Whether you have just graduated from your nursing degree or are about to move into a new role, the uniform you wear as a nurse is incredibly important. It not only protects you from potential hazards in the workplace, but also affects the way that your colleagues and patients will perceive you. The more thought and research you put into your nursing uniform, the more likely it is that you will feel comfortable, confident and successful in your work. From scrubs vs tunics to expressing your style, this guide outlines how to find the right nursing uniform for your role.
Scrubs vs Tunics
When choosing a nursing uniform, you will come across tunics and scrubs, but what is the difference? The terms are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference in the style. A tunic is a top often worn by healthcare professionals, and is like a long t-shirt that ends between the hip and knee. A standard scrub top is much like a standard V-neck t-shirt.
Both tunics and scrub tops tend to be worn with trousers made of the same fabric, which is durable and comfortable so that nurses can work long shifts. The fabric can be washed at 60ºC to ensure they are cleaned of bacteria and contaminants, and therefore provides a layer of protection for nurses.
Choosing the Right Colour
Getting scrubs in the right colour is important, as your hospital may require certain departments to wear certain colours so that they can be identified easily and quickly by colleagues and patients. Some hospitals or healthcare facilities may be less prescriptive, meaning you can choose a colour and design of your preference. You should always check with your workplace uniform guidelines before purchasing any workwear.
Choosing the Right Fit
The uniform you wear as a nurse should fit well and provide an exceptional level of comfort as you will be wearing them for long and highly physical shifts. Your uniform should not be baggy, as the fabric might get in the way; but also not too tight, as this could make your job more difficult. Your shoes should be comfortable and sensible to prevent discomfort and minimize the risk of injury.
Finding the Right Quality
Nursing uniform needs to be able to withstand a lot of wear and tear and will be washed at high temperatures, so the quality of each garment is important. You may need to pay slightly more for nursing clothing that will last longer, but in the long run this should save you money. Wearing uniform of a higher quality can also make you appear more professional to colleagues and patients.
Pockets are a simple but important part of a nurse’s uniform, as they make it much easier to keep important pieces of kit such as pens, scissors, disposable gloves, medical tape, etc. Plenty of scrubs and tunics are designed with pockets, helping nurses to be prepared at all times.
Express Your Style
If you feel confident and comfortable in your uniform, you will be more likely to perform at your best. If you are allowed to, you might want to choose some accessories that hint at your own personal style, such as coloured lanyards or patterned fob watches. Once again, you should always check these are permitted by your employer.
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