According to a recent news article, Allina Health System, a Minneapolis-based hospital group, will soon enforce color-coded uniform requirements so that patients and family members can easily identify nurses from other hospital workers. Starting May 1, all RNs must wear navy scrubs, a requirement that is causing protest among many nurses in the organization. Several nurses argue that brightly colored scrubs cheer up patients and that requiring a single color eliminates autonomy. The Minnesota Nurses Association filed a grievance over the policy.
In a hospital setting where most workers wear scrubs, including nurses and specialists as well receptionists, transporters, and housekeepers, color-coded uniforms are an easy way for patients to quickly identify the people who can best assist them. Proponents of one-color uniforms also argue that it boosts the professional images of RNs. Other solutions include large name badges that identify the roles and skills of hospital workers, or training workers to introduce themselves clearly upon meeting and assisting patients.
What do you think? Do you think color-coded uniforms are helpful, or do you think it doesn’t make much difference? Do you know of any alternatives for easy identification by patients and family members?