Do you remember that feeling of confidence and pride entering a classroom or new job site when you were prepared? No matter what lay ahead, you felt ready! Now that you’re beginning a nursing career, here are some suggestions to help you start smart with the five clothing basics you need most. Although the old adage that “clothes make the man” should be expanded to include everyone, the principle still holds true that your dress identifies you to others as someone with knowledge and ability. More importantly, you function most effectively when your clothing is comfortable, durable, and designed for the nursing job.
In the past, women naturally cared for the weak and sick at home, while men, often monks from nearby monasteries, tended to the wounded on battlefields. Eventually, nuns came out of their convents to help where needed. In the 1800s, trained surgeons, mostly male, began wearing white to set themselves apart as professional physicians in contrast to charlatans. Females continued dressing in long-sleeved garments with aprons and restraining headwear.
1. Modern Medical Scrubs
Today colorful modern scrubs allow care providers more freedom to focus on their work. Most nursing schools and medical facilities have uniform guidelines that promote team building as well as helping patients and families distinguish their caregivers from other employees. Looking professional is a smart idea when working in the medical field.
You’ll want medical scrubs made of strong, stain-resistant fabric that won’t easily rip. Nurses always need deep reinforced pockets large enough to hold supplies. Short-sleeved tops enable you to keep your hands and arms clean, but scrub jackets are handy to have because hospitals are traditionally kept cool to promote better patient healing.
A variety of nursing pant styles are available offering elasticized waists and cuffs as well as leg pockets that are convenient without getting in the way. In some locations, it’s mandatory to wear unpatterned underwear that won’t show through when you bend down. (Patients and visitors do try to look.) But for the most part, you will not have to worry about this. Just follow your manager’s instructions and you will be lead the right way.
You can’t work with damaged feet, so be sure to invest in supportive, well-fitting shoes as part of your nursing uniform. For safety reasons, you’ll definitely want soles with good treads. Consult with experienced nurses, your own physician, and online sources for suggestions. Thick, absorbent socks and compression stockings are also beneficial. Take care of your legs and they’ll take you far.
5. Your Medical Bag
Being organized is a proven key to success, so nurses need a sturdy medical bag as much as doctors do for carrying supplies. It should be made of waterproof, washable material with a secure closure, even a lock, and space to carry a change of scrubs. A flat bottom will prevent tip-overs.
Looking professional as a nurse is a simple task, just use the skills you have learned throughout your career. There is always time for this.