Hospital's strict dress-code policy helps patients identify clinical staff

Denim jeans, workout clothes, cracked nail polish, visible tattoos and "revealing" outfits are no longer acceptable attire for staff at Ontario's Ottawa Hospital, which recently implemented a first-of-its-kind dress code. 

The new policy also requires clinical staff to wear scrubs and lab coats while working within the hospital, and to remove these items upon leaving the building. All non-clinical staff must wear "business casual" attire, the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) reports. 

Employees will be sent home without pay for not adhering to the dress code. Also frowned upon will be masquerade-type costumes and "Friday Jeans Day" -- unless a manager grants special permission. The policy, believed to be the first such dress code at a Canadan hospital, is a direct result of patient feedback. Patients had regularly complained that it was difficult to distinguish between clinical and non-clinical staff, according to the journal report.  

To learn more:

- read the dress code policy (.pdf)
- read the CMAJ article
- see the AMA guidelines

Related Articles:
Outlawing ties and watches for the sake of patient safety
Physician fashion: Keep the coat, toss the tie
Fighting hospital infections by changing the dress code

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