Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Quest for the Cap

Well, Wikepedia says…. “It is also common for students of nursing to have their graduation portraits taken while wearing nurses' caps.”  I would like my Fran to print this out and take it to the head of her School of Nursing.  I will sign it.  In blood.
When Fran started nursing school I told her we would support her, financially etc., to best of our ability and all I wanted in return was her portrait in a nurses cap.  You can imagine my overreaction when she told me the school decided this year to abandon the caps in the portraits.  I decided I would buy a cap – which could actually preferable to the one shared cap the school had used in portraits for years.  I would buy a cap and take her picture in it.
The rationale for the hat abandonment was to elevate nurses above the old time perception of nurses as subservient handmaids to physicians.  (i.e., we’re “not the doctors’ bitches”  That is a direct quote.  Fran may speak at the pinning ceremony; she’s already working on rewording that.)  I agree that nurses deserve more respect.  I have been in enough medical situations to see that nurses are often more knowledgeable and more helpful to patients than doctors.  The knowledge, tacit wisdom, and patient interaction that nurses provide are the basis of health care in our society.  Nurses are so much more than servants trained to carry out doctors’ orders.
I can see how they may want to dispense with or alter the Florence Nightingale Pledge at their pinning ceremony, as it is in some ways outdated (“loyal to the physicians under whom you serve, as a good soldier is loyal to his officers”) and not in the same charmingly outdated way of physicians swearing to Apollo and various gods and goddesses when they take the Hippocratic Oath.
There has been enough backlash against the no-cap policy that students will now be allowed a cap portrait, provided that the photographer also snaps a capless picture that will go in the class composite on the school wall.  Fine.  That makes me happy.  And I was surprised when mentioned that Fran wanted her own cap! So I’ll be buying her a cap – just for her to keep in a clear hatbox on a shelf.
A little Christmas ornament encouragement!
We were talking about the caps today – and the scrubs that will be worn at the pinning ceremony.  (That will give the ceremony the vague look of a pajama party.)  And I put forth the idea that future generations may want to bring back the cap.  When nursing school directors are no longer acting in some sort of backlash against the old time perception of the nurse and start thinking in terms of pride in their profession, the cap may be considered as a mark of distinction.  I know the caps are not appropriate in all situations.  (And having some of my cousin’s old nurses caps in my dress up box, I remember how complicated and high maintenance they can be!)  There may just be times and places where a nurse wearing a cap would be not only be something done with pride – it might actually help. In the hospital situation, when everyone wears scrubs….from the janitorial staff to various techs and assistants, it would be nice if the nurses stood out.  As far as what male nurses would wear…that I haven’t quite figured out.  Some sort of modified white top hat?  Hmmmm??  They do deserve something, too. 


Danielle Werth said...

Great piece, Mom! Loved reading it!

Danielle Werth said...

Great piece, Mom. I really enjoyed reading it!

Wendy Legeret said...


I really enjoyed this. Growing up asthmatic, I was hospitalized at least twice a year and nurses were like a great friend to me.

As for the cap ceremony - the schools should keep it in. I don't see why they should take it out. It's part of the history - even though times have changed, they shouldn't get eliminate it.

It seems to me that society today is just thinking too much into these new rationales and then are forgetting about the entire history and setting it aside for good.

I'm just glad someone like you and your daughter are here for the long haul.

Congrats to your daughter!


St. Isidore Foundation

I cannot live under pressures from patrons, let alone paint.
-- Michelangelo, quoted in Vasari's Lives of the Artists

Meet the Family...
Collect the Action Figures

Yes, three jade ribbons. 15 Years!
(not all the same child)
If you need to ask, you may not wish to know.

Site Meter