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Children prefer paediatric nurses in bright uniforms

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Putting hospital nurses in bright, multi-coloured uniforms makes children more comfortable and parents more confident, according to an Italian nursing study.

Researchers from the University of Florence surveyed a total of 112 children, aged six to 16, before and after nurses on two paediatric wards started wearing colourful new uniforms. Before the new uniforms were introduced to the wards, the nurses wore conventional single-coloured trousers and tops.

Overall 76% of the children preferred the new uniforms, 13% preferred the traditional attire and 4% would have preferred to see them in ordinary clothes.

Additionally, the researchers asked the children to give them one word that described the nurse – 96% used positive words about the nurses after the new uniforms were introduced compared with 82% before.

The parents also gave the nurses higher scores on a one to five scale after the introduction of the new uniforms.

Lead author Filippo Festini, professor of nursing science at the university, said: ‘The children told us they felt more positive about the nurses who were caring for them and a particularly significant result was that the parents did not see the new uniforms as less professional. In fact, it increased their positive perceptions of the nurses.’

Journal of Clinical Nursing (2009) 18: 1018-1026

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Readers' comments (2)

  • I work on a ward where we changed from green polo shirts to more traditional tunics in pale blue/navy blue depending on seniority. Haven't noticed any difference in reaction from kids. Think it's better for parents and new uniforms are more practical for nursing staff and able to take a hotter wash!

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  • Laura Ellison

    Very good idea! Its much less informal, and as long as infection control precautions aren't forgotten as a result of the new style uniforms - whats the problem?

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