Clinical Question of the Week #5

Patients and visitors alike often comment how difficult it is to identify who is a registered nurse in the clinical environment.  We often do our work annonymously–nurses usually are called only by their first names, frequently are unable to display RN on their ID badges, and no longer have a standard uniform.  Do you think registered nurses ought to wear a standard color scrub top to easily identify themselves as registered nurses?

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31 Comments

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31 responses to “Clinical Question of the Week #5

  1. Lynnette Johnson

    NO!! We are individuals who should be able to comply with individual workplace rules. Nurses do not need to be dictated to in relation to what color of a uniform they need to wear by a national organization!

  2. Jan Andrews

    No universal for scrub clothes.

  3. Standard uniform tops for nurses…..NO.

  4. Alicia

    No, I get many compliments from my patients on the scrub uniforms that I wear. I like to wear colorful/tasteful prints and colors. At the hospital I work for all RNs have a LARGE tag that attaches to our IDs that reads RN in very large print. I also introduce myself as an RN to each of my patients. I think instead we should work on introductions so that our patients know who we are.

  5. As far as, universally colored scrub tops. This will not be achieved as universally recognizable to all visitors and patients in health care settings. Because Americans are all unique individuals. This includes all professional RN’s. My response is. Why not, are ALL medical doctors employed in health care systems required to wear a universally colored scrub top to help visitors/patients identify who they are too? Maybe all professional nurses need to go back to just wearing NURSING CAPS to help visitors and patients identify which professional nurses caring for them. Let me know how well that will work out, with the rise in male nurses like myself. A professionally dressed nurse with 20 years experience at a client’s bed side in a multitude of clinical settings. My suggestion is that all professional nurses assigned client rooms. Have a currently updated daily dry eraser white boards nurses name on it. But if a color choice is needed for all professional nurses. May I suggest Bright ORANGE with their Professional license # printed in large black colors with either RN or LPN in front of the numbers on the back side.

  6. Beverly Chapman

    NO if I wanted to look like everyone else I would work for McDonalds no way our id’s have RN under our names quite visable we also identify ourselves

  7. Anastasia

    I think that the colors used in the clinical areas of some hospitals such as in O.R. which most wear blue or O.B in some hospitals is pink will leave alot of confusion in it’s wake when mixed with the new color of the RN what ever that may be.

  8. Ben Schmidt

    Not necessary. We’ve got enough problems without that project, too. Nobody will ever agree on a color anyway

  9. Jeanette, RN

    While this seems like a good idea, I’ve worked in facilities that use a color scrub system to identify positions and those that don’t and didn’t notice a difference in patients/families being able to identify RN’s versus other care providers.

    To be honest the only ones who seemed to know/pay attention to the colors were the RN’s and techs, the doctors on staff didn’t even seem to pay attention.

  10. Martha

    I do think it is important for RN to be easily identifiable to their patients. Too many other personel in the hospital are wearing attire that makes it difficult to identify the RN

  11. karen nix

    Absolutely not should we have to wear designated colors…WHY is anyone BUT a Registered Nurse or Medical Doctor wearing scrubs? And what happened to graduating with a Nurse Cap? Housekeepers, dietary, x-ray, etc SHOULD NOT wear scrubs, uniforms specific to THEIR trade, not nursing scrubs. Furthermore, “MY FIRST NAME, REGISTERED NURSE” should be proudly worn on our name badges.

    • Elizabeth

      So very true! Housekeeping, medical assts, receptionist, CNAs, phlebotomists, or anyone who works in a medical setting shouldn’t be allowed to wear nursing scrubs!!! There are some places I’ve visited that the non licensed staff wore solid color Polo shirts and black or tan pants, and ONLY the MD and RNs wore scrubs. They also had a badge with their titles in big bold letters on it. I think that’s the best thing for all hospitals and Dr’s offices should do. We earned those badges and scrubs with many years of school, blood, sweat, and tears!

  12. yvonne

    Absolutely not- I am not in nursing school where they were able to dictate what I had to wear to the clinic sites. I am a Registered Nurse, I pay for my own uniforms, and I will wear what I want!

  13. Yes a universal scrub color would be good, as long as it is NOT white. I believe and it is true at our institution that the RN’s agree in their union contract to have an RN only scrub color. We also wear RN badges under our hospital name badge that identify us as Registered Nurses. We also wear black and white name tags with our first name and RN after in addition to our hospital issued Identification. Sometimes the hosptial issued badge writing is to small.

