June 19, 2010

Scrubs and Your Body Type

Posted in Nurse Fashion tagged , , , , at 3:25 am by Nursing Tales Team

When you dress for work, you want to not only look professional but you want to feel good about yourself.  You may think that because you wear scrubs to work, you are in a cookie cutter uniform and they have to look the way they look.  Well, it’s not that simple.  This is actually a good thing; because even those androgynous unisex scrubs can flatter your body (or not) depending on the cut and the fit.

To determine which style of scrubs will make you look your very best, you first have to understand your body type.  To do this, you must be willing to objectively observe your body…naked.  You may already know the type that you fall into.  That’s great.  For those who don’t, consider the following:

•    Are you thin and long through the torso; more athletically built?
•    Is your chest/bust large and your shoulders broad?
•    Are you shoulder narrow and hips wider?
•    Are your shoulders and hips both wider and your waist more narrow?

When you consider your body, do not take it as an opportunity to beat yourself up mentally.  Most of us could use a few more sit ups.  Just accept your body at this point and move on to finding the scrubs you need for work.

If you have an athletic built, with a narrow and slim torso, prints can be quite flattering on you.  Layering is also a great way to compliment your figure.   To bring the modern flair to your uniform, wear a short-sleeve jacket over a long-sleeve tee with fitted arms.  When it comes to pants, find some with a flared leg.

For the larger chested physique, you want to make sure your tops fit properly.  Tight tops will make you look heavier, not sexier.  Besides, at work you want everything to stay in place. However, don’t run to the other extreme and a top that is baggy.  You are not trying to hide your bust or accentuate it; you are trying to fit it.  For this body type, the most flattering fit comes from a V-neck, mock-wrap scrub top.  Solid colored tops are best, as are fitted pants (not tight).

If you have narrow shoulders with more weight or wider hips and thighs, a printed top will even out your proportions nicely.  Necklines such as scoop-neck or boat-neck are very flattering, especially if you layer them with a printed hip-length jacket.  It is most flattering to pair these patterned tops with solid pants.

For the hourglass figure, with wider shoulders and hips, flared pants or straight legged pants are the right fit.  Pair these with either scoop neck or V-neck tees.  If you wear a jacket, find a design or style that is cinched a bit at the waist.

Just because you wear scrubs to work doesn’t mean that you can’t look your very best.  Dressing for your body type is the best way to feel great and look professional at work.

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Fashion Trends and the Medical Field

Posted in Nurse Fashion tagged , , , , at 3:18 am by Nursing Tales Team

Not long ago, the halls of  hospitals were filled with medical staff wearing white.  White pants or skirts, white shirts and even white hats (depending on how far back you want to look).  The fashion of medicine was formal to say the least.  Doctors may not have worn white, they may have walked onto the scene dressed in their business suit; while the nurse stood by in her white coat, dress and shoes.

When you think of the health care profession, you probably don’t associate fashion with.  You are at work to perform specific duties; to touch lives and help your patient’s deal with their medical issues.  But fashion has indeed evolved in this field over the years, and thankfully so; now you get to wear your Elmo or Stars and Stripes scrubs instead of a button down, knee length dress to work!

The easing of fashion ties began first in pediatric wards of hospitals, where pastel colored uniforms took the place of traditional white uniforms.  While it didn’t happen over night, the pastel uniform slowly became accepted in other parts of the medical field as well.

Scrubs were seen first and foremost in the operating room because of the need for a sterile environment.  Rarely did you see them anywhere else.  But as with all trends, the scrub revolution was on and crept into all areas of the medical field.  I mean, how could it not when scrubs are so incredibly comfortable and versatile?

Now that scrubs are the new uniform, this too has evolved into a huge fashion trend.  The first scrubs were that traditional green-blue color worn in the O.R.; but now they come in all colors and patterns to fit the personal style of any nurse or doctor.  Scrubs are also now available with anti-microbial properties that help guard against infection of patient or health care worker. The anti-microbial action lasts through hundreds of washings.

It used to be thought that the white coat and strict uniform attire was more professional and created a mental barrier between staff and patients.  This could be true,  but is that space really necessary, or is it best to create a comfortable environment where the patient feels both confident in your abilities and relaxed by your informal presence?

I guess the bottom line is that what works works.  In scrubs, you are comfortable and have the ability to move freely about your day.  Walking around in medical Crocs or comfortable tennis shoes could actually be making you better at your job in the long run, so go with the flow.

Foot Care for Nurses

Posted in Nurse Fashion tagged , , , , at 2:39 am by Nursing Tales Team

Just a day or two on the floor and any nurse will tell you that this can be hell on your feet.  And this is if you have healthy feet to start out with!  Walking and running through tiled hallways gets old really fast and that is why it is imperative that nurses (or pretty much anyone in health care) learn how to take great care of their feet within a short time of starting work.

