Nursing Uniform Code Rules Essay

Nursing Uniform Code Rules Essay

Dress codes are standard practice in many professions. In nursing, however, how nurses dress can influence patient care and satisfaction. Since insurance reimbursements now rely heavily on quality-of-care metrics, dress codes matter more than ever. Nursing administrators are often responsible for determining appropriate dress codes for their staff, so students completing a Master of Science in Nursing Administration (MSN) program can expect to examine this topic.Nursing Uniform Code Rules Essay


History of The Dress Code
One of the most important reasons for a dress code is to establish professionalism. Nurses must represent their employers in a positive light — their appearance is an important part of this responsibility. In the past, dress codes for nurses were strict and often included a uniform skirt, nursing cap, hose and plain shoes — typically white.

Uniformity gave way to individuality over the years as scrubs, in a variety of patterns and colors, replaced traditional attire. Colorful sneakers and clogs replaced white nursing shoes and hose, and nurses could finally express themselves a bit more.

Patient Perception
In 2014, Geisinger Medical Center in Pennsylvania surveyed patients about nursing attire. Fifty-seven percent of patients felt it was challenging to distinguish licensed nurses from licensed practical nurses or nursing assistants. Seventy-four percent of respondents believed that nurses wearing identical uniforms communicated more professionalism. Fifty-nine percent of patients preferred solid-color scrubs — 95 percent ranked navy as the most professional.Nursing Uniform Code Rules Essay

Other studies support these results. When asked to rate the professionalism of a nurse based solely on a series of pictures, respondents preferred a standard uniform style and color. Further research indicates that patients view nurses wearing solid-colored scrubs as more skilled than those wearing patterns.

Beyond Scrubs
Nursing dress codes go beyond scrubs and shoes. Piercings, tattoos and jewelry can be distracting for patients. Even personal preferences like hair, makeup and perfume can affect how patients regard nurses and the quality of care they receive. For example, when shown images of a nurse with visible tattoos or piercings, patients rated the nurse on the lowest end of the scale in terms of knowledge, aptitude and compassion — regardless of the nurse’s gender. Patient perceptions like these can make it difficult for nurses to establish trust with their patients.

In response, many employers have revised their dress codes to include additional guidelines regarding body art and uniforms. Some have designated specific scrubs for licensed nurses, based on the nurses’ specialties. Geisinger Medical Center now requires licensed nurses to wear gray and white scrubs bearing the facility’s logo and “registered nurse.”Nursing Uniform Code Rules Essay

Dress Codes Matter
While something as simple as a dress code may seem trivial, it can have a significant effect on how patients perceive the quality of care. Misperceptions can even hinder nurses’ ability to establish trust with their patients. A standardized nursing dress code can improve nurse-patient interactions and increase patient satisfaction.

