uniforms for nurses

FLORENCE Nightingale would be so proud to know that nurses will soon be working in the wards in pristine uniforms - if health officials' wishes are granted.

FLORENCE Nightingale would be so proud to know that nurses will soon be working in the wards in pristine uniforms - if health officials' wishes are granted.

Health officials want both doctors and nurses to go back to basics - starting with the uniforms and white lab coats that made the medical profession so respectable in the old days.

And the calls gathered momentum this week when Gauteng health MEC Qedani Mahlangu publicly supported the return of uniforms. She said she supported Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, who has said this would be ideal.

Though the colour might not necessarily be white, nurses would be allowed an updated version of what Nightingale wore.

Nightingale, who was born in 1820 and died in 1910, was an English nurse who came to prominence during the Crimean War for her pioneering work in nursing, and was dubbed "The Lady with the Lamp" after her habit of making rounds at night to tend to injured soldiers.

On Tuesday Mahlangu said: "I agree with the minister and public that nurses should wear standard uniforms.

"They should go back to basics. At some hospitals you meet nurses in the corridors but you cannot tell what they are because they wear civilian clothes. That must stop."

Discussions are under way between nurses and their unions about what would be best for everyone.

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) agrees that there is a need for the nurses to have a standard uniform.

Denosa chief negotiator Modise Letsatsi said: "All we want is for government to provide the nurses with uniforms and it should be agreed that they return to standard uniforms."

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