As it is, most research concludes that three out four Americans experience foot problem in their lifetime.  Women experience four times as many foot problems than men.  This is the general population statistics!  Take into consideration the 12+ hours you spend on your feet and you can see how quickly foot problems can occur and worsen for a nurse.

You don’t have time to be slowed down by foot problems when you have patients and doctors counting on you.  So learn how to create the best environment for your feet now.

First and foremost, as a nurse you’ve got to find the right shoes for your tired feet…because your feet WILL be tired!  It always helps to ask around.  Other nurses can relate to the edema and soreness of a long and hard shift, and may have tips or recommendations for the shoes they have found to be most comfortable.  Many nurses would love to live in their Crocs shoes because they are so comfortable.  While this isn’t a universal sentiment (some nurses find that their toes don’t fit properly into the toe box), the praise for this type of shoe is pretty loud.

Once you have comfortable shoes, you are well on your way to maintaining healthy feet.  Another thing you can do is to make the most of your break time.  At breaks, sit down in a place where you can put your feet up.  Depending on how long your break is, and where you are taking that break, it is also a great relief to actually remove your shoes and socks and let your feet breath for a few minutes in an elevated position.

To help keep circulation moving along, wear a good pair of support socks to work as well.  Support socks can also help to lessen the instance of edema in the ankles and feet.  Wearing support socks may take some getting used to; but the rewards are worth it.

Now for the real fun. Take some time for yourself at least once a week and enjoy a good foot soak, pedicure or foot massage.  If you can’t stand the idea of someone else touching your feet, then do it yourself.  To relieve tired feet, prepare a small tub of warm water and add 3 drops of rosemary oil with one tablespoon of baking soda and soak.  For swollen feet, prepare a small tub with ice water and mix in 3 drops of lavender oil.  Doing this once a week will give you something to look forward to!

Your feet are an important part of your daily work life.  Taking care of them will help you be the best you can be and help you feel as great as you possibly can.

Crocs, Anyone?

Posted in Nurse Fashion tagged , , , , , , at 2:36 am by Nursing Tales Team

Walk down the hallways of any hospital, clinic or medical practice and you are sure to see at least one nurse donning the ever popular Croc shoe.  Just why crocs are so popular seems to come down to fit.  Most nurses report that this nursing shoe is the most comfortable they have found.  Their praises rise up to one resounding chorus: “We Love our Crocs!”

As a nurse, you are on your feet most of the day.  As such, there can come a point where your feet are screaming for relief.  Crocs shoes offer maximum comfort in a shoe that is not hundreds of dollars to buy.  Most people expect this kind of comfort from Jimmy Choo or Steve Madden; but Crocs are right up there with comfort.  Maybe on the style front, the other two shoe designers beat out Crocs; but you are at work and desire comfort.  For you, work is running up hallways to tend to patience, not strutting down the catwalk.

This brand of shoe has morphed into a major manufacturer that offers something for everyone. In fact, you can find Crocs both for work and for play if you really get into the comfort they offer.  For the medical field, these shoes seem to be popular also because they are non-slip – a factor you really want if you work in areas where spills occur.

So, if you know you want Crocs for work or already have some, here are some tips to dressing them up so you don’t look like everyone else.  With any luck, your shoes are not totally regulated at work and you can have some fun adding your own personal style to your nursing uniform.

•    Buy a few pairs is different colors and switch out the straps.  Because this is a trend that is catching on, some Crocs dealers actually sell straps separately so you don’t have to buy several pairs to really have fun.
•    If you are crafty and have some free time on the weekend to get into a project, you can buy some acrylic paint at the craft store and paint your own custom design onto your Crocs.  This can be done freehand or by using a stencil.  Once the paint is dry, you’re ready to show off your shoe style.
•    The easiest way to play up your style with Crocs today is through Jibbitz.  There are hundreds of Jibbitz designs now, so you can change your Jibbitz design with every new day to suit your mood.  These custom decorative pieces just pop in and out of the holes in Crocs, and can be found in zodiac signs, cartoon characters, glittery flowers and more.
•    For Do It Yourselfers, break out the hot glue gun and glue some sequins or ribbons onto your Crocs!

Feeling like you look great at work can sometimes be a challenge, especially when you wear the same thing day in and day out.  If you are limited with the allowances you get in the wardrobe department, try revving up the style of your shoes for a little fun.

