Goshen News, Goshen, IN

March 16, 2013

Hospital staff now has color-coded uniforms

By SHERRY VAN ARSDALL
THE GOSHEN NEWS

GOSHEN — Patients and other guests can now pick out a member of the IU Health team at a glance.

A systemwide implementation of a new dress code recently began after months of planning and organizing, said Judith Sadler, nursing research / magnet coordinator  at IU Health Goshen Hospital.

“Patients wouldn’t know who was taking care of them,” Sadler said. “I’ve had family members who said that they wouldn’t know who was who (hospital staff) and that was identified (with dress code) to reassure patients and family members.”

The implementation has been referred to as the “Look of Assurance.” It’s to provide simplicity of recognition and a sense of comfort, Sadler added.

“It’s like a second check. It’s a look of assurance of the person taking care of you,” she said. “They always have their ID badge and they introduce themselves when they go in a room. This is another avenue — visual —  to say we are paying attention. The logo is on each piece (of clothing.)”

Some of the different looks in the new dress code are registered nurses wearing red and black uniforms, licensed practical nurses wearing khaki and black scrubs, respiratory care staff wearing pewter-colored clothing and food services/catering staff dressed in a white shirt, black vest and tie and black pants. The patient care support specialists, including certified nursing assistants, emergency department technicians, medical assistants, nursing assistants, nurse technicians, and patient care assistants wear olive scrubs.

Personnel in the off-site physician offices are included in the new dress code as well, Sadler said.

The IU Health logo appears on each piece of uniform.

“I really like our new look and  have heard nothing but positive comments,” said Angie Hulva, RN, at IU Health Goshen. “I feel it’s very professional and makes us easier to identify, which is a plus for patients, families and other colleagues as well.”

There was some resistance at first by the some of the colleagues, Sadler said.

The prior dress code allowed for individual selection in the styles and colors of scrubs and uniforms.

“What is more important?” Sadler said. “Their desire to be individual will have to be somewhere else.”

All the colleagues were given stipends to purchase their first few sets and the uniforms have reasonable pricing, Sadler added.

Lori Schmucker of patient financial services at IU Health Goshen said she is 100 percent for the new uniforms after a negative experience while visiting a relative at another hospital.

“I am so thankful that I work at a place where we care about first impressions,” Schmucker said, “and we care enough about our patients that the clothes we wear make us look like we belong here.”