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Uniforms in the hospital

 
 
bckyd7
 
Reply Fri 7 Sep, 2012 01:59 pm
The hospital I work for has recently changed from being able to wear whatever kind of scrubs you want to certain colors. RN's wear blue, CNA's wear dark red, respiratory therapy wears green and etc. Do you believe this decreases patient confusion during their stay in the hospital?
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Sep, 2012 03:24 pm
@bckyd7,
maybe - all I know the last time I was color coded was in high school - we had to take a term of swimming in gym and we had to use the school bathing suits (yes shudder) - sizes were color coordinated so the tiny girls got green and the really big girls had black with all various colors and sizes in between.

Sorta of degrading when you think about it now.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Sep, 2012 07:52 pm
@bckyd7,
bckyd7 wrote:

RN's wear blue, CNA's wear dark red, respiratory therapy wears green and etc. Do you believe this decreases patient confusion during their stay in the hospital?

Probably not as theoretical patient I wouldn't know the difference between an RN and a CNA, let alone need to know who are respiratory therapists, etc..... Plus which patient is going to study and MEMORIZE the rainbow of color assignments. Plus the confusion of which job goes which shade of red, etc....

In theory, it's a lovely idea. I hope the hospital at least pays for the scrubs for the employees and not the other way around. Seems fair.
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Fri 7 Sep, 2012 08:01 pm
@tsarstepan,
Speaking from experience, yes it greatly reduces confusion as to who is who.

You definitely want to know who is an RN, and who is a CNA. You may not need to know that someone is a PT, you still want to know they are not the aide, or your nurse.

I can't imagine why one wouldn't want to know.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Fri 7 Sep, 2012 08:02 pm
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:

maybe - all I know the last time I was color coded was in high school - we had to take a term of swimming in gym and we had to use the school bathing suits (yes shudder) - sizes were color coordinated so the tiny girls got green and the really big girls had black with all various colors and sizes in between.

Sorta of degrading when you think about it now.


It's not like gym linkat.

wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Sep, 2012 08:23 pm
@bckyd7,
bckyd7 wrote:

The hospital I work for has recently changed from being able to wear whatever kind of scrubs you want to certain colors. RN's wear blue, CNA's wear dark red, respiratory therapy wears green and etc. Do you believe this decreases patient confusion during their stay in the hospital?


It would probably help most patients. Not me though -- I have color-poor vision. If asked to identify a color, I try my best guess but often I am wrong.

I was an inpatient for four days recently. At the start of each shift, the nurse and nurse assistant would talk to me and identify themselves. They also wrote their names on an erasable board that I could read from my bed:
Nurse: Melanie
Nurse Assistant: Carla
roger
 
  2  
Reply Fri 7 Sep, 2012 08:37 pm
@wandeljw,
I've seen those erasable board and like them. Nice if they also tell you what day it is.

I like distinct uniforms, whether color or some identifer. Spend too much time in a hospital and you get the impression that every feminine type is a nurse, and every guy is a doctor. It ain't so, and there is a world of difference between RN and whatever CNA stands for. The OP used the word scrubs. They shouldn't be wearing scrubs outside lab or OR, but there should be a distinction between uniforms.
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Fri 7 Sep, 2012 09:55 pm
@roger,
I like those boards too!

We always knew who the nurse was that day, and I think they write the date too....yeah, I'm pretty sure they do.

You know what else I super like nowadays?

They all carry phones, and if they are in your room and need to ask someone else a question, or get something, they can do it right there instead of leaving.

Bedside charting computers are great too.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Sep, 2012 10:04 pm
As a patient, I don't much care whether people are color coded or not.

On my most recent hospital stay, it was pretty clear what each person's role was and when it wasn't clear it was pretty easy to ask. As an employee I might not like this too much. But in my industry we don't care much for hierarchy.


Roberta
 
  3  
Reply Sat 8 Sep, 2012 02:23 am
I absolutely positively would find it helpful for nurses and others to wear uniforms that make it easy to identify them. Anything that makes being a patient easier is OK with me.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  3  
Reply Sat 8 Sep, 2012 11:33 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

As a patient, I don't much care whether people are color coded or not.

On my most recent hospital stay, it was pretty clear what each person's role was and when it wasn't clear it was pretty easy to ask. As an employee I might not like this too much. But in my industry we don't care much for hierarchy.





The thing is max, that is healthcare the hierarchy IS important, not so much from a "I'm more important than you as a human being, and my scrub color shows it" but from a "you're the one who can administer my drugs, can answer medical questions" etc.
There is a Huge difference between an RN and an aide, and it's best not to forget it. The RN's license is on the line with everything they do, and their license is the most important thing to them, apart of course from patient safety and care. They are the leaders, the others rely on their judgement and decisions. They certainly didn't get their diploma, associates, bachelors, masters or doctorate in nursing to limit themselves to the tasks on an aide. I'm not putting the work of aides down. They work extremely hard, but believe me, they go to the nurse for their instructions and orders. Just as the nurse takes orders from the doctor. The nurse has the education and skills to determine when to present info to the doctor if the nurse feels there is info the doctor needs to know that might change his order.

Then, we get into nurse practitioners, which is a whole 'nother level. If Marco stops by, I'll let him address this.

As far as it being easy enough to ask someone what their role is, well yeah you'd think it would be. But many times patients, even if they want to know, don't ask. Oh sure, we could get into a discussion about how they should, but the reality is, some don't. Some also never do get that the aide coming in the room isn't a nurse. It just is what it is.

All the patient needs to do, if different colors are used, is to identify what color the nurses are wearing, and go from there. Also, it's not just for the patients benefit, but for family, and others.

