What a Shame??!!! (Bato bato sa Langit ang tamaan huwag magalit)

“To be someone wearing white shoes with white stockings, walking in a white room with a white crown.” When I was in high school, this ambition was very common in yearbooks. Uniform!!! It is one of the reasons why we nurses are distinguished from other professionals. Because of this, we should respect it.

As I have observed nowadays, students wearing their nursing uniforms do not know what this means. They use dirty uniforms that are not well-ironed, loose threads hanging, patches of stains conspicuous, going to fastfood chains still using their aprons, loosing their buns just before the duty ends, wearing dirty caps, and using printed bra and panties. I mean I can go a long list of things that would tamper the profession’s pride and glory. I always see nursing students outside the school premises who are smoking with their uniforms and here is the catch, smoking with their instructors, in worst case scenarios, going to bars and pubs with their uniforms.

My instructors in college told us stories about their days in college. They use chemise and sando when using their uniforms. They fix their hair so well that not a strand of hair is sticking out. They also use their cap and put enough bobby pins for it to be sturdy and stiff. Their caps are washed every after duty with “gawgaw” for it to be sturdy and white. Some of these are still applied to some schools. According to school rules and regulations, once the uniforms are not respected, demerit will be given. Demerit means, having lost points on your grade which is quite a shame. I mean, having a low grade just because of not respecting your uniform?? Duh!!!

Fashion!! Fashion really is a big deal in college. Nurses are seen as clean and not seen as prostitutes or models. It is a no no to wear colored contact lenses and heavy make up as if you’re going to a beauty contest, the same when your face is obviously lighter than your neck. It is a no no to wear high heels even though it is white. It’s a no no to unbutton your blouse until your cleavage  is already popping out. These are allowed when you are not in your uniform. Our generation is changing fast. When I was in my college days, we were not allowed to wear our uniform without a topper because it emphasizes our body shape and we are not wearing those to allure people. We don’t even go to fast food chains wearing those or even go to crowded places such as malls because we don’t even know what bacteria or microorganism we can spread through our uniforms. We are like vehicles that spread diseases.

Some schools are using this system to discipline students and to prepare them for being a nurse (which is quite good). This practice should not just be observed by students but by STAFF NURSES as well. I’m not generalizing but most staff nurses do smoke during their duty breaks and go to malls bars after their duty while wearing uniforms. I admit, after my duty in the hospital, I went to the mall to buy some personal things, but that was only once. After the school had disciplined you, this is what you will do?? Come on!! Or did the school gave you the necessary discipline but you’re pretending to be uninformed? When I was still an Instructor, I always say to my students that if they plan to go to bars or pubs after duty, they should bring extra clothes. The people will see you drink which contradicts what you do  at work: you tell patients that drinking and smoking are bad to their health. It seems that nurses are growing more and more stubborn that their patients.

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  • hakuna matata

    seriously..?! are u freakin serious about this..? im not a nurse but i think its none of ur freakin business to criticize and judge whatever the heck they’re doing after their duty,. as long as they’re doing their job well during working hours,.. a job is a job,a personal and social life is different from their job. its their prerogative to do whatever they want after they do their job,. even doctors smoke, teachers do smoke,.they are humans too..they wind up and just chill whenever they want.. nasa tao un kung gagayahin nila ung mga ginagawang bisyo ng kung sino man,. may sariling utak ang tao para malaman ang tama at mali so kahit na makita nla na may bisyo ung nurse na nagpapayo sa kanila na masama un nasa pasyente parin un kung gagayahin nila un,.. at sarili nilang baga at atay ang sinusunog nila hindi sayo,..

    • kenchi

      Unfortunately in nursing, you do not stop being a nurse once you have clocked out! Same with the rest of the healthcare profession. Same with priests and lawyers. There’s a certain code of conduct that you have to maintain, an expectation by the rest of the people who know what your job is. While the article focuses mainly on the disrespect of the uniform (and concurrently the rest of the profession, similar to waving a dirty flag of your country in peace time), it does point out what the ideal is. Sure, nobody is perfect but if you are serious about being a nurse, then it should seep into the other aspects of your life. Also nowadays, some employers DO track where their employees go, even after-hours (using RF technology on their badges). This impacts how far (in terms of promotions) the person goes in the company (whether they frequent bars, etc). Wrong? Right? Every company has the right to protect its own interests di ba?

    • ChingCha

      Sa nursing po kasi, isa sa objectives namin is to PROMOTE health. So kung nagssmoke na mismo ung nurse, at makita ng patient, ano nalang ang sasabihin nila? Na we don’t practice what we preach? Kelangan po kasi naming maging magandang “role model” sa mga tao para mapalaganap po namin ang good health. Kung gusto po ng mga (student) nurse na magsmoke, sana ginagawa po nila yun nang hindi sila naka-uniform para walang masasabing kahit ano laban sa propesyon. Ikaw na nga po ang nagsabi na lahat tayo may utak, so sana po isipin nalang natin ng mabuti ang mga dapat at hindi dapat gawin. 🙂

    • bee

      I’m guessing you’re not a nurse by the way your comment sounds. Hindi mo talaga maiintindihan yung sinasabi nya hangga’t hindi ka nurse! Actually kahit nga hindi ka nurse dapat naiintindihan mo to. Ikaw ba pag naospital ka gusto mo yung nurse mo lukot-lukot saka may mantsa yung uniform? Tapos amoy-sigarilyo? Di ka ba maiinis nun?

    • noeld

      This is what is wrong with the society today. Do as I say and not as I do. Got it!

