Location: Indiana, United States

I became a Professor Emeritus after serving 29 years as a recreational therapy faculty member at Indiana University. I'm a long-time Hoosier, having grown up in Hanover, Indiana. My RT practitioner work was in psych/mental health. After completing my Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, my first faculty position was at the University of North Texas. RT has been a wonderful profession for me as I have had the opportunity to serve as an author and national leader.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

How Do You Look?

I just read a nursing article titled "How Do You Look?" in the October ANA journal American Nurse Today. The author discusses some of the history of uniforms worn by nurses and then talks about what today's nurses wear.

While reading the article, I recalled how we RTs at Evansville State Hospital in the 1960 wore clothes that set us apart from other staff. The men wore light blue oxford cloth shirts and dark blue pants while the women dressed in light blue tops and dark blue skirts or slacks. All of us wore white name tags with our names and Recreation Therapist under our names. Everyone at the hospital knew the RTs by their uniforms.

Thinking back on this made me wonder how today's RTs dress at work. Do any still wear uniforms? Would uniforms be good for RTs?

The "How Do You Look?" article ends by asking four questions to ask yourself. Here they are rephrased for RTs. The questions are: (a) What impression does this ensemble make on those around me? (b) Does this outfit distinguish me as an RT? (c) Do I feel professional in these clothes? (d) Does this clothing provide comfort while projecting a serious image?

I'd really enjoy any comments on this issue.


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