Thursday, August 04, 2005

Who thinks this shit up, anyway?

No, this is--for once--not about management.

It's about those damned catalogs. You know the ones I mean: they sell cute, springy, witty scrubs and adorable dingle-dangles from which to hang your name tag, and lanyards with the Cause Du Jour printed on them, and so on.

Let me tell you what I do not need. I do not need microfiber scrubs with the look and feel of silk, especially not when they're leopard-print or tiger-striped. Unless there's some branch of nursing that involves no contact whatsoever with bodily fluids, and in which tacky is a good thing, *nobody* needs those.

I do not need genuine gemstone pins that remind me to allow miracles, keep hope alive, live strong, that I'm "special" (yeah, short-bus speshul), that we're all supporting a cure, or that I've parked my car on the third level in section C. Actually, come to think of it, that last might be useful.

I do not need cute plush animals to hang from my stethoscope and hold my name badge. That's just a bad idea all 'round.

I do not need totebags that tell others that I heart nursing, that nurses rock, that nursing is my bag, or that nurses care. I don't, we do occasionally, it's not, and we frankly could, but less.

I do not need shoes that have "just a little bit" of heel. Especially not when they're clog-style with a backstrap. I am here to keep my patients alive, not look fashionable and catch a doctor. Or look fashionable and turn an ankle, which is much more likely to happen.

Needless to say, I do not need anything with kittens or puppies on it. Take it away.

Nor do I need hipster, flare-leg, or capri (!!!)-cut scrub pants.

I don't need a "genuine acrylic" (huh?) stethoscope with a magnified smiley-face under the head. I don't get how those things are supposed to work. They'd make good weapons.

Dora the Explorer, Sponge Bob, and Scooby scrubs are not for me. I understand that those in Pediatrics might find a use for 'em, but is the ratio of Peds nurses so large that we really need four pages of the damned things?

Nor are seasonally-themed prints. Again, some folks like 'em. I'll keep my sushi-print tops, thanks.

I'll tell you what I *DO* need, kiddies: Decent shoes that don't cost $200 a pop and actually fit my crippled, bunioned Size Nines. Scrubs that I can wash on boil and dry on broil without having the elastic shrink on the pants so that I'm cut in half. I need jackets without knit cuffs--ones that end just at the hip and swing freely, so that they look a bit more like a blazer and less like a lump of dough. I need another stethoscope and a fifty-percent discount on the Hickey neuroscience text.

And a massage and a pedicure and maybe a personal trainer. If you can find me a nursing catalog that offers those, I'm in.


Anonymous said...

I don't need any more crap telling me that I'm an angel because I'm a nurse! And what nurse would be proud to be compared to Betty Boop?

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

shrimplate said...

In my very 1st moment of on-the-unit orientation at my very 1st hospital RN job, my preceptor (to whom I had just been introduced,) was taking "Nurses Do It With Care" buttons out of a basket one-by-one. It was national nurses week or something.

Meticulously, he was taping over some of the words and writing "Nurses Can Bl@w Me" on the dozens of individual buttons originally placed there by management in an effort to support and maintain staff morale. Whatever. Then he put each thusly-corrected button back in the basket.

My 1st thought was "I'll feel right at home here." I really enjoyed working with those folks. One of the best teams I ever worked with, very low B.S. factor, and we all wore plain scrubs, simple running shoes, and had plain black Littmans.

Vixen said...

Very well said. I never glance through those catalogs anymore, they are just soooo annoying.

Judy said...

Some catalogs have MORE than 4 pages of pedi prints -- and some of my co-workers have all of them.

I have puppies (courtesy of my kids), Finding Nemo (ditto), and a couple of other cutesy things. I work in the NICU. Most of us dress pretty funny, but the babies don't mind.

The solution to boiling scrubs without ruining the elastic is drawstring waist. PIA, but better than dead elastic.

HypnoKitten said...

I am right there with you on that! I work where we're all color-coded (CNA=ceil, RN=royal, RT=navy etc) and I think it's about the smartest thing they could do. Although I've seen tasteful patterns that I can appreciate, I really hate the goofy-looking so-unprofessional cartoon look on anyone trying to pass themselves off and be taken as a serious professional. Yes, I'm all in favor of changing the buttons to say something inappropriate, and I'll be the first one to crack a joke that might not be in good taste in the back room, but out there I want to look like I've got it together. I don't see how you can do that in hot pink capris, a girlie-tee and a scooby doo steth.

I also like the fact that when I am in another unit I can tell who's who and don't have to wander looking for help or answers. There's no question about who does what and patients don't confuse housekeepers with nurses.

Kit said...

Ugh, printed scrubs...I have a nightmare that someday I will be executed by hanging and they'll use Scooby Doo scrubs for the rope.

And I have yet to ever figure out whose bloody stupid idea it was to have WHITE scrub pants? White scrubs at all, even! We are dealing with the 4 Ps, those whites won't stay white for a week. And all the underwear just shines through. Disgusting.

