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With the closing of Nurses Week (May 6-12) on Prince Edward Island, I was pleased to see so many thoughtful comments and accolades for our registered nurses (RNs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) here on Prince Edward Island. As one of the last classes to graduate as an LNA (licensed nursing assistant) in 1999 (later designated as LPN – licensed practical nurses) instilled in our class by our instructors was mandatory appearance, the significance of our uniform, the appropriateness of not wearing it to and from work and pride in our appearance. I recently had to escort one of my elderly parents to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and I must say I was appalled by the appearance of some nursing staff members. These are government employees, so the cost of appropriate uniforms should not be a factor, nor dishevelled appearances costs little to fix – a comb or brush I am sure are easily attainable. This was in a clinic, not the ER, where I know staff are extremely busy. But there too, pride in your appearance does not take a lot of extra time. I understand the need for privacy in home care and not being seen visiting someone’s home in uniform, but I feel the casual attitude of some is taking away from the position. It’s hard to know if you are addressing medical or janitorial staff. All the advertisements on social media this past week showing the RNs in their pristine white uniforms is a misrepresentation. Yes, I agree all aspects of health care so deserve to have their week of recognition but respect the position you have regardless of your title – RCW, LPN, RN, BN, or NP. There is truth to the words ‘dress for success!’
Kate McKinnon Clow,