Great Accessories for Nurses

Posted in Nurse Fashion tagged , , , at 2:18 am by Nursing Tales Team

As a nurse, you are bound by certain uniform realities.  Depending on where you work, you may have options when it comes to scrubs and you may have tons of fun playing with colors and designs in your work wardrobe.  Some nurses are very lucky when it comes to this, and others are not.  If you are always looking for new and inventive ways to show off your individual style at work, then you may love some of these accessory options.

Most of the time, the accessories that a nurse wears at work are functional.  When we say “accessorize” for a nurse, we aren’t talking about a great leather belt or dangly earrings.  No, we are talking about lanyards and comfortable shoes!  A nurse is there to get the job done; but when you feel good about yourself, that confidence extends into the care you offer.

The accessories that you wear as a nurse can brighten your day; and also may bring a smile to your patients’ faces.  For instance, if you work in a ward or office that is normally quite humdrum and you are limited to monochromatic scrubs in one or two color choices, you could throw everyone a curveball by wearing brightly colored tennis shoes.  Depending on the rules and regulations in your institution, you could even throw a huge flower in your hair to complement the color of your eyes.

Some of the best accessories for nurses are lanyards.  These are widely used, and most of the time they are quite drab…just like the scrubs you must wear.  However, if you look into beaded lanyards to carry your ID badge, you will be happily surprised at just how well you can show off your personal style.

Beaded lanyards aren’t just for female nurses.  Well, ok, the guys won’t want to wear beads; but some lanyards or badge reels are made with leather and chrome – the perfect types of materials to keep the male nurse looking professional and stylish.

Badge reels are accessories of a different type and are ideal for nurses as they attend classes and conferences.  The lanyard is for everyday work, and the retractable badge reel can be for special occasions.  That is unless you hate your badge dangling at your chest; in which case you may like the retractable badge reel for every day.  This is another accessory that can be personalized depending on your own style preferences.  Some badge reels feature themes so you can change with the seasons.  Some are designed with flowers and some with black and chrome; the point is that you get to choose something that makes you feel good about yourself even when your clothes match pretty much everyone else’s in your immediate area.

From colorful stethoscopes to beaded lanyards to Nurse Minnie Mouse watches, nurses have a wide array of great accessories to add to their wardrobe.  No, you are not at work to look good; you are there to help the sick and save lives.  But with the stresses of your job, you have to go the extra mile to take good care of yourself so that you can perform at your best all the time.  Something as simple as a bright accessory can lift your spirits and make you feel better about yourself.

3 Ways to Look Better in Scrubs

Posted in Nurse Fashion tagged , , , , , , at 2:16 am by Nursing Tales Team

As a nurse, there aren’t a lot of options for amping up the fashion diva in you.  Sure, there are racks upon racks of different colors and patterns to choose from; but there are other ways to make sure you look your best even while you are essentially dressed just like everyone else on the floor.

The first thing about looking great in scrubs is to get the right fit.  Scrubs that are too loose or too tight will make you look heavier than you are.  To look great, don’t just reach for the same old size you always get.  Look around and see if perhaps there is a different size, or a different cut, that may be more suitable to your body type.  Taking this step can take pounds off of you without you needing to do extra laps on the treadmill or forego that cookie with lunch.

Furthermore, well fitting clothing makes you look more professional.  Of course you want to be comfortable, and you may think that none of your patients will notice one bit what you are wearing.  But really, even in the medical profession, you want to look your best all the time.  It may be the patient that notices, or it may be someone at work that notices that you take the time to look and act professional every time you are on the job.  When this is noticeable about you, it does play a role in your reputation and could come back to reward you when it is time for a raise or promotion.

Colors come into play in scrubs with almost every nurse today.  Pediatric nurses may seem to get the most leeway in the colors and patterns that they choose; but really, all nurses and medical personnel can look better in their scrubs by choosing mix and match colors and patterns to liven their mood or compliment their skin.

Color plays a role in people’s moods, so you can choose soothing colors if you work on a floor with particularly sick patients.  You can choose brighter colors and patterns if you work with people who may need a little extra lift from you.  And if the colors you wear make you feel better, then you will be more engaging with your patients; leaving them feeling better after they have seen you.  It is always a treat for a nurse to brighten a patient’s day.

The other way to look great in your scrubs is to dress them up with accessories.  The ID badge is a staple for anyone in a hospital setting.  For the private practice, there may not be the badge; but there are other items that a nurse may carry on a lanyard.  Through accessories like beaded lanyards, decorative barrettes and headbands, and even flowers, a nurse can make herself feel great and look great even if all she can wear is hospital issued navy blue scrubs.

Being a nurse is about caring for patients, not competing in a beauty pageant, true. But here’s the point:  when you look good, you feel good.  When you feel good, that translates into better care for your patient.  That’s just the way it is.  A nurse goes through a lot and must take care of their own mood.  By looking good when you go to work, you do just that.