Anyhow, it has always been a constant source of amusement to me that nurses have been bucking the Dress Code. Yes several years ago we could wear whatever scrubs we wanted and were able to walk into the unit looking like Rainbow Brite if we wanted to, but as I have said before, the Good Ole Days are over and the days of Customer Satisfaction Scores are here, for now.

  Seriously though, in some ways this ain't so bad. I mean really, I wouldn't be able to take a nurse wearing Dora scrubs seriously if she was treating me in the ICU. I'd be like:
  "Hey did you get lost on your way to the peds floor?".
   Don't knock it folks, I have seen it. Let's be honest, your outer appearance has a lot to do with how people see you. Yes, we should never judge a book by its cover but in reality people make decisions about you based on what they see. I mean would you take financial advice from a guy wearing torn jeans and an AC/DC shirt? Probably not. 

  That being said I do understand how uniforms can cramp your style, I'm relatively lucky in that my employer simply asks all nurses to wear navy blue. That's it, individual style is up to you, no company logos embroidered, no material preferences and you can wear whatever you want to on your feet. Awesome! Navy blue is a sight better than white if you ask me, and yes two hospitals in my town require the nurses to wear white, eeks! I personally love my uniform and am happy that I don't have to think about what I put on when getting up to go to work. But if you have the uniform blues, here are a few of my tips on how to make peace and maybe love it.

Love the clothes you are in. Meaning there are a ton of scrubs out there. If your employer only dictates color than go wild and shop around. Find scrubs in a cut that you find flattering and in a material that feels good!
  Cheapest isn't always best, remember you are going to be wearing these for 12 hours straight! Most people don't wear one outfit for that long. Find something you look good in and feel good in, it makes it way easier to get up and go to work when you do.

Work around it. Dress codes specify what you can and can't do, so get to know yours and work with and around it. My dress code doesn't allow us to wear nail polish or fake nails to work, but I love getting my nails done, and I still do. Now I get a full pedicure and a shape and buff on my fingers with a parafin dip, this way my fingers look great, it actually helps keep breakage and hangnails down to a minimum but I don't get nailed at work. Ok that was a horrible pun, couldn't help it. Other gals I work with wear crazy socks, one gal has a pair of socks for every holiday and wacky colorful ones for days in between. It's her little way of rebelling, and it makes us all laugh.

Accessorize! Have fun! Get a badge holder you love, a cute stethoscope tag, or sweet pair of earrings. It's your way of expressing yourself, go to it, just remember a couple of safety tips. 

Don't go hoops, not even the little ones, they catch things way to easily and you don't want to make a trip to your own ER. Trust me I've seen it happen with a pair of tiny gold hoops and a pediatric patient, it was ugly. Also, nothing that doesn't have a break away feature, I saw a nurse nearly get strangled with her own lanyard when she was running to a code and got caught on a piece of equipment. Pretty scary stuff.

Have fun with your hair. It's easy to fall into the one hairstyle rut, but there are a ton of cute hairstyles that keep your hair up and out of your face. You'd be surprised how much a difference changing up your routine will make. 
Here's one of my favorites that takes about 5 minutes and looks awesome.
The Simple Gibson Tuck
  For instructions on how to get this cute look head over to saralynnpaige.com she has a full video tutorial on how to get this up do and a bunch of other really sweet hairstyles.

  In the end, I guess everyone has their own version of a uniform, as nurses ours are just a little more defined, but it doesn't mean we can't have fun with it and learn to love it. We worked our butt's off to earn this recognition, lets wear our scrubs proudly no matter what color they are!


  1. I've noticed a rising trend of hospitals going to blue as the nursing standard. A subject of a not too distant past blog post.

  2. ya know, i never even thought about being in an outfit for longer than 12 hours!!
    and you are SOOOOO right... cheap isn't always the best!

  3. Love this. I agree when you have to wear one color scrubs then you wake up and don't even have to think. And I love that gibson tuck. I'm about to head over now to see how to do it! Thanks for linking up! :)

  4. Thanks for the encouragement to work around the dress code! I need to master that better! :) I will check that gibson tick, I always have a pony tail and would love to change every now and then! :)


Hi! I love to hear what you have to say but be warned I reserve the right to whip out the Iron Paw on anyone. So play nice.