1. Policy Summary
The personal appearance and attire of the Nursing and
Midwifery professionals can impact on the safety provided to
clients as well as the public perception of the quality of services
provided and professionalism at large. Therefore all nursing
and midwifery personnel working with patients/clients and/or
patients’/clients’ families or/and in public areas are expected to
dress in a professional manner.
This policy provides direction as well as guidance about
the standards of dress code required for nursing and Midwifery
personnel working within the National Health Sector.
It is primarily the responsibility of all nursing and midwifery
personnel to comply with this policy and procedure and the
responsibility of line managers to enforce adherence to this
Failure to follow the requirements set out in this policy and
procedure may lead to investigation and may result in disciplinary
2. The Objectives
2.1 Client and Staff Safety: To ensure that nurses’ and
midwives’ uniforms and work attire facilitate good practice and
minimise any risk to clients and staff. Nothing should be worn
that could impede effective hand hygiene or /and compromise
clients or staff safety.Nursing Uniform Code Rules Essay
2.2 Professional Image and Public Confidence: To ensure
a professional image which projects competency, inspires
confidence and communicates respect to patients/clients, coworkers and the public.
2.3 Identification: To provide “security through an
employee identification system and/or a cue for recognition of
staff members’ name and designation”.
2.4 Staff Comfort: To ensure nursing and midwifery
personnel comfort and safety at place of work.
2.5 Equality and Diversity: To ensure that each and every
nursing and midwifery personnel is treated equally and that
religious and cultural practices are respected as long as the safety
of patients/clients, staff and general public are not compromised.
2.6 Uniformity Across all Entities: To put forward a
standardised policy that is agreed upon and followed across all
entities within the Public Health Sector.
3.  Definitions
Clinical environment – any area in which care is delivered
to a patient/client. This includes areas such as wards, operating
theatres, critical care units, Delivery Suite, outpatients, ambulatory
clinics, community, home based setting etc.
Professional Image – The set of qualities and
characteristics that represent perception of nurses’ / midwives’
competence and character as judged by others.
4. Personal Hygiene and Professional Appearance
4.1 All nursing and midwifery personnel should reflect a
high standard of cleanliness and hygiene at all times.
4.2 The uniform should be neatly pressed.
4.3 If a nursing or midwifery personnel accidentally
damages or permanently stains any item of uniform during
their course of work, they must inform their managers so that
arrangements can be made for a replacement.
4.4 Chewing gum is not permitted while on duty.
4.5 Language used during the course of work should be
polite and professional in nature. No profanity or vulgar slang is
permitted.Nursing Uniform Code Rules Essay
4.6 Nursing and Midwifery personnel should appear the
same within their uniform group and therefore uniforms should
not be personalised.
4.7 Nursing and Midwifery personnel should not socialise
outside the workplace or undertake social activities such as
shopping, personal festivities or errands unrelated to work while
wearing the uniform.
5. Infection Control and Patient Safety
5.1 Infection prevention and control as well as safety
should be of highest priority guiding all the care, procedures and
decisions taken during the course of work.
5.1.1 Bare below the elbow: This policy aims to
ensure that all nursing and midwifery personnel have their
hands and arms up to the elbow / mid forearm exposed
and free from clothing / jewellery so as to facilitate
hand hygiene regularly and thoroughly to limit spread of
5.1.2 Approved cardigans may be worn, but must
be removed when attending to a patient.
5.1.3 Clothes that become contaminated with body
fluids must be changed at the first opportunity and must
not pose a risk for spread of infection.
5.2 Personal Protective Equipment
5.2.1 Disposable plastic aprons must be worn
when assisting patients with bathing, toileting or any other
activity or procedure where contamination with body
fluids is possible both inside the hospital premises as well
as in the community.
5.2.2 The use of other protective clothing such as
aprons, goggles, visors etc should be worn following an
assessment of the risk of transmission of microorganisms
to the patients and/ or health care professionals and in
accordance with infection control and Health and Safety
policies.Nursing Uniform Code Rules Essay

