Friday, September 17, 2010

Wearing White

Several days ago,while getting ready to dress for work,I pulled out what was my last pair of pants and of course they were my white ones.
Having nothing else to wear I decided to wear them and try not to get them to dirty while doing my med pass and working with my patients.
When I went to nursing school my uniform consisted of white pants,a blue and white pin striped short sleeve shirt with insignia on the sleeve and a white vest.
We wore these every clinical day at hospitals and special occasions.
The day I graduated from nursing school I wore an all white dress,white nylons,white shoes and a nursing cap.
My husband,being Mr.comedian,said "you look like Nurse Ratchet."
The guest speaker at the event said "from this day forward you will forever be know as and called a nurse,wear your colors proudly."
When I first started to work has a floor nurse I tried never to wear white,for some reason its a magnet color, and everyone who comes to you expects you to know everything,silly people.Being new I was having none of that.
So it was a very long time,probably a year,before I decided to buy my first pair of white pants.
Two days ago I donned my white clothes and went to work.
Once there I had to go down to unit 1 to type up some things,since my computer was being difficult.
Has I sat at the desk one of the other nurse's said "wow you look good sitting there,you should come to our floor more often."
To which I said "thanks but no thanks I got enough work on my own floor,find another poster girl."
There is just something about the color white that people are drawn to.
It does look good, when your the one not wearing it,and for most people a health care person in white seems much more like a calm port in a tempest of pain or sorrow.They feel they can put their trust and body in your hands and you will not wrong them,kind of like a priest in his black garment,there is a trust factor at play.
The problem with this color,when your the wearer,is you spend a good part of your time trying to keep it clean constantly wiping things off of it so it doesn't set in permanently.
It can also be costly.Once you've stained or discolored a uniform it's pretty much ruined.Trust me there is nothing worse looking then off colored whites,just ask any sailor.
But you know,between you and me, I must admit sometimes I wish we had certain days when we did dress in full uniform,including our caps.
It would be rather nice to see the reactions of patients and families when they walked in and saw us,they would be pleasantly shocked to see us as real nurses.
Every now and then it would be nice to be reminded that we are professionals and have a long impressive history behind us belonging to a person hood of loving,feeling healers and care takers.
Lets face it Florence Nightingale and Clara Barton left some pretty big footprints for the rest of us to fill.
But everyday we work hard and do the best we can wheather we're dressed in white or not.

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