Thanks to the restrictions, lockdowns and uncertainties of the pandemic, there’s been plenty of fluctuations in the world of uniforms. Often, the first think we often think of is the evolving expectations of the home-office, and what to wear when working from home. Perhaps the news has been so saturated with images of workers in their healthcare uniform that we’ve not stopped to think about how dress codes have changed for the healthcare workers that cannot work from home.
The doctors, nurses, aged-care, personal care and other frontline health workers who are in the community everyday; what are they wearing while they work with the vulnerable, sick and injured? Their uniforms are a key point of discussion for community health and safety.
Healthcare Uniforms: Providing Health, Safety and Beyond
Healthcare uniforms are a vital part of the conversation in a pandemic and post-pandemic world. Of course, worker and patient safety are always the number one priority. Beyond that, however, is how to reinject comfort, humanity, reassurance and brand identity back into healthcare worker image.
PPE: Personal Protective Equipment
The introduction of more PPE into healthcare uniforms is an obvious change to uniform requirements. Designed to keep both the wearer and their patient protected, face-masks, shields and multiple layers of scrubs prevent the spread of disease. Choice of fabric is vital for these requirements. Materials need to be easy-care and durable enough to be worn by workers for exhaustingly long shifts.
Comfort during COVID
Comfort is the next big question. The discomfort that comes with the prolonged use of PPE is well-documented. As we continue living and working through this COVID world, healthcare experts and uniform manufacturers are continuously researching protective garments and equipment that are better suited to extended wear. Comfort is also a key factor in regular healthcare uniforms. Healthcare attire has to cater to long hours constantly on your feet, moving, carrying equipment, and caring for patients. Clothing that doesn’t effectively protect against stains, sweat, and heavy wear-and-tear just won’t cut it.
Keeping the Care in Healthcare Uniforms
Beyond safety, a uniform can also provide a priceless sense of reassurance. It communicates not only professionalism and quality care, but also a sense of assurance to patients who are vulnerable. This is doubly important in the stress and uncertainty of a pandemic. A move away from clinical colours and toward brighter, more inviting hues helps to calm and reassure, and also helps to communicate the brand identity of the care facility they are in. Using branded, personalised face masks helps to brighten a patient’s day, even if they can’t see a friendly smile.
The Conversation Continues
The discussion about Healthcare uniforms is a vital one – not only now in the midst of a pandemic, but as we move forward into a post-Covid landscape, whatever that may look like. If you’re eager to hear further detail, Total Image Group’s Founder, CEO and leading Uniform Expert Pamela Jabbour has authored multiple articles addressing this very topic. Read the links below to learn more.
Hospital and Healthcare – COVID uniform trends and what the future looks like
HelloCare – The new considerations for uniform ranges in aged care
LASA Fusion – How COVID-19 Will Change Aged Care Uniforms (P.68)
Aged Care InSite – The importance of identification in aged care
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