The healthcare field is rarely associated with fashion. Comfort and functionality are the primary considerations put into the making of scrubs and coats. After all, they perform tedious tasks. So, it’s expected that they can move freely.
But aside from these, attires are also connected to how colleagues and patients perceive a health care professional. According to a study, the perception of a physician’s professionalism is linked with how they dress. The study finds that patients prefer it when their doctors are in white coats.
Progress in Perception
If you are a millennial health care professional freshly entering the health care industry, you might find this objectionable. The good news is that there has been some progress in the fashion side of healthcare recently. In this recent study, findings say that patients don’t perceive any difference in professionalism and competence with professionals who have tattoos and piercings. This change of perception is associated with changing societal norms.
The researchers in this study made seven doctors wear a fake non-traditional piercing or a fake full-sleeve tattoo. They wore one or both during their emergency room duties. This went on for nine months. Eventually, two doctors bailed out of the experiment. One of them dropped out, citing it was uncomfortable to wear piercings and tattoos.
The patients the doctors attended to were surveyed after. Much to the researchers’ surprise, age and gender did not play a factor in patients’ disapproval. Even patients, men and women aged 50 and above, said it was okay that their doctors had tattoos or piercings. Almost 75 percent of the time, patients rated the doctors positively.
Professionalism Still Matters
The researcher cited that a phenomenon called the Hawthorn effect may have taken place. It could be that the doctors behaved more favorably on days they had their tattoos or piercings. That is one consideration for the researchers. However, they still believe that the results in the patients’ perception are promising and encouraging.
You might feel the same encouragement after knowing this study. However, depending on where you work, the rules on professionalism may differ. In case you end up in a very traditional institution, here is how you can still express your fashion sense while abiding by the rules:
1. Wear Colorful Scrubs
You have the freedom to choose the color of your scrubs, so take advantage of that. You can wear any color for any day, although you might need to stay away from colors such as bright red. Red can be very distracting for both your patients and your colleagues.
You can also use some cheerful colors for days when you feel stressed and need a pick-me-up. Deep purple exudes regalness and depth. Pastel colors seem friendly and easy-going.
Lately, fashionable scrubs have become a thing. They have embroidered flowers and patterns of different colors. Some have stylish cuts and zipper enclosures. Feel free to choose whatever design and style you feel the most.
2. Design Your Own Space
This is for when you open your own practice. Having your clinic means you make the rules. It is especially fun to design clinics for kids. If you are a dentist for kids, you are in luck. The same goes for doctors of family medicine and pediatrics. However, you don’t have to wait to open your clinic to do this.
You can still make your desk or office fashionable. Put frames, trays, and mats according to your preference. Channel your creativity to the little things. Practicing medicine is stressful; you should at least be relieved when you see your workplace.
You can also express your fashion statement with your accessories. If you are wearing neutral colors under your white coat, why not put on strong-colored earrings. Complete the look with some sheer makeup.
Also, choose the best watch to pair with ordinary-looking scrubs. Even choosing the color of your stethoscope can be an expression of your style.
There are rare chances when you can dress up the way you want. S, at conferences and conventions, take your chance. When you attend lectures, be your best self.
Medicine is a noble profession, but it can get draining and stressful. So, you have to find ways how to squeeze in some self-care. Expressing yourself through fashion is good for your mental health. It stimulates creativity and boosts your self-esteem. Your fashion choices in the industry are limited, but you have to be smart about it. When you do get your days off, make sure to get the rest that you deserve.