Put a large red circle around Monday 20 April. This is the first day Cabrini staff will come to work wearing their new, bright and distinctive uniforms.
In 2012, new branding was introduced across the organization. The rebranding was reflected in Cabrini’s stationery, online presence, vehicle fleet and signage. The new look presented Cabrini as a healthcare facility with a strong heritage and a progressive nature. To complete implementation of the new brand across all facets of our organization, Cabrini staff will soon wear the same distinctive and unifying new brand integrated into their uniforms.
Natalie Sullivan, Executive Director of Continuing Care and Brighton (who has executive responsibility for patient experience), has been a member of the uniform steering committee since its inception and says the change is a successful and positive one for the organisation. Importantly, the new staff uniforms respond to feedback from staff, patients and their families.
Reason for the change
“Our research shows that patients and their families want to know who is looking after them,” says Natalie. “These new uniforms will help people to identify the role of the person providing care. “Each nurse, allied health professional, allied health assistant, diagnostic and patient services staff member will wear a distinctive uniform that identifies their role, supports them practically in the work they do, is easy to wear, care for and recognize.”
Input for the new staff uniforms was gathered during staff focus groups and discussions. Community members were consulted through Cabrini’s peak body for consumer involvement, the Patient, Resident and Family Experience Advisory Committee known as PEAC.
Natalie says she is grateful to all the staff who have provided input. “While not everyone will necessarily love every piece of the new uniforms, we have taken a lot of time with the change, seeking input and modifying the range in response to staff feedback.”
Looks, comfort and practicality
The main point of differentiation in the uniforms is the tops staff will wear. Our nurses will wear a red shirt featuring a dense pattern made up of the Cabrini ‘C’ symbol designed by Jock Mitchell of Manifesto Works. Allied health professionals will wear shirts sporting a yarn-dyed check in Cabrini colours. Diagnostic practitioners will wear shirts featuring a small grey check. Ward assistants and patient services assistants will wear a shirt that has a fine red stripe. Patient services and administrative staff will wear a printed blouse featuring a print showing elements of the Cabrini logo. All will choose from the same range of skirts, pants and shorts in a charcoal fabric designed exclusively for Cabrini. While unquestionably charcoal in effect, the fabric is a subtle blend of black and silver, to give it a slight lift and sense of class.
Perhaps more importantly, the fabrics used in the new staff uniforms are easy-care and designed to be fit-for-purpose. For example, a ward nurse in their daily activities may need to stretch, bend and shower patients. To support these tasks, the nursing shirts have extra deep action backs, are slightly longer in the body than before and sport a concealed modesty button. The fabric has a mechanical stretch and wicking feature to draw moisture away from the skin and dry quickly. Such role-specific modifications were based on feedback at staff focus groups and will ensure that the uniform items are not simply attractive, but will perform at an optimal level in the rigors of a work day.
The fabric for the pants and skirts has the feel of fine wool. The same cloth is used in the jackets worn by administrative staff and nurse managers. Optional pieces including a red cardigan with charcoal piping, or a new Cabrini tie are also on offer for specific working groups.
Cabrini is part of the communities in which our hospitals and healthcare facilities lie, so our uniform, colours and logo are familiar. It will take a little time before the new look is instantly as distinctly Cabrini but information will readily available to patients, residents and their families, explaining what each uniform means, and before long, our new uniforms will once again blend into local life.