Dressing in the right attire is important if you’re working in the healthcare industry. Whether you’re a doctor, nurse, dentist or carer for the elderly and disabled, your appearance matters. It’s one way of reassuring your patients that they’re in capable and professional hands. Different healthcare settings have their own dress code and aligning with it will ensure you’re wearing the proper uniform to benefit you in the task at hand, while also looking professional.
The healthcare dress code is designed to meet the needs of both the wearer and the people they’re caring for whether it’s nurses’ shirts or surgical greens, medical scrubs or the white coat. Read on to find out why dressing right as a healthcare professional is essential and how you can look smart while staying comfortable on the job.
6 Reasons to Dress Right as a Healthcare Professional
1. Reassuring the Patient
Numerous studies indicate the importance of doctors wearing the traditional white coat in the medical setting. While the white coat wasn’t always a vital part of the doctor’s dress code, patients did prefer physicians who were identifiable as medical professionals. Patients feel more comfortable around medical professionals who dress in clothing associated with the healthcare industry.
Building a trusting patient-doctor relationship is vital. While white coats may not be necessary to create a rapport, medical professionals should take extra care in how they dress when working with patients. The same applies to healthcare workers such as nurses, carers and those in the dentistry practices.
2. Promotes Good Hygiene
Dressing in the right healthcare worker attire when working in the medical setting helps to promote good hygiene. Wearing uniforms designed for healthcare workers ensures your attire meets the health and safety legislation of this industry. This use of clean, functional healthcare uniforms help to prevent and control infection.
Professionals working in higher-risk settings, such as spaces where they treat highly infectious patients, should wear healthcare uniforms that can withstand commercial laundering processes. Medical scrubs are most commonly used in these settings and made with materials designed to handle high temperatures when being washed.
3. Allows for Unrestricted Movement
Freedom of movement is important for those working with ill or disabled patients. Wearing comfortable clothing allows healthcare professionals to move and handle their patients unhindered while performing their tasks efficiently. Nurses also need to be able to check vital signs and perform other tasks without being uncomfortable because of tight or ill-fitting clothes.
Materials such as elastane fabric allow for more stretch without the uniform becoming sloppy. Stylish designs also factor in the need for arm and leg movement while still giving the appearance of being neat and professional.
Wearing the right uniform helps to identify the healthcare worker’s role in the medical setting. This is especially important in the hospital environment for identifying different departments and the workers’ roles. Patients are also more reassured if they can identify a healthcare professional when staying in hospital or visiting a clinic.
A healthcare facility may use medical scrubs in different colours and patterns to help identify different departments. Some general examples:
- ICU nurses are usually required to wear formal attire compared to those staff working in general wards.
- Pediatric nurses have more flexibility in wearing bright, patterned shirts which appeals to their younger patients.
- Doctors may opt to wear white coats as a form of identification when performing hospital rounds.
5. Better Work Productivity
Uniforms cultivate a sense of inclusivity in the workplace and this applies to the healthcare sector as well. Whether you’re running a private practice or managing a healthcare facility, it’s essential that all workers feel they play a vital role. And, dressing them in uniform gives them the sense of being part of a team.
Happy workers equal better productivity in the workplace. And, if your healthcare workers are content, knowing they’re working in an environment that cares for their wellbeing as well, you’re likely to have happier patients too!
6. Protects Healthcare Workers From Unsolicited Comments
Another good reason for dressing healthcare workers in uniforms is to protect them from unsolicited comments from patients and colleagues. Healthcare uniforms are designed to make the wearer look professional while on the job. While modern-day workwear has become more stylish, the designs still steer clear of features such as low-cut necklines, tightness across the chest or buttocks and too-short skirts!
Supplying uniforms also prevents employees from dressing inappropriately in the workplace which could also lead to provocative comments from either patients or colleagues. Both the employee and the healthcare facility are protected by dress code policies which clearly state what should be worn when on duty.
There are numerous reasons for dressing correctly as a healthcare professional. Uniforms uphold the medical professional’s reputation with their patients. Proper infection control and prevention is more likely when the right healthcare workwear is worn. Wearing clothing designed for the healthcare sector allows the wearer to work unrestricted while caring for their patients.
Dressing right in the healthcare sector also allows for better identification in a busy hospital setting while protecting the wearer from harassment. All of this, simply by putting on the correct outfit each morning!