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Departments Adopt Best Practice on Scrubs

Date:  July 19th, 2012

Contact/Phone:  Mary Muhlbradt
(701)857-5116, Fax: (701)857-5683

e-mail:   Mary Muhlbradt

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Trinity Hospital staff used to resemble a colorful mosaic, with scrub wear of every hue, print and pattern.  But starting July 1st nurses, therapists and other health professionals across most of Trinity's care system have adopted a more harmonized appearance.

The harmony is the result of a new policy on clinical attire that establishes uniformity in the color of scrubs for various departments.  Under the policy, RNs and LPNs wear grey; certified nursing assistants, royal blue; lab phlebotomists, navy blue; x-ray techs, chocolate brown, radiation therapists, black; and neurodiagnostic staff, eggplant.  Clinic staff have also adopted uniform color schemes.

Jennifer Henjum chairs the Nursing Culture Council, which recommended the policy.  She says the new dress code is in synch with national trends and based on patient survey data that shows patient satisfaction scores tend to go up when uniform dress codes are adopted.  "It's evidence-based," she noted.  "Current literature indicates patients prefer to see nursing staff wearing the same color."

Dress code changes can be difficult, which is why the Culture Council took many months to adopt the change and provided opportunity for input.  "The Council has representatives from all the units," Jennifer explained.  "They brought forward their suggestions, and we narrowed them down to five.  Then we held a fashion show (in late November) and saw the scrubs modeled.  That was followed by a vote so everyone could choose their favorite color."

"This will be like any other change," Henjum concluded.  "It'll be hard at first, but it's based on best practice - it's the way healthcare is going.  The literature shows that patients prefer this, and that's why we're here, that's why we all become nurses." SPACE index.php