Dress Codes After CNA Training

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When I began working in a nursing home after CNA training, there wasn’t much to the dress code. We were required to wear scrubs Saturday through Thursday, but it didn’t matter what type of scrubs we wore so long as they covered our bodies, any tattoos, and were paired with close-toed shoes. If we were lucky enough to be scheduled on Fridays, all bets were off, because this was considered our “casual” day. We could wear almost anything we wanted.

When it comes to choosing scrubs, I made most of the decisions about my wardrobe after CNA training, not the nursing home. I liked comfortable clothing, so I would choose comfortable colors and styles. On Fridays I might slip into a pair of jeans, but I would almost always wear scrub tops because they were functional; those deep pockets were perfect for carrying my notepad, pens, extra trash bags, and extra packets of lotion.

While I had some freedom when it came to my wardrobe after CNA training, that doesn’t mean you will, however. Many medical facilities these days are cracking down on dress codes and creating policies for what CNAs can and cannot wear.

Dress Codes After CNA Training

So, what areas are medical facilities cracking down on? Here are a few things you can expect when it comes to your dress code after CNA training.

  • Nails- In many facilities these days, acrylic nails and even long natural nails are a big no-no, and there are several reasons for this. The first reason is germs. Germs like to hide under nails, so even when you do your best to maintain your CNA training skills and hand washing techniques, you may still be spreading germs from one patient to another. The second reason is that it is much more likely for a patient to get scratched when a CNA has long nails. Combine this with the germs hiding beneath the nails and the thin frail skin of the elderly, and you’re just looking for trouble. That being said, CNAs should maintain their nails, but keep them short.
  • Scrubs- What problems will you find with scrubs after CNA training? Two of the main reasons medical facilities are taking steps to establish dress codes with scrubs is because they either want to maintain a uniform appearance (hello white!) or they simply worry about the style of scrubs some individuals choose. If you want to maintain your freedom when it comes to scrubs after CNA training, do your part: wear scrubs that fit well and avoid low necklines.
  • Hair- Every time I watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy I get jealous. It isn’t the cute guys or their ability to spend hours each day dealing with personal problems while still getting paid either; it’s their hair. In almost every scene, (other than in the actual surgeries) the women doctors have their hair down when dealing with patients. While they look beautiful, I can’t help but think back to that one day when I decided to go sans ponytail. I got hot, I got sweaty, my hair got in the way, and then to top things off, one of the patients on my hall though it would make a good handle. It was the one, and the only, time I ever tried wearing my hair down. After CNA training, looking like a rock star on television shouldn’t be your goal; be presentable and professional, but put your hair up and out of the way.

After CNA Training: What Are You Wearing?

Do you have any experience with trying to maintain your own way of dressing after CNA training? Have you struggled to keep up with your medical facility’s new policies? While it may be difficult, knowing how to dress is an important part of being a CNA. This will allow you to look like a true professional after CNA training.

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