Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tao of Scrubs

I have 3 different colors of scrubs.  Navy, black, and the standard ciel blue.  I have no pink, lime green, or tiger stripes.  My scrubs do not have cute rainbows or unicorns on them.  If that is your preference, power to you.  It's not mine.   I choose to be simple.  If I wear black pants, I wear a black top.  Sometimes I mix it up and wear the ciel with the black, or navy with the ciel, but that is rare and only if I have laundry issues.  I used to have one scrub jacket that commemorated winter, but no holiday stuff.  I am frequently called on this.  "Where is your holiday spirit?"  "Don't you have anything orange and black?", (or red, white and blue, you get the picture).  Again, no.  For ME, I just don't feel like a woman of my age can be taken seriously while wearing teddy bears.  Someone once mentioned to me that when doing CPR, people can look down a scrub shirt and see your boobs, so I generally wear a long sleeved shirt of a different color underneath no matter the season, which can be considered a slight holiday nod.  Actually I just hate for my arms to be bare because of the old lady jiggle.

I find it interesting that the staff in different facilities have widely varying preferences in the variety of scrubs they choose….provided they are fee to choose.  I think it is enormously detrimental for nurses not to be able to choose what they wear to work unless the hospital plans to purchase and launder them.  Then I wouldn't care so much, but I think it is bull shit to be required to wear a certain color or style so the idiot public can differentiate between nurses and non- nurses, especially since my name badge identifies me as a nurse.  Also because the badge "RN" that I am also required to wear is the size of a dinner plate.  One size does not fit all.   At one time a co-worker at the Bait Shoppe was rabidly advocating for all the nurses to wear teal colored scrubs; I  shut her down with a curt "NO".  To this day I have no idea why it was so important to her, unless it was because I hijacked her idea to get  fleece vests with the company logo on it.  I did this because I have narrow preferences for vests and, selfishly, wanted to get what I wanted.  It worked out well because nurses decided on one color, the secretaries decided on another, and the X-ray techs still another.  I liked that we chose our own without a fight.  We could wear them whenever and with whatever we wanted to.  Plus they were a good deal at the time.

BWOM nursing employees are free to choose what they want.  They are a stylish bunch.  There is lots of pink, lots of bunnies.  I have seen all manner of the latest styles with these gals.  A couple of the nurses seem to change their nail polish to go with whatever they happen to be wearing.   Boss Lady shows up everyday in plain boring ciel scrubs even though I have not personally seen her do any patient care in awhile, although she is ready to go when called upon.  Which is great.  Most bosses just wear their business attire with a lab coat thrown over it, although why they are compelled to do so is puzzling since they never, ever touch humans.  I find a white lab coat with heels and hose is insincere somehow, but if that is what you want to wear, fine with me.

Sometimes the match thing can get out of hand, though.  I have to say the the prize for most color coordinated attire in the At Work in the ER category is Newchelle.  Always with a matching set of scrubs and jacket.  Prints, stripes, bright colors, she has it all.  If there is a set of scrubs in any color of the rainbow, she has them.  She has earrings to match all her outfits and seems seems to put all of her money into accessorizing her look with colored or patterned  clogs or tennis shoes.  Lately she has been taking her look to a new, and perhaps, more obsessive level.

She has several different hair pieces with colored barrettes or headbands, one with a big fat flower on it.  WTF.  I think we will be seeing more of the flowers, just a hunch.  She can be counted on to wear a coordinating lanyard for each outfit.

Yesterday her pens were the perfect shade of fuchsia to match her pants and shirt.

I don't want to know if she had matching underwear.  It is disturbing enough.


Susan said...

Ha! This is fantastic! Per our hospital policy, all nurses wear navy blue, respiratory - black, P.T - red, etc... On Priday we can wear whatever color we want. Me, Once a year I buy 7 new sets of scrubs, navy blue, one flattering style for the extra 25 pounds that people just can't believe I have, and on Friday I look just like I did for the previous 4 days. I am immune to the cajoling to "Go crazy" and come to work in something different. Thank you for actually seeing the humor in making a nursing uniform something that needs to be fashionable!

Paramagic RN said...

We are required to wear white scrub tops with navy bottoms as RNs; EMTs, medics, PCTs wear all navy; respiratory wears grey; lab techs wear royal blue. Radiology techs wear whatever they want. L&D wear printed tops with ceil bottoms that are supplied by the hospital.

I believe our freedom to choose our attire was stripped because unfortunately some adults lack the ability to choose tasteful, appropriate, professional attire for the work place.

EDNurseasauras said...

scrubs aren't really the attire that comes to mind when I think of "professional" dress. Besides, I still see 'em too short or too tight, with printed undies under light colored pants in all professions, not just ours. Even with a narrow range of choices, there are still bad ones to be made!

Unknown said...

Unless you are Peds nurse I have a really hard time taking a grown woman wearing kittens on her scrubs seriously. I'm 30 something and look about 18, even if I could choose what I wear I'd avoid it like the plague. I do think that hospitals should go back to laundering and providing scrubs. We're all talking about infection control why the hell are you letting me walk out of the hospital with all those germs on me?! Not to mention you can't be sure that a nurse coming on shift has actually washed that uniform. I know it's gross but I have met a couple of seriously lazy nurses who have admitted to NOT washing their scrubs and wearing them again the next day. All I can say is YUCK

Paramagic RN said...

I have to give it to management--if someone is wearing something too short, too tight, or too see-through, the person is given an option of changing or being sent home. The company I work for is real sticklers about image.

Not Nurse Ratched said...

Once we were all ribbing a colleague who had matching Crocs for each outfit, so she was always a fairly neon shade from head to toe. Another nurse said, "Well, I DO match my bra and panties to my scrubs." It was an awkward "is she kidding?" moment.