Professional Comment

Why Nursing Uniform Is Fit-For-Purpose

When it comes to workwear, often the first garments to spring to mind are nursing uniforms. Seen on TV dramas and in person they are one of the most recognisable and utilitarian uniforms on the market.

The style of nursing uniform doesn’t change often as years of research have gone into finding garments that give the highest number of benefits to medics. Whether it comes in the form of scrubs, tunics, dresses, maternity garments or trousers, these uniforms are worn by nurses, doctors, dentists, vets, surgeons, and other associated professionals worldwide to offer the greatest protection.

We recently caught up with Roma McLeod, Senior NHS Business Development Lead at Alexandra, a leading uniform provider in the healthcare sector, to find out the top five benefits nursing uniforms offer medical professionals.

1. Nursing uniforms help keep staff safe when used in conjunction with medical PPE
Due to the nature of their work, medical professionals are often at risk of being exposed to harmful diseases and infectious substances, so when their nursing uniforms are used in conjunction with medical PPE, they act as the first barrier for infection control.

Most nursing uniforms consist of garments (scrubs, trousers, tunics, and shoes) and medical PPE (gloves, face masks and aprons). These will adhere to strict standards for their durability and bacterial resistance.

Most importantly, properly made uniforms are rigorously tested alongside user trials.

2. Nursing uniforms can be thoroughly cleaned to follow infection control guidelines
Due to the NHS infection control guidelines and to avoid cross contamination, many healthcare garments will have specific and tested laundry guidelines. When followed, these will help the longevity of the garments and ensure they can be washed time and time again.

Medical uniforms also need to be washed at a higher temperature than normal clothing. The UK Health & Safety Executive states that a 10-minute wash at 60ºC is enough to kill most microorganisms.

Fortunately, high-quality nursing garments are created from durable fabrics designed to retain their integrity for several years through repeated harsh industrial laundering cycles. This ability is essential for maintaining a clean, sanitary medical environment.

3. They help staff to be easily identifiable across job roles and experience
The third benefit of nursing uniforms is that they help staff stand out from regular individuals and be easily identifiable to patients, visitors, and colleagues, whilst presenting a professional image and helping staff to feel valued.

Most NHS Trusts and private hospitals operate strict uniform dress codes because it’s an easy way to signal who is a qualified medical professional. For many patients, seeing a uniformed medic with an ID badge will instantly instil a notion of familiarity and a sense of trust in that individual’s professional capability. The uniform can speak for itself and indicates that the wearer is responsible for patients’ health.

Many hospitals also use uniform colours as a way to denote roles. For example, a surgeon might be expected to wear light green scrubs, whereas a matron might have to wear navy blue.

Such a code saves time and further reassures patients and colleagues that they are speaking to the correct medic for the problem or task at hand.

4. Designed with the wearer in mind
Medical professionals are always on their feet making rounds from patient to patient. The job is both mentally and physically demanding so their uniform needs to provide the required usability and comfort to the wearer, whether they’re sitting or standing for long hours.

The size range for medical uniforms is extensive as it’s important that no one feels restricted, and they can move freely. When medical professionals are preparing for a long shift, they do not need to be worrying about comfort. Wearing a uniform takes the stress of picking comfortable clothing from them and allows them to focus on the job at hand.

Most nursing clothing provides space for medical professionals to store their most-needed tools and equipment close to hand. Many nursing ranges feature pockets, loops, vents, action backs and splits for greater access, movement, and flexibility, ensuring the uniform confirms to the Occupational Health guidelines.

5. The amount of choice
There is a wide range of healthcare uniforms on offer for medical staff.

Designers continually update their clothing designs to ensure they offer the maximum benefits for flexibility, mobility, and comfort for medical professionals in their daily roles.

You can shop Alexandra’s large selection of nursing uniforms here.