Nurses are known for being attractive. Only models have a better reputation when it comes to looks. So if you’re just entering the nursing profession, you might feel pressure to uphold the stereotype. Even if you’re a low maintenance kind of person, it doesn’t hurt to look your best in the hospital. After all, who wants to be treated by a dirty-looking nurse? Just like in any workplace, the right appearance can exude professionalism and competence.
Because the nature of your work – dealing with sick and injured patients of varying severities – and the physical activity it requires, staying clean can be a difficult task. It’s important that you take some common sense measures in order to remain fresh. Be sure to use copious amounts of deodorant. The last thing you want to do is stink up the halls of your hospital and put even more people in the ER. It doesn’t hurt to clean your nails or run a brush through your hair once or twice a day. If you have long free-flowing hair, tie it up and keep it out of your face. You don’t want it to become crusty after leaning over a few icky substances during your shift. Male nurses should keep their beards clean – if they choose to have facial hair at all. When other nurses confuse you for a homeless patient, you’ll know it’s time to groom. And although it may sound obsessive compulsive, a midday brushing of the teeth will prevent flatlining caused by your halitosis.
Nursing is low maintenance when it comes to clothing – it’s all scrubs all the time. But the repetition and busy work environment causes some nurses to lose their self-awareness. If your outfit looks like it was tie-dyed during the course of the week, you’ll need to throw it in the washer. Make it easy on yourself and fill your closet with a variety of scrubs in different colors. If your department forces you to wear only one color, buy several sets in that color. Your matching shoes should be clean and comfortable. In order to fight the odor that comes during long shifts, keep foot powder nearby. Also, perfume, cologne and jewelry are usually frowned upon. You aren’t working at a night club – the only dancing you’ll see is when a patient checks in with a severe case of restless leg syndrome. Dressing to impress takes on another meaning in hospitals. But make no mistake: looks are important.