  • bidaking

    The problem is that many of these students taking nursing are not interested in the profession. Lack of respect for the uniform is only one aspect of how they show their disinterest for the nursing profession.

  • Ana

    yeah i admit this is true for most nursing students, but i’m against the picture of uniform you’ve posted. some nursing schools has almost the same uniform from the picture and it’s not a good thing to see for those students there. you should have used a different uniform that could generalize all nursing uniforms. and why do you have to react like that to those kinds of students? i understand what you feel but its not your business, its how the school discipline their students.

  • Booboo

    Is this the uniform of trinity university of asia – st. luke’s college of nursing? if this picture was put as a good example, ok then, but if not.. you should remove this pic.

    tua-slcn is one of the best nursing schools today (top 3, averaging for 5 years). they are also strict in implementing rules especially when it comes to grooming and proper decorum outside the school. they also have one of the best grooming in the metro.

    to hakuna matata: being a nurse is not just a job.. it’s an advocacy. also a profession, which professes a pure image, etc.

    • trolling stone

      and obviously you’re from slcn. hahaha.

      anyways, it is the individual’s prerogative alright. but everything is different when we are referring to a member of the health care team. specially nowadays, that strains of different bacteria and superinfections are everywhere, it is very much fitting to realize the importance of wearing the uniform outside of duty not only to prevent the spread of such microorganism,but we should also take into consideration that nurses (and other healthcare practictioners) took an oath to uphold the dignity and the standard of the profession. xD trolllll!

  • Incognito

    To the author, I commend you of your honest advocacy for the profession and as an “eye-opener” message to those who are pursuing the noble profession that of Nursing. But with all due respect, please use a generalized picture of a student nurse’s uniform as not to disrespect the school’s memorabilia picture of a well-renowned School of Nursing’s website where you obtained the picture (http://ewake.wfubmc.edu:88/library/archives/exhibits/nursing/photos.htm). I know you have placed it as an example to further emphasize your message but using the memorabilia picture is wrong especially that it is linked to respected institution. Thanks and God bless!

  • Bernice Mae Santiago

    @hakuna matata…. the subject talks about the uniform. Have you read the article? i mentioned, it is okei for them to do so when they are not wearing their uniform. for ur information, i do drink. but to show respect to the profession, i dont drink while in uniform and i dont smoke in uniform.

  • Bernice Mae Santiago

    @Incognito: i only wrote the article.. i didn’t upload any nursing uniforms..

  • Incognito

    Ok but please inform the editor of the website to where you posted your article to please change it into a generalized picture of a nurse’s uniform. The picture of the uniform shown in the article is linked and from a memorabilia photograph of a well respected school in America, where one of my family member have worked in. It just doesn’t seem right to have it placed “randomly” in any article without the permission of the institution linked to it. I admire your advocacy to and for the noble profession of nursing and I hope you continue in promoting this advocacy of yours to further enlighten those who are pursuing the Nursing profession.

  • kimiweew

    I quite agree with the other comment posted that being a nurse is not only a job but it is a profession. It is an imperative duty that one chooses in order to aide the mandatory needs of the society, in this case, health management.

    I am a nurse, I graduated from the same school where the uniform published is being used, and admittedly, I also smoke. But, I have never allowed myself to be seen smoking in public places especially when wearing my nursing uniform—Primarily because it is unflattering for a health care worker to be seen smoking while he / she preaches and educates about good health.

    In any field of work, duty or profession, image is important. Image initially creates the success and failure of an individual. In this case, it is not only your image that you are trying to tarnish but also the whole profession. Yes, we have our own identities but there are also situations wherein we need to think of what will be more beneficial to many and not only to your own self.

    No wonder countless people think of nurses as cheap, uneducated assistants of doctors; because we allow them to think of us this way. Through childish acts of simply breaking the rules regarding uniform, we project a negative view in being and becoming a nurse.

  • Thanatos

    Oh my… so much fuss just because of a PICTURE of the uniform.

    • regie


  • Bernice Mae Santiago

    @ Incognito: the writers of the different articles don’t know the editors of this page.. sorry… @trolling stone: i am from baguio and i am not a graduate of that school..

    To the editors: kindly answer the concern of Incognito

  • myrna blanca

    nurse, nurse, nurse everywhere when you’re going to malls.

  • ave maria

    I completely agree with your “rant”. Nowadays even student nurses don’t even bother to wear sandos, which is wrong. Even you are not from any prestigious school of our country we should atleast show some respect on what really ‘nursing’ is. Sometimes female students wore nail polishes! insane. hahaha. well. everyone has their own thoughts

  • Don

    I appreciate your article and stance. I’m a firm believer that anyone in uniform should hold themselves to a higher standard.

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  • Pingback: How Asking “Which Uniform Was Cuter?” Turned Me Into a Nurse | Filipino Nurses()

  • je

    Please respect your profession,whether you are a nurse or any profession you are holding.The trends or the fashion of your clothing depends on your profession.The way you dress reflects your personality.
    I’m a nurse,and I am ashame to see and read all about those comments regarding the nursing profession,as if they are degrading the nursing profession. I am appealling to the nurses to keep up your pledges,whatever work you are in now, but since you are a nurse you must respect what you have pledge in your profession.Heads up!!! who knows??? your future depends on your ambition,as long as you keep on applying and trying yourself to be one of the successful one,you can attain it accompanied with prayers and determination.Don’t lose hope.

  • Christine

    Professionals are held in high regard and they themselves should respect their profession. What nurses do off duty is an issue as long as they wear their uniforms. They are lucky. Teachers, in or out of uniform, are always at higher risk of being sued for immorality or being unprofessional. Nurses these days play up the nurse fetish of men.