  14. The nurses at Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo already are wearing caribbean blue. The patients still have no idea who we are unless we specifically identify ourselves as nurses. The rest of the hospital staff, however, benefits from all of the disciplines wearing a specific color so we know who’s coming down the hall.

  15. Deborah Colbert

    I believe we need to utilize something in order to identify ourselves as registered nurses other than name badges. Police officers, officers working in prison or incarceration areas, immigration officers, border patrol, members of the armed services, postal workers all have a specific type of clothing for identification.

  16. Cheryl Strine

    The hospital I work at requires the RN to wear dark navy blue scrubs. Our name badge has a large RN next to our names. We are allowed to wear coordinating color tops with the navy blue bottoms, which does allow some personal choice. I think this works well, patients and visitors seem to know who the nurses are.

  17. Cheryl Warnicke

    We already do at Borgess Medical Center and have done so for about 3 years. The visitors and patients still don’t know the difference between the different positions (RN or PCA). Therefore, I don’t think it really matters unless nurses go back to wearing all white ~ which I for one hope doesn’t ever happen!!

  18. Leah Cohen

    Yes, as professionals we need to dress as professionals.

  19. Lisa S. Sylvest

    I agree with the majority of responses. I do not support a standard scrub color. I also introduce myself as an RN to each of my patients. I think we should not only work on RN introductions so that our patients know who we are, but that we correct MDs when they refer to all office staff as “one of the nurses”. And we also need to remind MAs, techs, etc. to make sure they clearly identity themselves to patients.

  20. Sara

    No. As nurses we should dress professionally in clean clothes that are appropriate for where you work, where your name badge, and most importantly introduce yourself. If you properly introduce yourself to your patients and families they will know who you are.

  21. Sandy Hatch MSN, Rn

    The color of a nurses uniform should not matter, the skills and experience of the nurse is important. To make the nurse wear a certain color of uniform is not only stupid, but violates our right too choose.

  22. Bryan Jones, RN

    As an RN providing care to a patient, it is our job to identify ourselves to each patient we care for. There should be no question in that patient’s mind who their care providers are and their roles in that care.
    As to family or friends needing emergency assistance, anyone employed by the facility should know how to summon appropriate help regardless of what they are wearing. There should be no reason to “find a nurse”. For anyone having general questions or comments, the family /friend can either ask the patient to put on a call light or come to the desk and ask the unit clerk for the appropriate individual then BE PATIENT. Again, no reason to hunt down a nurse providing care to another patient so a visitor can ask “Can I get a Coke”.
    Color coding employees is a management and PR tool, plain and simple. It is part of the customer service model which gives friends and relatives of patients the massive sense of entitlement which they often have. I am there for the patient. People who are truly in need care only that the person helping them is there when needed and has the necessary skills. I am happy to assist visitors when I have time and when it does not interfere with patient care. Patient care should be the only goal at a hospital. Customer service is for Wal-Mart.

  23. Charlene Marie Jones

    Wear name tags around the neck. The hospital needs to pick one color for the RN. A logo needs to be in bold black color on the left side that has the hospital name and the initials RN after it. Continue with name tags as always but around the neck where one can see it. Written in black simple writing in large print with a face next to the printing. Keep the name tag simple and easy to read for people who are color blind and older.

  24. Charlene Marie Jones

    Wear a name tag that is in bold black print. The RNs wear one color picked by the hospital. Have a hospital logo writen on the left side with RN next to it. Make sure the name tag is worn around the neck.

  25. Charlene Marie Jones

    I feel RNs should wear name tags woren only around the neck that are printed in bold print with a face. The scrub should be one color picked by the hospital and the hospital logo should be on the left side with RN next to it.

  26. Charlene Marie Jones

    RNs should wear a name tag around the neck, a scrub color picked by the hospital and the hospital logo inscribed on the left side of the scrub with RN next to it.

  27. Nancy

    I’m in the minority in thinking RN’s should at least wear a white jacket. I don’t like having aides, housekeepers, and unit secretarys potentially wearing the same top as the nurses. Most of our pt’s are in their late 70’s to early 90’s and don’t remember when we introduce ourselves what job we’re doing, white to them has always been associated with nursing. Badges with large letters don’t always help because many have sight impairment. The biggest draw back to doing this is the cost of buying new tops to replace the current collection most of us have.

  28. Dee

    I think it is insulting to everyone’s intelligence, the patients, the doctors, and the staff. We introduce ourselves to the patients. We wear large ID badges with a larger RN hanging tag. We communicate with staff and patients. What next, sandwich board signs?! Has the art of speaking gone by the wayside? Get real.

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