5.2.3 Personal protective equipment should be discarded
appropriately and hands immediately washed thoroughly
using soap and water or decontaminated using alcohol gel.
5.3 Operating Theatres
5.3.1 Nursing and midwifery personnel working
in operating theatres should abide with this policy and
are responsible to strictly follow the Standard Operating
Procedure for proper Dress code and Traffic within
Operating Theatres.
5.3.2 Surgical attire and shoes used in theatres are
to be solely used for this purpose within the theatre suite.
6. Shoes:
6.1 The shoes provided by the Ministry for Health which
conform to Health and Safety Standards must be worn at all times
and kept clean.
6.2 Theatre footwear must be regularly decontaminated
in line with theatre guidelines.
7. Socks
7.1 White or black socks are to be worn with the uniforms.
8. Hair
8.1 Hair must be clean and neat in appearance and worn
in a professional manner to respect infection control and safe
work practices.
8.2 Nursing and midwifery personnel with direct patient/
client contact must secure their hair off the shoulder and away
from the face so it does not contact the client and interfere with
client care.
8.3 With the exception of theatre staff, headwear should
not be worn unless it forms part of religious attire.
8.4 Facial hair such as beards and sideburns must be
neat, clean and well trimmed and must not present a bushy or
uncombed appearance.
9. Nails
9.1 Fingernails should be clean and in length that does
not interfere with work (not protruding beyond fingertip) and in
line with infection control and safe work practices.
9.2 Nail polish, artificial/ gellish nails are not acceptable
in the clinical area as they harbour bacteria, especially if they
contain artificial materials.Nursing Uniform Code Rules Essay
10. Cosmetics and Perfume/Cologne
10.1 All nursing and midwifery personnel may use
moderate make-up, perfume, colognes and/or shaving lotions.
11. Jewellery
11.1 In the clinical setting only a plain ring is allowed on
the hands. Wrist watches or any other jewellery should not be
worn as they increase bacterial contamination which can be
transferred to hands.
11.2 Earrings should be small and studs. Only one pair of
earrings is permitted.
11.3 Body piercing jewellery is not appropriate to the
work setting; hence it should not be visible.
12. Body Art
12.1 Nursing and midwifery personnel should take into
consideration the public’s expectations and aesthetic impact with
regards to professional image in the workplace when considering
getting a tattoo.
13. Use of Mobile/ Smart Phones
13.1 Personal phones should be kept on silent at all times
in the clinical area.
13.2 Frequency and duration of personal calls should be
kept to the minimum at the workplace. During patient care, calls
should not be undertaken except in specific emergencies.
13.3 Hands must be decontaminated before and after
phone use and the phone should be decontaminated on a
frequent basis using the appropriate disinfection wipe as per
manufacturer instructions.
13.4 The personal phone should never be used to take
photos in the workplace except in special circumstances (ex
wound care) and following acquisition of consent and permission.
13.5 Social networking/media such as but not limited
to Facetime, Facebook and Twitter should not be accessed for
personal purposes during the working hours.
14. Accessories
14.1 Any pens, scissors, torches should not be carried out
in outside breast pockets. They may cause injury and discomfort
to patients during care activity; therefore they should be carried
inside clothing, in hip pockets or pencil cases.
15.  Identification Badges
15.1 Every employee is issued with a personal identification
card. This card is to be worn at all times whilst on duty or when
representing the hospital/ department and must be displayed on
the front portion of the outer garment, clearly visible and not
obscured in any way. Nursing Uniform Code Rules Essay
15.2 Retractable badge holders are recommended.
15.3 In specific cases when working with high risks groups,
identification badges are to removed during patient contact so
as to prevent any injury to the patient or/and staff.
16. Students
16.1 Students during their training placements are
expected to wear the uniform approved by the Faculty of Health
Sciences and or other approved educational entities and to follow
relevant provisions of this policy.
17 Equality
17.1 The Ministry for Health together with the Ministry for
the Family and Social Solidarity embrace the values of equality
and diversity.
17.2 This policy also aims to adhere to these principles
and to meet requirements of cultural and religious wear as long
as these conform to the health, safety, security regulations and
infection control principles.
17.3 The wearing of turbans, hijabs, kipphas and clerical
collars arising from particular religious or/and cultural norms are
seen as part of welcoming diversity, however it should respect
the uniform colour scheme.
18 Non Uniformed Staff
18.1 There are certain areas where nursing and midwifery
staff is not required to wear a uniform (Appendix 1) for a myriad
of reasons. However they still have the responsibility to dress in a
manner which is presentable and smart in appearance to inspire
public confidence as well as in adherence to infection control and
health and safety principles and policies.
18.2 Dress should enhance the dignity of the wearer and
respect those that come in contact with, therefore the following
attire is not permitted,
• Halter or low-cut tops and dresses
• Tops and dresses with straps for female staff
• Sleeveless tops, singlet or tank tops should not be worn
for male staff
• Torn and/or low hipster jeans
• Short shorts
• Mini skirts
• Faded, bleached, torn or patched clothing
• Clothing with adverts, logos, images and/or written
statements  Nursing Uniform Code Rules Essay
• No revealing clothing may be worn
19. Attire when attending activities on behalf of the service
19.1 When attending training courses, seminars, etc under
the auspices of the Hospital/ department or when representing
the Hospital/ department at meetings, it is expected that all staff
will dress appropriately in order to project a professional image
for oneself and for the Health Care Sector.
20. Responsibility
20.1 All staff is encouraged to draw the attention of
whoever does not adhere to this policy.
20.2 All line managers who observe breaches of Uniform
and Dress code policy are expected to address this with the
individual concerned.
20.3 The Hospital / Entity Management shall be
responsible for ensuring the provision and coordination of
sufficient uniform supplies.
The Chief Nursing/Midwifery Managers and/or Senior
Nurse/Midwifery Managers and/or Administrators shall ensure
compliance with this policy, undertake regular monitoring via
spot checks and/or audit activities and take appropriate and
reasonable actions in cases where the policy is breached.
21. Adherence to Policy
21.1 The need for any variation should be discussed with
the Chief Nursing/Midwifery Managers and/or Senior Nurse/
Midwifery Managers for further discussions and approval.
21.2 The special needs of pregnant staff or people with
disabilities should be assessed and advice obtained from the
Occupational Health Service/ Nurse.
21.3 Failure of any nursing and midwifery personnel to
adhere to the regulations without any valid reason as outlined
herein may lead to disciplinary action.
22. Distribution
This policy shall be disseminated to all nursing and
midwifery personnel and subsequently with the distribution of
the new uniforms and/or to all recruits.Nursing Uniform Code Rules Essay


