- 12 January 2022
- 7 min read
Work Wear Policies
Ever wondered if what you’re wearing is a good idea? Laura is here to give you the full rundown of the “do’s” and “don’ts” when it comes to uniform.
Topics Covered In This Article
Welcome to today's video.
My name's Laura and I'm a Healthcare Support Worker within the NHS, and I'm also a first-year student Nurse.
Today, I'm gonna be talking to you about different uniforms across the NHS, uniform policies, infection control, and also, I'll give you some tips and advice on what to avoid wearing and what's useful to wear as a healthcare support worker.
Uniform Is Much More Than Clothing
So firstly, within the hospital setting, a lot of people will wear a uniform. I think wearing a uniform is very important.
I think overall, it provides a level of professionalism, and I also feel wearing a uniform helps provide the public and the patients just trust within our capabilities and competence at doing our jobs.
I think it inspires public confidence within us, which is a positive thing.
Different Uniform Types
So, looking at different uniforms.
If we start with Healthcare Support Workers, so in my role, I wear scrubs. They're dark green trousers and a top.
So dark green for Healthcare Support Workers.
Then we tend to go by different colours, so different members of staff. We all tend to wear scrubs, but we'll all be different colours.
So we'll have domestic staff, and they tend to be in a dark burgundy colour. Staff Nurses, which are a light blue colour.
You'll have ward managers and Nurses in charge of a ward on that particular shift, they'll be in navy. And then you have a senior Nurse.
A senior Nurse would be the overall senior Nurse of a department, and they're in navy, but across the collar and the sleeves, they'll have a red rim.
So that just means they're a senior.
Also, other members of staff will be Occupational Therapists may come onto the ward or physiotherapists, and they tend to be in a polo T-shirt and dark trousers.
So that's just a little, quick overview of what different colours people wear as to what roles they are.
Doctors, they tend to wear their normal clothes.
So if you see someone in normal clothes, they're likely either to be a relative of a patient or a doctor.
Going on to infection control.
If we look at that, infection control is so important these days within the NHS, especially hospital settings.
To be aware of infection control is important as it helps provide safety for our patients and it helps to eliminate risks of infection.
So some tips and advice I can give is to always ensure you have a very good routine of washing your hands, using alcohol gel, if necessary.
Also, keep surfaces clean.
So if you're working in a treatment room, if you're working around a patient's bed, just make sure the area is always kept clean and tidy.
And when you finish in an area, always make sure you leave it as clean as possible.
It's also important to be aware of what PPE you are expected to wear. So if you're working with vulnerable patients, if you're working with COVID patients or perhaps patients with lower immune systems, always be aware.
Speak to the ward manager or a supervisor and just get to know what you should wear for each patient.
Some things with uniform; every trust will have a uniform policy. So if you're new to working as a Healthcare Support Worker, if you just ask either human resources or your line manager for information on their uniform policy.
Have a good read through that.
One of the things which goes throughout every trust is staying bare below the elbow.
So anything from the elbow down, they like nothing to be there.
So no watches, nail polish, false nails, nothing at all.
When working with patients, especially elderly patients, their skin becomes very paper-like and it's so, so easy to cause damage to the patients, and that, it is awful.
So avoid any long nails, keep 'em very short, and that will help minimize the risk to the people you're looking after.
Also, another thing, if you've got long hair, tie it back.
So my hair is quite long, so it's always tied back when I'm in work.
Piercings, if you've got piercings, try to keep them to just one set of studs.
We don't recommend ever having like hoop earrings or long, dangly earrings.
It's just a no-go.
Especially if you working with a patient and it gets caught, it can cause a lot of damage to the patient and to yourself.
So with uniform, as well, a good recommendation, I would say, is to invest in some really comfortable footwear, but also wipeable footwear.
So whether that's leather.
I've got some leather shoes which I find very useful, 'cause any spillages, I can just wipe 'em and I can carry on wearing them for the rest of the shift.
If, obviously, you've got fabric trainers and you get a spillage, it's a little bit more difficult and less hygienic, really.
So yeah, I would say invest in some wipeable trainers or shoes.
Also, another thing, no jewellery.
So rings, in our trust, they recommend just wearing one wedding band ring if it's a straight band.
No diamond, stones, nothing.
It's very easy to think, oh, well, it's just a little ring or it's just a bit of nail varnish. It'll be fine.
But the build-up of bacteria that can go around your nails or under nails or in the stones on rings, you'll be surprised how much and how quick that can build up.
And then that could transfer then onto the patients, which then could cause infection.
So just be very mindful of what you wear and think of the patient you're looking after because, obviously, if we was a patient or it was a family member of ours, we don't wanna cause any damage, unnecessary damage to that patient.
My last tip would be to take a change of uniform when you're in work, just in case any spillages get on it and you need to get changed.
I'd always recommend taking a spare set in your bag.
And also, when you come home, if you have a look at the tag on the uniform, in our trust, they recommend washing at the hottest temperature for that fabric because that helps kill any microorganisms then on that uniform.
So I would definitely wash on the highest temperature.
So I hope this has been useful for you.
I know it's a lot of information, so if you need to rewind back or go through anything, then please feel free to do so.
If you are new to the NHS and you're just starting out, please, please read the uniform policy and just try your best to adhere to the uniform policy, as much as you can.
And just think about the patient you're working with.
And try and bear in mind the infection control, and try your best to eliminate that. I hope you found this useful, and thank you for watching.
If you've got any questions, please put them below and I'll be happy to answer them, but thank you for watching, Bye.