Sunday, April 10, 2011

Looking Into The Nurses Uniforms History

By Adriana Noton

Nurses Uniforms History might begin in the Middle Ages. Nuns and monks performed their nursing duties mostly within the monasteries. The traditional dress of monks and nuns were the uniforms worn by the nursing brethren as they attended to all who needed their services. From the 1600s into the 1800s nurses were not looked up to, but rather were often viewed as having substandard morality. The reason for that point of view was a result of unmarried female nurses staying overnight in their patients homes, or in the hospital basements where drinking and carousing went on.

Partially trained nurses, used by local health officials or the cities in the 1800s, were to care for the poor because they could not afford to have a doctor come to them. The uniform was often dignified and mature giving the appearance of a lady.

Florence Nightingale was the daughter of a rich British landowner. She did not want the married life and station her parents planned and decided in favor of a medical career in nursing. Nursing began to a more lofty position and uniforms also began to look more professional. The nurses uniform was easily distinguished from their untrained counterparts. Hanging to near floor length the nurses uniforms were covered pinafore like aprons that had capped sleeves. Caps with chin straps or hats resembling nuns headgear were worn and lent to an even more quality appearance.

World War I made it obvious that the previously strict nursing styles were not practical in the throes of war. The wounded and dying needed to be cared for in with efficient and quick service. While the skirts shortened, the sleeves became either short or rolled up, and often times the aprons disappeared completely.

When World War II began there were more changes, and military style uniforms for the many nurses serving in the armed forces were changed to olive and blue and were even shorter since dress styles had also changed. Caps also appeared military, and matched the respective uniforms. Additionally there were different colors and insignias that corresponded to the rank or area of military service. Most however were shirtwaist style.

In the 1950s nurses uniforms took a more crisp, feminine look with short sleeves and a bib apron with shoulder straps. Caps were varied in styles from pill box style to a pointed version.

As the 1960s progressed open collars were seen and scrubs were becoming popular in the United States, although in the UK they were reserved for the operating room. In the 1970s paper caps were disposable, as were the plastic aprons of the 1980s.

Times have changed and so have the nurses uniforms, sometimes out of necessity or to reflect current styles. As always nurses are a vital part of the medical field in all countries and still wear different styles of uniforms. The popularity of scrubs can be seen in almost every hospital and clinic in the United States. Their whimsical, and colorful, patterns are popular among US patients, though more traditional uniforms are still worn in other countries. With the advent of more male nurses the Internet also offers a variety of styles from which to choose.

The history of nurses uniforms show that styles and norms have changed, but one thing has not changed. We still need and appreciate our caring nursing professionals who attend to us all over the world. It is and always has been a vitally needed and appreciated profession.

About the Author:


Post a Comment

This Blog is DoFollow. Please write only valuable comments.Sorry for comment moderation is on.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.