23. Revision
It is the responsibility of the Nursing Services Directorate
to initiate any revisions to this policy every 2 years.
Appendix 1:
The official colour of uniforms for nurses and midwives
working in government hospitals and homes for the elderly are
as follows:
Profession Uniform colour
Enrolled Nurses
Senior staff nurses /
Staff Nurses
Deputy Charge Nurses
Charge Nurses
Senior staff midwives /
Deputy charge Midwives
Charge Midwives
Practice Nurses /
Light green tunic and white trousers
Light blue tunic and white trousers
Blue tunic and white trousers
Royal Blue tunic and white trousers
Turquoise tunic and trousers
Turquoise tunic with yellow piping and
turquoise trousers
Turquoise tunic with white piping and
turquoise trousers
Purple (Females)/ Blue (Males) tunic
and blue trousers
The official uniform for nurses and midwives working in
Health Centres and ambulatory care settings:
Profession Uniform colour
Enrolled Nurses
Senior staff nurses /
Staff Nurses
Deputy Charge Nurses
Charge Nurses
Charge Midwives
Practice Nurses
Green very small check with darker
horizontal lines shirt/ tunic and bottle
green trousers/ skirt. (White polo shirt
in summer)
Blue very small check with darker
horizontal lines shirt/ tunic and navy
blue trousers/ skirt (White polo shirt in
summer)Nursing Uniform Code Rules Essay
Sky Blue with white pin stripes shirt/
tunic and navy blue trousers/skirt
(White polo shirt in summer)
Navy Blue with white pin stripes shirts/
tunics and navy blue trousers/skirt
(White polo shirt in summer)
Dark Lilac very small check with darker
horizontal lines shirt /tunic and navy
blue trousers /skirt (White polo shirt in
Light Pink with grey pin stripes shirt
/tunic and navy blue trousers/ skirt
(White polo shirt in summer)
Units where uniform is not worn include:
Parent Craft Mater Dei Hospital
Hostel, Half Way House
Rehabilitation Unit,
community mental health
outreach and YPU
Mount Carmel Hospital

When it comes to dress code, every individual has a different viewpoint for its implementation. There are clothes that could be fashionable to one person but seen as offensive to another. A dress code can be justifiable when put into a situation that really does require certain attire to be worn. It gives a sense of formality and distinguishes an individual apart from a group. This report seeks to compare and contrast the characteristics of school dress codes with that of dress codes in the workplace.
We form first impressions and overall judgments about people by the way one dresses. In the workplace, depending on what industry or company it is, employee dress code can differ based on the situation. Those who work at a banking institution are generally required to dress in “suit and tie” or at least business casual. In such workplaces, it is often required to abide by strict policies such as having to cover up tattoos and piercings whilst at the workplace. The dress code is set because the appearance of an employee reflects the company and its values. Thus when dealing with the public, other employees and in all other business relationships, it is important to conduct oneself in a courteous and respectful manner, which also entails dressing appropriately.Nursing Uniform Code Rules Essay

The first impression is a lasting impression whether it is at the office, a party, a lunch date or an interview. What you wear to these events can be either a positive impression or a negative one. That is why I think it is very necessary to have a professional dress code in the workplace if your place of employment is that of a professional setting such as a bank or even an insurance company. If the professionalism does not show on what the employees are wearing, how are their customers going to accept that they are professionals at what they do. The business could lose the credibility of how they handle their business. Nowadays,…show more content…
The way an employee dresses up for work can impact on how a person perceives that employee. It can hold a positive or negative impact depending on where they work. You don’t expect to find a personal banker dressed in skinny jeans, a bright pink polo shirt, and tennis shoes. You expect for them to be wearing a suit with a tie, polished shoes and be nicely groomed. By dressing in this fashion, you can see that the employee is committed to his job and place of employment and that they are responsible. By dressing otherwise, they would seem irresponsible and need their parent to dress them up. It also shows how they manage their time wisely. They took their time to iron their clothes and got them ready for the day. If not, they would look like they just crawled out of bed and had no time to get themselves ready. It also reflects on their organizational skills because they are able to tailor the look together and they get it ready for the start of their business day, which can also show how competent they are in getting themselves ready.Nursing Uniform Code Rules Essay  The competence doesn’t stop there, it can also affect on how people see how competent they are at doing their job. If they are not capable of getting themselves dressed appropriately, how efficient are they at doing their job? It can also lead to how serious they take their job. If they don’t care for how they dress to work, how serious are

