Lifestyle Leak: Nursing & Uniforms

First off I want to say HEY! to all my fellow RN's out there. In case you didn't know, the photo above is Mary Eliza Mahoney, R.N. The First Black Nurse (1845-1926). Now I want to dish a little bit about nursing and uniforms. We've come a long way from those crazy caps, huh?

Back when I got my first nursing job I was excited about getting uniforms and all the supplies I would need. So one of the first questions I had was what's the uniform requirements, I was told it was white pants with any color top and white sneakers.

Fast forward about 1.5 years and now I see that is a total crock. I mean that is technically the "policy" but it's not enforced at all, the nurses at my hospital pretty much wear whatever scrubs their heart desires aside from the colors reserved for the units, OR, and ER. Anyway, I try my best to stick to policy but it's not always easy and I must admit I have 2 sets of scrubs that are pink and maroon that are interchangeable and I love them. Wearing white pants get's old real fast, because not only are they a pain in the neck to keep prestine but you also have to stock up on nude panties unless you want to give the whole nursing unit a show (and trust me there are enough nurses doing just that with their bright colored, patterned panties.)

So for all my new nurses out there who have to wear white here's a list of things that will help you out a lot!

1. NUDE PANTIES - I can't stress this enough. No one wants to see your Victoria's Secret PINK panties shiny through under your white pants. First of all, it's not professional and secondly it's tacky.

2. Peroxide - Keep a bottle of peroxide in your locker at all times. Peroxide helps get out blood stains. One of my first days on the unit and I was inserting an IV line, well as a newbie I couldn't get the connector tubing on fast enough and the blood was POURING out and got all over my brand new pants! Thankfully, my preceptor hipped me to the peroxide trick. Pour some directly on the blood stain and it will deoxidize the blood making it way less likely to stain, plain water doesn't work.

3. Oxygen Bleach - I add 1/4 cup of Mrs. Meyer's Oxygen Bleach Stain Remover to every load of white scrubs I wash. I hate to use liquid bleach in my laundry and this is a fabulous alternative to keep white's bright and white.

4. Iron - This is a no-brainer but freshly pressed scrubs are 100 times better looking than wrinkled scrubs. It's a matter of appearance and I know appearance is important to you, so why not spend the 5 minutes to make yourself look better?

5. Travel coffee mug - When I first started working I would run down to the expensive coffee shop in the main lobby to get my "fix". Fast forward and now I'm working on the overnight shift and that's not an option, plus $2.00 a pop for coffee is crazy. Now I brew my own and bring it along, the Starbucks Via Ready Brew mug is a great one that way even if you're running late you can make some instant coffee once you get to work.

Experienced Nurses, what are you're must haves?