The Opinions of Parents and Children about the Uniforms of the Nursing Staff in Paediatric Hospitals

The hospitalization of children may have a negative effect on their mental health. Studies report that the nurses’ uniform influences the children’s mood and that of their parents, especially in paediatric hospitals. Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the opinions of the parents and children about the uniform of the nurses. Method: The participants were 44 children aged between 8-14 years (mean 11.25 years) who were hospitalized in paediatric wards of a paediatric or general hospital, and 156 parents of hospitalized children. The data were collected via a special questionnaire and the use of coloured pictures showing examples of nurses’ uniforms. Results: The mean duration of hospitalization of the 44 study children was 3.48 days. The mean age of the study parents (33 men and 123 women) was 35.3 years and the mean duration of their children’s hospitalization was 2.54 days. The majority of the children were hospitalized in paediatric (N=114, 57%) and surgical wards (N=53, 26%) of general hospitals. Of the parents, 87.2% mentioned that the nurses should be recognizable by their uniform and 85.3% believed that the uniform should be friendly and pleasant for their children. The main characteristics of the uniform should be recognition (68.5%) and professionalism (37.0%), and 47.5% of all the participants preferred the multicolour uniforms and only 11% preferred white uniforms. Children with previous hospitalizations and young parents (p=0.019) could easily distinguish between the nurses and the other health professionals from the nurses’ uniforms (p=0.036). Conclusions: The uniform of the nurses should be specially designed so as to be functional and representative of their role. Multicoloured nurses’ uniforms are those most preferred by both the children and their parents.