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U. Hospitals and Clinics goes for professionalism with employee dress code

Published: Friday, March 19 2010 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Great idea

Speaking from a patient's perspective, this is great. More professionalism is never a downside, and it should result in more confidence in the competence of the caregivers.

Those who say it takes away their freedom...well.... Unemployment can offer you the brand of freedom you want, but it probably pales in comparison to the warm, fuzzy feeling of solvency and independence that a paycheck brings.


Professionalism also breeds confidence. No one wants to be attended to by someone who looks like they don't belong in a hospital or doctors office. Sloppy looks unhygienic, and incompetent.


I cannot say how shocked I was when, years ago, I was at St. Mark's being prepped for surgery when a young woman walked into the room and informed me that more blood work was needed. I had been at the hospital the night before at 10:00 to make certain that all of that was taken care of and here she was: streaks of green and pink in her hair and visible tattoos, piercings everywhere and telling me that she wanted to draw more blood from me. I thought it was some kind of joke and then discovered that it wasn't! I have threatened to have a St. Mark's tattoo placed across my chest with a circle and line running through it.


We tend to act as we dress. This is true in all settings. I saw a teacher at my kids’ school have flip flops, tee shirt and levies on at the school during the work day. I did not like it. When people enter into a professional carrier, they should dress professionally. I am a self employed blue collar worker and people who hire me tend to have more confidence in me when I dress appropriately form my field of work. Also, I like it when I take my car to a repair shop that has workers wearing appropriate attire. You know — Name on the shirt and so on. “ We tend to act as we dress” .


Did you catch that nurses have to wear white? On what planet is wearing white good for an occupation that is hands-on dealing with not so pleasant blood and body fluids? I think the administration has dismissed the 30% without giving their objections serious consideration. It sounds nice and hygienic, but in real life . . . get real.

Dress code for doctors

I don't know why the physicians and medical students should be exempted from any dress code policy. The medical students, and especially residents and some interns are notoriously unkempt and lax in their appearance at the University.

On more than one occasion I have mistaken a physician for someone much lower on the hospital food chain. These mistaken identities were based solely on the clothing, hair, and accessory choices they made.

Many doctors or staff fail to identify themselves as they enter a room. So I've made it a habit to search for a visible name tag, employee ID, or embroidered name in order to sort out the MD's from the RN's or other staff...



Why not...

just provide a uniform for each level of nurse and be done with the issue?

I read a study once that patients cared for by attractive nurses recovered faster and left the hospital sooner...likely because they were motivated by their attempts to impress the nurse.

I certainly wouldn't mind my nurse showing a little cleavage.


The dress code should make it so it is clear and obvious just by looking at someone as to what function they play in the hospital. A janitor should look different from a nurse who should look different from a doctor.

The person drawing blood shouldn't look like they just came in begging from the street.

Of course as soon as this new health bill is rammed down our throats and liberals push their socialists agenda on us. Everyone will be dressed in drabbed olive green, and we'll have minders watching us and we'll have to break out into spontaneous song and dance praising our liberal leaders who saved us from capitalism!! Just like or soon to be North Korean friends sing songs of praise to their leader spontaneously whenever cameras are around.

its more about the patients

In this case, patients trump employees.

Patients are in a vulnerable state of health, and vulnerable state of mind.

They deserve a healthcare team who are qualified, serious and competent---and who LOOK like they are COMPETENT.

As a new mother at a SL hospital, it was unnerving to have my tiny newborn worked on by a neonatal (female)nurse sporting a spiked serious butch haircut and lots of piercings.

I know she must have been qualified--but why can't she LOOK qualified, instead of like she'd just come in from a biker bar, or the lesbian convention??

Maybe she DID just come in from the bar, or the convention--but must that be our first thought on seeing her? Our first thoughts (unconscious and conscious) should be: this person is just who I want dealing with my medical situation.

There's plenty of off hours for health care workers to wear their clothing and piercings of choice.


Thank You U of U. I took my son to see a young new dermatologist and the whole staff there were looked so unprofessional. They all had in some way altered there scrubs. I really don't mind the tattoos but when I can see your lower back one while you are taking a medical history thats a problem and having your scrubs ripped up the sides and dragging on the floor you don't look like you work in a doctors office. I won't take my son back to that office.


As a former patient, I am glad they are adopting this new dress code. There are quite a few industries where dress code is enforced, even retail stores and restaurants have a dress code. I also remember seeing cleavages and wondered if the old guy in next room would have a heart attack or an anxiety episode looking at that. I closed my eyes everytime the nurse bended to take my signals. If you work at a children's unit, then you're welcome to wear spongebob bottoms, otherwise, solid colors do look professional. After all, aren't nurses professionals or not?

Yucky white!

I agree with this dress code, but white? Does not look flattering at all on a person especially for the top. They should pick another color.

Yes, wear white

I would like to know if the nurse who is attending to me has "not so pleasant blood and body fluids" from a previous patient on their clothing. I think they might want to change their shirt for their own sake as well. Have an ample supply available for their use and bleach them as needed.


Focusing on the most important healthcare issue of our lifetime.

Great idea!

It's about time we get professional looking professionals. If Wendy's employees have to look professional in their uniforms, why not those who care for us when we are sick or injured? When you dress professional you act more that way too.


When my son born in early 2008 and life-flighted to the NICU at Primary Childrens, his first nurse had strands of pink hair and a fleece jacket and I wouldn't have traded her for anyone else. She was spectacular for his first few days of life. I love the cartoon scrubs they wear at Primary so I hope they don't follow the U's code.


Hurray, hurray, hurray. As a nurse I say we should look like the professionals we are and want to be respected for. Patients deserve to know the difference between their nurse and their housekeeper, both have an important duty, as all employees do. Name tags are obviously identifying but it is nice to be able to identify by uniform also. A neat white uniform was what first attracted me to wanting to be a nurse. There is just something about that look. Cartoon scrubs in pediatrics- I don't mind that but cartoon scrubs on a Med Surg unit not so good.

John Pack Lambert

This is not taking away anyones freedom. If employees do not like it they are free to quit.

John Pack Lambert

To the 2:57 commentor,
At one point all nurses wore white. That is the classic nurses uniform.
Beyound that, since the fluids are bio-hazards, you want clothing that makes them easy to find. Sure, you feel compelled to wash it more often, but if blood spills on your shirt, should you just wear it again the next day?

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