I am currently looking for opinions and comments for staff wearing uniforms in various mental health settings. I am undertaking a research task to see if the Trust I work for should implement uniforms. Which areas should or could wear uniforms, ie adult, forensic, PICU, later life, CAMHS inpatients, if any? What are the advantages and disadvantages of staff uniforms? Do you agree or disagree? Your opinions will be greatly valued.
as an original change agent, i abolished uniforms on my first day as a charge nurse 25 years ago, they are a physical barrier which in my experience hindered the effective forming of a therapeutic relationship.
I work in a medium secure environment were we do not wear uniforms but are guided by policy on appropriate clothing. When you need to build up theraputic relationships it's a good idea not to have such a huge barrier as wearing a uniform - we wear personal I.D, pouches for keys and alarms which makes enough of a distinction but not one that impacts on creating the link between staff and patient. What is important at the end of the day is creating the right caring and supportive environment for patients, what we wear does not or should not impact on the care given.
I am looking to pilot uniforms in a mental health setting to include PICU acute and hospital at home teams. However having been given the go ahead we have been told WHERE we must purchase the uniforms from...an old style restrictive stripes uniform is not what we are after! Does anyone have any ideas..our patients are keen for us to wear uniforms and the staff want to be professional
uniform in mh care is only appropriate where hands on nursing care requires protective clothing. uniforms should not be used to signify some type of social or professional status or authority over patients/clients which only serve to create a 'them and us' barrier which is, as mentioned above, destructive to a caring therapeutic relationship.
I run a Psychiatric Emergency Service within an Emergecny Department. I recieve frequent and regualr feedback from consumers, carers and clients that Staff in Uniform provide a higher level of confidence in the clinicians abilites, serves better to recognise who is a clinician and provides for a level of professional respect. My advice is ask the people we care for, the pervasive opinion amongst clinicians is that ones clothes present a barrier to the theraputic relationship is mythological. I even asked the inpatients of our services mental health unit...the answer was the same...nurses in uniform (and I'm not talking about candy stripes and nightingale hats, but a professional uniform) would help them to work out who is who and feel better supported by a 'real professional'.
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