Tbnewswatch Local News
2014-04-23 at 3:45PM

New uniforms for nurses could correct age-old patient complaint

By tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY -- Officials at the region's hospital hope they've found a solution to a common complaint.

Nurses at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre currently wear scrubs that make it difficult for the average person to differentiate them from the rest of the hospital's staff. The problem was highlighted in a survey completed by nearly 1,000 nurses and 40 patients.

“Patients and families identified that they found it very difficult to identify who was a professional nurse” said Rhonda Crocker-Ellacott, executive vice-president of patient services. "With that we put it all together and identified that as a hospital we’d like to make some changes." The problem was first identified more than five years ago and brought up at a meeting for the Nursing Practice Council, a group of nurses who represent every unit of nurses in the hospital.

Now, the hospital believes its found a solution and are moving forward with an initiative to give every nurse a new uniform. The design of the uniform has not been decided, but Crocker-Ellacott hopes nurses will engage in the initiative and help design a new uniform they can be proud to wear.

“It's an open process and we're going to hear all of the concerns and comments of all of our staff," she said. "We're going to work together and hopefully make everybody happy with respect to what is chosen because it will be partly their choice."

Nurses will begin wearing the new uniform in spring of 2015.

Previous attempts at solving this problem led to lanyards for the hospital's nursing staff. But that solution caused new problems as nurses found the lanyards got in the way too often.

Patients also had trouble seeing the lanyards, so while it failed to fix the original problem altogether. 

Nurses will begin wearing the new uniform in spring of 2015.

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