Some Nurses Blue Over Color-Coded Uniform Policy

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , April 23, 2012

The Minnesota Nurses Association has filed a grievance against Allina Hospitals & Clinics, claiming that the Minneapolis-based health system violated its labor contract when it unilaterally instituted a color-coded uniform requirement that will go into effect on May 1.

"We didn't get the opportunity to negotiate this issue and it does fall under the terms and conditions of employment," says Bernadine Engeldorf, RN, first vice president of the 20,000-member MNA. "The union contract states that the expectation is that this will be negotiated.

"We didn't see evidence of a need to change what we're doing, and there wasn't an ability to sit down and have that dialogue," she says.

Allina spokesman David Kanihan says the 11-hospital health system has been talking about the switch to mandatory color-coded uniforms for "quite some time," and has "made a very dedicated effort to involve" staff.

"The reason we are doing it is because patients have told us they have a hard time telling who's who and what's what," Kanihan says. "A lot of people come into their rooms for various reasons during the course of a day and one of the things we are trying to get after is making sure that the patients understand what is going on and who they can ask for certain things. It just makes the hospital stay that much easier for the patient."

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9 comments on "Some Nurses Blue Over Color-Coded Uniform Policy"

sharon (2/10/2014 at 9:54 PM)
I feel like I am a professional and I should be able and allowed to choose the color I wish to wear, I believe employee satisfaction leads to greater patient satisfaction and my employer treating me like a child and showing no respect or regard for my satisfaction does not lead to anything but resentment. I announce who I am when I enter the room (AIDET), I have a name badge identifying who I am and I truly do not believe that my uniform color will do anything to improve any part of my patients satisfaction.

Kari (4/27/2012 at 7:26 PM)
The last hospital I worked in had colored coded scrubs for different entities: RN, NA's, RT, Radiology, etc.. It was actually wonderful and the patients and families were very satisfied. It also helped staff to recognized each other as well.

Linda (4/27/2012 at 11:34 AM)
They should be allowed to wear what they want! NAMETAGS say WHO they are & WHAT they do!!!! Ex:LPN-how much simpler can one get???




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