When patients are admitted to hospitals, they believe they will receive the best possible
treatment. Yet, health care personnel are often trying to protect their patients from nosocomial
infections before the original ailment can be addressed. Hospital employees have been battling
germs for centuries, though today the battle is more difficult due to antibiotic resistance. In
September of 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that at
least two million Americans develop infections from antibiotic-resistant bacteria every year and
at least 23,000 of those individuals die from those infections. The report identified seventeen
different drug-resistant bacteria and one fungus that attributed to these infections and fatalities
(Tavernise, 2013). Between 2001 and 2010 the number of Clostridium difficile (C-Diff)
infections in the United States nearly doubled with no indication of future decline; more patients Nursing Uniform Code Rules Essay
are also dying from C-diff as a secondary infection (Brunk, 2013). With these new threats, the
prevention of these infections in the hospital and community is essential. The CDC (2013) has
reported that invasive hospital- acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
incidence has decreased but community-acquired MRSA infections has shown no decline. In
fact, for the first time in history, the incidence of community-acquired MRSA infections actually
surpassed the incidence of nosocomial MRSA infections (Tavernise, 2013).
Nurses and assistive personnel experience the closest proximity to these patients while
spending much of their time trying to reduce the risk of infection. So why would those who work
so hard to prevent nosocomial infections pose a community health risk? Hospital personnel are
frequently seen in public in their “scrubs,” the accepted “uniform” for clinical settings. They lean
over produce while grocery shopping, eat in restaurants, visit non-clinical areas of the hospital,
carry their children to and from daycare centers and schools, and even eat lunch off campus and
then return to the hospital (Belkin, 2001). During these activities, the public, including children
and the elderly, are exposed to contaminated clothing that poses an infection risk. Even uniforms
perceived as clean will inevitably become tainted by skin secretions and environmental microbial
contaminants in a clinical setting (Loveday, Wilson, Hoffman, & Pratt, 2007).
Currently a world-wide effort is underway in the health care industry to increase hand
hygiene for the benefits of both patients and hospital staff (Munoz-Price, Arheart, Lubarsky, &
Birnbach, 2013). Yet, the possibility of re-contaminating health care workers’ hands from the
microbial contamination on uniforms has implied that hand hygiene practices may be insufficient
(Munoz-Price et al., 2012). It is common human behavior to wipe the hands on clothing.
Combine that practice with the added requirement for nurses to have pens, tape, Band-Aids, IV Nursing Uniform Code Rules Essay
supplies and other valuable equipment in their pockets at all times, nurses are inevitably touching
their uniforms with their hands. These practices could indicate that hand hygiene practices are
insufficient if nurses are repeatedly contaminating their hands via their clothing and subsequently
increasing the risk of nosocomial infections through direct hand to patient contact. This issue
was first introduced by a British nursing researcher, Irene Callaghan, in 1998. (Callaghan, 1998)
Yet another issue is the way scrubs are laundered by employees at home. Surgical and
obstetrical scrubs have historically been laundered at the hospital. In the past few decades, it is
common for hospital staff on other units to launder their own uniforms at home. The availability
of laundry facilities at the worksite have decreased as hospitals have eliminated this service in
order to save money (Harrison, 2006). It is also rare for health care facilities to provide changing
areas, laundering services, or hospital-issued uniforms for staff members (Wilson, Loveday,
Hoffman, & Pratt, 2007). Hospital laundry services are rarely offered to nursing staff even
though an in house laundry could reduce the accidental spread of infectious agents, guarantee
compliance with hygiene standards, and save staff the cost of washing their attire at home
(Justice, Jeffs, Tanton, & Tantam, 2010). Similar to changing facilities, these practices have
fallen out of favor because of the cost and space required in hospitals (Nye, Leggett, &
Watterson, 2005). Although hospitals save money when nurses launder their uniforms at home,
they may be spreading infections through the community resulting in more admissions.  Nursing Uniform Code Rules Essay