Singapore, 25 July 2017 – In conjunction with its annual Nurses’ Day celebrations, SingHealth today unveiled new uniforms for 12,000 nurses across its eleven healthcare institutions. The new look will create a cohesive identity for nurses working across different care settings and help patients and the public identify SingHealth nurses more easily.
The change in uniform comes amid the reorganisation of Singapore’s public healthcare system into three integrated clusters, which brings Changi General Hospital into the SingHealth cluster by early 2018.
With the completion of Sengkang General and Community Hospitals in 2018 and the Outram Community Hospital in 2020, SingHealth, which is the largest public healthcare cluster, expects to increase its nursing force by 25 per cent to better meet the nation’s future healthcare needs. In addition, the cluster is looking into new models of care with a stronger focus on community nursing that will ensure patients with multiple chronic conditions remain well-supported across the care continuum.
Professor Ivy Ng, Group Chief Executive Officer, SingHealth, said: “In the past, a nurse’s role tended to be within a single care setting such as the inpatient ward or specialist outpatient clinic of a specific healthcare institution. As our population ages, this is changing. Our nurses now look after more patients with multiple chronic conditions, and to ensure that they benefit from seamless care, it is increasingly common for SingHealth nurses to work across institutions and in the community. The new unified look will enable patients and their family members to easily identify SingHealth nurses who are caring for them, as they move from one care setting to another. ”
New Design to Help Patients Identify Nurses Easily
In conceptualising the new uniform design, feedback from patients and staff as well as members of the public was taken into consideration. In addition, the new uniforms were designed to retain a professional nursing image.
The current nurse uniform design comes in varying colours to reflect each SingHealth institutions’ corporate identity and different designs to indicate a nurse’s rank. For example, a Nurse Clinician from Singapore General Hospital wears a green uniform while a Staff Nurse wears a white uniform with a central green strip, and an Enrolled Nurse wears a white uniform with a green strip on the sleeves.
“We received feedback from patients that it can be confusing when they see nurses in different uniforms caring for them, and that they intuitively associate the colour white with the nursing profession. In terms of practicality, our nurses shared that they find scrub suits to be more comfortable to work in compared to dress uniforms. The new uniform designs reflect the collective comments from our nurses and patients. As our nurses adapt to new models of care and take on expanded roles such as Advanced Practice Nurses and Patient Navigators, which require them to work cross-institution and in multi-disciplinary teams, these new uniforms will help patients and their caregivers identify them easily and give patients the assurance of the high standard of nursing care,” said Dr Tracy Carol Ayre, Group Chief Nurse, SingHealth.
The new uniform design will be predominantly white for all nurses, regardless of rank. Colour trimmings at the collar will differentiate rank, with colours ranging from maroon for Enrolled Nurses, blue for Staff Nurses, blue with orange for Nurse Clinicians and Senior Nurse Managers, and orange for Assistant Directors and above. All nurses will also wear a name badge which indicates the logo of their respective healthcare institution.
The new uniform will be rolled out from 2018 across SingHealth’s eleven healthcare institutions, namely the Singapore General Hospital, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Sengkang General Hospital, Changi General Hospital, SingHealth Community Hospitals, National Cancer Centre Singapore, National Dental Centre Singapore, National Heart Centre Singapore, National Neuroscience Institute, Singapore National Eye Centre, and SingHealth Polyclinics.
Recognising the Best
Every year, awards and scholarships are presented to top nurses across SingHealth’s institutions to mark the Nurses’ Day celebrations. This year, 47 nurses received awards to recognise their outstanding work performance and contributions. Another 16 nurses were presented scholarships to pursue higher education and receive specialised training to deliver better care for patients.