Visual history of nurse uniforms
June 19, 2009 10:18 AM   Subscribe

This site is dedicated to those hardworking and underpaid Angels of Mercy who, over the years, have made a stay in hospital that much more bearable. It's a growing collection of images of Nurses taken from Film, TV and The Media from the 1930s to the present, showing how uniform styles have changed over the years.
posted by Joe Beese (7 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Four beautiful young students in their last year of nursing school work hard on their bedside manner to satisfy their patients' every need.

These hardworking and underpaid Angels of Mercy bare it all to make a stay in the hospital that much more bearable.
posted by Mountain Goatse at 11:38 AM on June 19, 2009

It's too bad there isn't a growing collection of images of web pages from the 1990s to the present, showing how styles have changed over the years.
posted by xingcat at 12:15 PM on June 19, 2009

When I worked for a peer-reviewed nursing journal, I was looking for citations supporting some assertions an author had made in a sidebar about an exhibit of art based on historic nursing uniforms. One was a reference to a New Yorker article, and I couldn't find the page numbers anywhere -- it was apparently totally unindexed and I was up against a deadline; didn't have time to go to the library and brute-force it through the stacks. I ultimately found it cited completely and correctly on a Web page for medical fetishists.

And that's why Web filtering in the workplace is wrong.

(FWIW, the nurses I know would rather be honored by having the nursing shortage and mandatory overtime issues addressed than with goofy labels like "Angels of Mercy.")
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 1:01 PM on June 19, 2009 [3 favorites]

Wait, I thought "Angels of Mercy" were the BAD type of nurses.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:06 PM on June 19, 2009

Thank you for saying that, chesty_arthur.

The uniforms have slowly evolved from nun's habits to institutionally supplied (and very clean) scrubs, and the profession has changed from "succoring female" to intensively educated and highly trained professionals of all genders.

We still have traditional capping ceremonies for students. The men get lapel pins. The caps are know to be a disease vector now, and if a cap is worn, it's usually disposable and blue.
posted by reflecked at 1:18 PM on June 19, 2009

Shouldn't there be a comment from It's Raining Florence Nightingale?
posted by Cranberry at 2:43 PM on June 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

That website gives me a slight bit of creepiness. I only clicked on a few pages (because, seriously, > 400 pages of this?) but I don't see a progression of history. There's no representation of modern uniforms that aren't dresses. No, not history. Subtle, repressive fetishism. Not that that's wrong, but to present it otherwise is kind of creepy.

Within the hospital setting: Since most women don't wear skirts every day, especially while doing manual labor, having a uniform skirt is going to be awkward and weird and require a period of retaining how one lifts, bends, and dodges. Couple that with patients who can be inappropriate, well, it's just not productive for most women to wear skirted uniforms. Hell, I wear skirts in a non-patient area, but once I move onto a floor? You bet I'm in scrub pants. My hospital is moving back towards a uniform color and cut of scrubs, rather than 'bring your own, doesn't matter the color or print.' I'm happy to get the glurgy religious prints out, especially. That's enough of a uniform for the major hospitals, and fetish guy can just chill out or find the one old lady who wears the scrub dress to go harass.
posted by cobaltnine at 3:56 PM on June 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

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