Amen to you, woman. Totally.

UnsinkableMB said...

I am happy that I will be working in the OR where I am required to wear the hospital scrubs! However, if I did have a choice, I would follow the Keep It Simple Stupid rule of thumb... Or is it Keep It Simple or You'll Look Stupid rule of thumb??? :)

Anonymous said...

I work in two ICUs where the patients aren't even usually conscious enough to see my scrubs, so I wear those plain cotton-poly blend Fashion Seal scrubs. Honestly, the damned things are the most comfortable scrubs I've ever worn and cheaper than all of those expensive ugly printed scrubs. As for shoes, I go with Danskos (that, thankfully, I only have to pay ~$70-$80 a pair for); they're like butter on your feet... only without the slippage and greasy feel.

Anonymous said...

Ha! I like your style!

I agree with everything you said. Except for the puppies. Because anytime is the right time for puppies. ;)

Anonymous said...

Does this mean I need to send back the microfiber silk-feel flare-leg hipster scrubs with pink ribbons and kitten heads with Santa Claus hats on a background of zebra stripes that I bought you for Christmas?

Anonymous said...

If it ain't a solid color, it doesn't belong in the hosptial. I think prints on scrubs is disgusting. My hospital has the "as long as it's scrubs it's uniform" policy, and I think our staff looks like a nursing catalog come to life. It's horrid! But you know....those flare cut pants DO make my ass look more proportional....

The new Third Degree Nurse said...

Amen, amen, amen.

I'm a believer in the "uniform" policy. Solid colors, coded for unit or class of staff. How do we expect drugged out patients in pain to know who's who and who does what?

And if you can recommend a decent pair of shoes that I can run in, please do.

Anonymous said...

I have been a nurse for 20 yrs., have seen lots of changes and all I have to say is " you must be a very boring person and I feel very sorry for you and those around you!!! I bet you still wear starched whites and the hats!! I too work in an ICU--Cardiac Surgery none the less!!-- and I must say when the patients wake up, and even when they are still on a vent, they respond positively to colorful, printed tops to include CAT FACES WITH SANTA HATS!!!!!!!!

Jo said...

Ooooo, Anon. I should probably point out the couple of lines about *sushi print scrubs*.

Although I haven't worn those in a while; I've moved on to scrubs that say "BOWL FOR HEALTH!" and ones with happy 1950's housewives.

And no, I don't wear a cap. They don't come in white velvet with little embroidered black pirate skulls.

Humorless much?

Anonymous said...

I am a nurse on a cardiac unit in oregon. I have many tasteful scrub tops, and patients compliment me all the time about them. Scrub tops are no different than any other piece of fashion, some are beautiful and some are not. I know that my scrub tops allow my fun personality to come out and many times my patients really appreciate having a nurse that not only can care for them, but has a great personality too. Nurses shouldnt need a uniform for patients to know we are nurses, our skills and actions should do the talking for us, not what kind or color uniform we wear.

Scoobert said...

Hi, just want to say I am a Pediatric RN and own just about EVERY Scooby print scrub made...and damn proud of it!!!!!!!!! Unless you work on a Peds unit, you have no idea how much cartoon scrubs (scoob is a big one) help warm up a very scared child. I have even painted cartoon characters on our unit for the kids, and believe me, it really helps. Just because a medical professional wears printed scrubs, doesn't make them any less of a professional. Thank God we have the freedom to choose what we wear huh? If you don't like prints, you don't have to look at them or wear them, but don't condemn or offend others that do.
We are nurses....we are here to help our patients feel as good as we can, and if printed scrubs help, then so be it, and even if they don't, is it hurting anyone?? Last time I checked, my favorite scooby scrub didn't affect the way I do my job!! Lighten up people. What we wear doesn't affect how we do our work and WHY we do our work.
Jinkies...I'm sorry if I offended anyone....I probably would have gotten away with it, if not for those meddling nurses....LOL

Unknown said...

For all of you who think Microfiber Silk scrubs are not practical. I work in a birthing center. Trust me when I say I come in contact with my fair share of bodily fluids and I LOVE my microfiber Silk Scrubs. I've been wearing the same 3 scrubs for 2 1/2 years and they look brand new. They do not fade or wear down. My only complaint is the seams in the legs have had to be reinforced. They don't ball up between the legs and they wear so well that I've actually had to replace the elastic waist band because it wore out, but the material still looks great. You may pay a little more initially but in the long run, I have found that they save me tons of money and I always look professional in my navy blues.

Cartoon Characters said...

I'm a little late with this...just catching up on your blog ( I am reading it like a book, only it's waaaaaaay better!) and I just have to say - I didn't care what I wore (except for those awful pink dress scrubs!) as long as it is hospital issue scrubs and they do the laundry.... :)