Do nurses really need to be told how to look professional at work or is this just a good excuse for the media to resurrect some ‘Carry On Nurse’ jokes?
It has been ages, thank heavens, since we’ve had some hackneyed old ‘Naughty Nurse’ headlines. Now, thanks to a UK NHS Trust issuing an updated uniform policy, tabloid readers can all have a good old titter at some Barbara Windsor pictures. Well, ‘titter ye not’ as dear old Frankie Howerd would have said because this might be serious. The Trust concerned said that they were responding to patient complaints about staff flashing their flesh, tattoos and poor personal hygiene in front of people who feel sick enough already.
For as long as I can remember, arguments about nurses’ uniforms have generated enough heat to power the entire health service over the winter months. This should be so simple. A hospital is not a nightclub and staff are there to impress people with their care and professionalism, not their sultry good looks. As nurses, we need to ‘look the business’ and create the confidence in patients that the are in the safe hands of people who take their job seriously and not a couple a spare Kardashian’s at the opening of an envelope.
If you actually need a hospital to spell this out to you and then check up to find out if your are actually capable of looking professional at work, then forget wearing a new outfit and consider joining one.
The next logical step should now be a uniform policy for patients who often have little choice but to have acres of their flesh exposed to the world as they don some of the most inhumanely designed ‘theater gowns’ imaginable. All of which is absolutely inexcusable given the alternatives that have finally been sought and are available. (see here, and here, and here)