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Dressed for the occasion


Faculty: Health, Medicine and Social Care
School: School of Nursing and Midwifery
Course: BSc (Hons) Midwifery
Category: Nursing and midwifery

12 May 2020

Uniform is an essential part of kit a nurse requires to practice. Uniform not only includes the clothes you wear but also the accessories. I wear mine in university and out on placement, and here's what it consists of.

As a nursing or midwifery student at ARU we are given uniform in our first week which consists of a tunic and trousers. Dresses are optionally purchased from the workwear website afterwards. When wearing a dress, it is optional to also have an elasticated belt as many do.

My personal preference for placement is a tunic and trousers as I find them more comfortable and flexible; however, I have colleagues who feel the same about wearing dresses!

Detail of midwife's uniform - shoulder epaulette with three stripes and a fobwatch
Detail of a midwife's uniform - tunic-style top and black trousers
Pair of black shoes resting on a shoebox

Alongside these items are the further essentials needed to complete your uniform.

  • Epaulettes: used in the University so that the year you are in can be distinguished. You begin with one stripe and get a new pair each year to get to three stripes in your final year. These must be worn on placement so that the staff on the wards can see what year you are in and assign the appropriate work tasks to you depending upon your experience.
  • Fobwatch: an essential part of the uniform which nurses use. Often used to count the respiration rate of your patient. This allows you to focus on other factors of breathing rather than looking up at the clock on the wall away from your patient.
  • Shoes: it's essential to get a good pair of shoes for your placements. They must be black, be a material which you can wipe clean if there are any spillages and which does not absorb, and cover the entire top of your foot to help prevent any damage if anything is dropped onto them.
  • Name badge: a vital part of your uniform which will tell your patient and the inter-professional team what your name is, where you are studying and if you are in third year, that you're a final year student.
  • ID badge: generally issued by the Trust you are mainly working in and must be worn on your uniform with a retractable clip attachment. This is to reduce risk of infection and being in the way, like lanyards commonly are.



The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.