It was brought up that the hospital should pay for the scrubs if they are required in a certain color. Besides the fact I think hospitals do sometimes or regularly have clothing allowances, or discounts on scrubs due to volume buying, why should that be considered fairer?

No one pays me to buy the clothes that are considered appropriate for my job.

roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Sep, 2012 11:39 am
@chai2,
Another point on aids. Some of them are very free with advice and opinions. Sometimes they are right, and sometimes they are very wrong. Their level of training and experience can be helpful in evaluating what they offer.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Sep, 2012 01:17 pm
@chai2,
I agree with all that, Chai.
Also Roger.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Sat 8 Sep, 2012 02:05 pm
Well, when I was in hospital, I could identify the nurse as a warrant officer, the apprentice nurse as an able seaman ...

Ooops, that's some decades ago.

More recently (only a few decades ago) I had had some serious discussions with who-ever-it-was-hospital-personal, because all were hiding behind green masks!

But what I really do like is, when they ask how we feel this morning ...
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Sep, 2012 02:10 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
I agree. Military uniforms are great in terms of recognizing whose who.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Sep, 2012 02:42 pm
@roger,
I guess I'll add that there can be fools throughout a hierarchical system, including approaching the top and the top, though that was not within my experience.
It's not in my profile, already too full of me-ness, but I had a long time CA license as a lab technologist, and spent the better part of those years in clinical research.
I worked a relatively short time in regular hospital labs and never in the kind of hospital where all hell breaks loose - like LA County. Almost, but didn't at the last minute.

I wasn't around a lot of fools, but I'll say they are not relegated to the category of beginners.
But I'm fine with the idea of clothing i.d.
Not sure how fine I am will the color stuff - I'd rather have it on the walls.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Sep, 2012 05:21 pm
@chai2,
I think this is a little excessive. I mean what advice are we talking about?

When I was in the hospital, I had conferences with the doctor to discuss prescriptions, treatment options and information like what I should expect and when I would be going home. In these conferences, it was pretty clear who the doctor was (even without color coding). That was the purpose of the discussion and it was very clear who was who.

The nurses gave wonderful care, gave medication and talked about pain. One nurse encouraged me to take pain medicine that I was prescribed and was balking at (I don't really like taking any medication). She was right about the need to get ahead of pain. I knew she was an RN and I suppose this was important, but more important is that she was in charge of my care for several nights and I was used to her.

The nurses aids came in to draw blood and give pills.

But my point is, the really important questions I ask the doctor, and it is obvious who your doctor is.

For important things where someones authority or training matters, I ask.

I understand that some patients find comfort in color coding, or some other clear demarcation of a healthcare workers station.

I am just saying that for me, as a patient, I find it excessive and as a worker I would find it a little counterproductive to the idea of a team providing patient care.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Sep, 2012 05:24 pm
@chai2,
Oh, and the point about pay for clothing is silly. The only number that matters is the total amount you are being paid.

If your employer reduced your pay by $500, and then gave you a $500 allowance for clothing, it wouldn't be any different than what you have now. It is just a negotiation trick.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Sep, 2012 05:42 pm
@maxdancona,
Good for you.

I would like clarity.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  3  
Reply Sat 8 Sep, 2012 06:05 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

I think this is a little excessive. I mean what advice are we talking about?

When I was in the hospital, I had conferences with the doctor to discuss prescriptions, treatment options and information like what I should expect and when I would be going home. In these conferences, it was pretty clear who the doctor was (even without color coding). That was the purpose of the discussion and it was very clear who was who.

The nurses gave wonderful care, gave medication and talked about pain. One nurse encouraged me to take pain medicine that I was prescribed and was balking at (I don't really like taking any medication). She was right about the need to get ahead of pain. I knew she was an RN and I suppose this was important, but more important is that she was in charge of my care for several nights and I was used to her.

The nurses aids came in to draw blood and give pills.

But my point is, the really important questions I ask the doctor, and it is obvious who your doctor is.

For important things where someones authority or training matters, I ask.

I understand that some patients find comfort in color coding, or some other clear demarcation of a healthcare workers station.

I am just saying that for me, as a patient, I find it excessive and as a worker I would find it a little counterproductive to the idea of a team providing patient care.



Depends on who you are, your health and mental status max.

You were apparently alert and oriented, could and could wait until your doctor came by to do rounds.

The team approach does not mean all people can do all things. A medication aide gave you your meds, because that person qualified to do that. Not all aides qualify.
The environment is very structured because it's complex, there is heavy state regulations that are definately adhered to at the risk of the hospital receiving fines, being sued, even closing down.

Just as there is a difference between the doctors and the rest of the staff, there are differences in skills at all levels.

It's wonderful that in your hospital stay you were able to communicate effectively and understand who was who at all times. It can't be assumed all patients will be that way, and if it were, the results would be at times deadly.

You do understand that many people who are hospitalized are many times in pain, confused, scared, incoherent, want to rely on others, etc etc....don't you?

I guess I don't understand how you see the idea of a nurse wearing let's say dark blue to show they are licensed is excessive. That way, when someone sticks there head in the hallway, you can immediately see if there is a nurse around.

You really don't understand what nurses do, do you?

Or rather I suspect you're once again just feigning ignorance or wanting to argue.
That said, I won't bother to try to make this clearer, as you'll just say it's too much.

Ah, for the days when a patient was given a piece of wood to bite on while his leg was being amputated.
Why the heck do things have to changed with all these complicated, excessive color codes?

I'll make a bet with anyone here. The OP was someone that doesn't want to wear that particular color or type of scrub, and was just looking for someone to say "yeah, you shouldn't have to do that if you don't want to."

I've seen that plenty of times.



 

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