Should pharmacists (and other health care professionals such as doctors) wear white coats? 👨⚕️ It’s still popular to wear lab coats as a pharmacist abroad from what I can see (like the US). In Poland and Latvia, I’ve seen lab technicians wear white coats too!
➡️ Approachability- a white coat may make pharmacists seem less approachable by the public, particularly in community. It can be quite intimidating to see and may cause 'white coat syndrome'. 😳 The patient experiences hypertension in the clinical setting (maybe due to subconsciously feeling uncomfortable). Naturally, I have low blood pressure, but it's normal when I go to the GP!
➡️ Professionalism- in my opinion, a white coat looks very professional. Many people are also more likely to trust a person wearing a white coat for this reason. Trust is key!! Having worked in a community pharmacy, I know that pharmacists don’t always dress professionally 😯 and I have seen some come in wearing dresses and playsuits that are far too short ❌ - if they all wore a white coat, this would no longer be an issue, although I think the core dress code should also be upkept.
➡️ Identity- a patient that sees someone wearing a white coat will be able to recognise who they are and their position. This is usually good I think, as they instantly know who to go to for help. It may however, alienate 👽 other staff members without white coats- who gets to wear them, and who doesn’t?
➡️ Infection control- white coats *may* be an infection risk because they tend to be washed less frequently. They are also long sleeved which is against the ‘bare below the elbow’ policy in hospitals 🏥. They may however, help reduce the spread of infection- it protects the wearer from getting infections, bodily fluids and dirt on their own clothes, which they bring home.
➡️ Religion ✡🕉 - whenever introducing dress codes and uniforms such as white coats, beliefs should be considered to ensure that everyone would be happy to comply.
➡️ Behaviour- ever put on a new outfit and suddenly you feel extra confident? 🤩 Could wearing a white coat have this effect on pharmacists and is it always positive? [I'm so awful at art sorry people 😂 I tried.]