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From Skirts to Scrubs, a Brief History of Nursing Uniforms

Each year kids all across the country proudly dress up as a nurse for Halloween. In the spirit of Halloween, we wanted to share with you a brief history of how this uniform has evolved over the years.

The nursing uniform has drastically changed over the last decade since its origination. One of the very first outfits for a nurse resembled a nun’s attire because nuns originally cared for the sick. Florence Nightingale influenced floor-length dresses with an apron and a bonnet when she integrated sanitary nursing practices in hospitals during the Crimean War of 1854.

In 1914 when World War II began, the uniform was a floor-length dress with high collars, puffy sleeves, a cape, an apron, and cuffs in order to avoid the resemblance of a servant and to establish the profession. The colors nurses wore determined rank; Nurses that wore black or dark colors were higher ranked than beginning nurses that wore light pastel colors. Additionally, nurses wore sleeves and cuffs for a few reasons: to keep them warm, to keep sleeves from dangling, and for protection from anything that could harm the skin. Aprons were also used to keep the dress clean.

World War II brought many changes for nurse uniforms. Nurses began to wear all white because white became the universal color for sterility.

Nurses wore shorter dresses, short sleeves, and wing collars to improve mobility and functionality during the war. Nurses caps were worn in order to keep the hair back from the nurse’s face. Masks and gloves became a universal necessity in order to prevent the spread of disease and illness.

In the 1960’s, feminist movements and the fashionable pant suit encouraged more practical and low-maintenance uniforms, known today as scrubs. Hospitals moved away from washing uniforms, as nurses were now responsible for their own attire. Anti-bacterial fabric technology was used in uniforms to keep nurses healthy. Nurses could say goodbye to unnecessary pantyhose and hats.

Today, nurses’ scrubs come in many different patterns and designs, especially for different holidays. Comfortability and function are valued in nursing scrubs. The future for nurses is wearable technology with functions including: fatigue sensors in clothing, eye technology for easy access to patient information, and personal assistants at nurses’ fingertips.

4 Reasons Why Employee Rounding is Important

When you have to manage over 100 employees, it can be difficult to provide personal feedback and create that personal relationship with each staff member. Employee rounding is a system that ensures clear communication and builds trust between staff and management. The goals of rounding are to create approachable management, strengthen relationships, find improvement opportunities, and show appreciation to employees. Below are four reasons why you should implement employee rounding in your hospital.

1. Increase staff engagement

Employee rounding increases staff engagement by building relationships between staff and management. Encouraging direct interaction between staff creates transparency in the organization. Creating purposeful work for employees will keep them interested in their tasks and responsibilities.

2. Increase employee satisfaction

A manager can boost morale through employee rounding to increase employee satisfaction. By providing an easy way to asses an employee, managers can spend more time talking to staff about concerns or praise. Recognizing employees that perform exceptionally is important in creating a happy culture in an organization.

3. Increase employee retention

A minor change in turnover of employees can impact your bottom line. This is why employee rounding is important to in order to keep employees in an organization. By spending time with staff through employee rounding, staff will feel valued by the company. Listening to employee’s ideas and addressing concerns will create an enthusiastic environment that employees will not want to leave.

4. Increase patient satisfaction

When managers and nurses have clear communication, ideas and improvements are easily filtered upward in order to implement change for patients. Additionally, when employees are satisfied, patients receive better attention and service.

The four reasons above outline why employee rounding is important in an organization. If you are interested in implementing employee rounding in your hospital, check out our product Alliance™, a tool to specially designed to help make your process of employee rounding more insightful and efficient.

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