Hazards of uniforms

The Centenary Building at Lancaster Royal Infirmary.
The Centenary Building at Lancaster Royal Infirmary.

I read with great interest the article in the Lancaster Guardian regarding the ban on flowers for the patient in the RLI (Blooming cross over hospital sick bed ban, November 13).

Sadly I think this is a sign of the times. But I can think of other ways to fight infections.

I myself was a nurse in the 80s. We wore white tunics, our hair was put up under white caps, The only jewellery we were allowed to wear was wedding rings. Even wrist watches were banned, hence the reason for fob watches.

Our tunics never left the hospital. We got out of our day clothes, changed into our uniform, then at the end of our shift we changed back into our day clothes.

Our uniform went to the hospital laundry, was boiled, starched, then returned to us the very next day. They were kept in our lockers in the changing rooms.

We nurses were proud to wear our uniform, it was clean and looked smart.

How times have changed. These days nurses in uniform look like they’re wearing pyjamas. You see them shopping in stores, drinking in pubs and other social events.

At a bonfire night party I recently attended there was a nurse who arrived at around 7pm. She was in her uniform ready to start work at 8pm.

She was smoking stood outside at the bonfire and was holding a baby who was sick on her.

She worked on a surgical ward where infections can be life threatening.

I know that the present day ‘uniforms’ are probably much more comfortable than the old tunic style, and more appropriate, but surely commonsense should prevail and it should be realised that it’s more than flowers and sick people that bring infections on to the ward.

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