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  1. Tam, Wai Yi BSN (Hons), RN
  2. Ng, Deborah Li Li MSc, RN
  3. Kowitlawakul, Yanika PhD, RN


OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to explore patients' perceptions toward the nursing uniforms used in a hospital in Singapore and how different uniforms impact nurse-patient interactions.


BACKGROUND: Nursing uniforms act as a form of nonverbal communication. However, implications of the increasing variety of nursing uniforms on patients' perceptions of nurses and nurse-patient interactions are unexplored.


METHODS: An exploratory qualitative study design using semistructured interviews was adopted for the study. Twenty-one patients agreed to be interviewed. An audio recorder was used during data collection. The thematic analysis method was used for data analysis.


RESULTS: Four major themes were identified: identity, subjectivity, suitability, and inconsequential. Nurses' uniform was regarded as a representation of identity. Suitability of the uniform for nurses was a main concern for patients. However, nurses' uniforms were inconsequential to nurse-patient interactions.


CONCLUSION: Patients' perceptions of nurses' uniforms were highly subjective and have no substantial impact on nurse-patient interactions.