So the nurses have their scrubs in a twist over a new rule requiring them to wear white uniforms — actually just white tops, they can wear whatever pants or skirts they wish. The nurses have plenty of excuses: the white is too translucent, it doesn’t look good with blood, yada yada yada.
However, the articles I’ve read don’t mention that the nurses had threatened to strike late last year over salary and benefits. I think the uniform rule is management payback for their employees’ uppityness.
A Lenox Hill spokesman said, “Unless you work in a hospital, most people cannot distinguish these people [respiratory therapists, physician’s assistants, nurse managers, assistant nurses, patient care associates and others] from one another. The bright white top will make it easier for patients to identify who the nurse is.”
I’ve spent all too much time in hospitals and the one thing I never had trouble identifying was the nurses. You see the nurses all the time. Most of them identify themselves at the start of their shift, they bring your meds, take you to the john, clean you up, take your blood pressure, stick needles into you, tell you when you’re about to be discharged and wake you up at ungodly hours for “procedures.”
Doctors are not so clear. Who’s in charge of my care, anyway? Is it the intern, resident, chief resident, or attending physician? What happened to the doc who had me admitted — what’s his role? I have questions about this new pill — can I ask the doctor? — oh, he’s not in on weekends?
One hospital I was at had a “hospitalist” who was supposed to be in charge of the patient’s care. His or her name was on the white board in the patient’s room, but the hospitalist was never available to answer questions.
I know of another hospital with sophisticated medical “teams,” but the teams don’t talk to one another and the meds they prescribe don’t get written down on the patient charts for the nurses to administer.
I’m sure everything would work better if those overworked nurses were wearing white tops.