Recent developments in nurse uniforms have provoked a furious debate among readers. Beyond the Bedpan stokes the fire
There’s nothing quite like a uniform to get you lot excited.
As Beyond the Bedpan goes to press, a Welsh scheme to introduce colour-coded uniforms is the most popular story on nursingtimes.net.
In short, nurses at West Wales General Hospital in Carmarthen will now be instantly recognisable by the colour of their uniform, with navy blue for ward sisters, royal blue for clinical specialists, hospital blue for staff nurses, postman blue for midwives, green for support workers and aqua green for nursery nurses.
The scheme was introduced after a report found that patients often struggled to tell the difference between healthcare assistants and registered nurses - or work out who was in charge of the ward.
It has been welcomed, with one sister at the hospital saying it had “enhanced the sense of pride nurses have in their profession”.
This would appear to be backed up by recent research, which found that “uniforms need to balance a professional and modern image while retaining an appreciation for nursing’s heritage. This will project a realistic image to the public and help nurses to form a positive professional identity.”
So far so good. But readers are not so sure. “Who cares?” asks one, “why do people need to know at first glance who we are? If it’s not obvious already then… my god. Aren’t these people the most ignorant of all?”
We couldn’t agree more. Next time a patient on your ward is in desperate need of help and confused about who to speak too, just scoff and ignore them. The ignorant fools deserve no better.
But seriously, readers comments eventually turn back to more worthy matters, like the need to make it crystal clear to vulnerable elderly patients who is who on the wards.
Another reader suggests it would be more helpful for trusts to take the cleaning of uniforms in-house, saving nurses a lot of hassle and vastly reducing the risk of infection in one fell swoop. The prospect of rushing into work, having had no time between shifts to wash your uniform, and then getting changed in a toilet or cupboard is one that nurses, quite reasonably, want addressed.
Are you in favour of standardised national uniforms, or would you prefer laundry and changing facilities, or both? Let us know in the comments section.