It’s 6:00 a.m. and I’m so exhausted I can’t even think straight. After a long night of studying and writing a paper, I just want to curl back up into bed and forget the rest of the day. This is probably how the majority of us feel in the mornings before work or school. Do you ever wonder where some of your fellow nurses find the time or energy to look so put together? Chances are they probably don’t have the time or the energy either, but it makes them feel better about themselves.
I am one of these people. Rarely do I leave the house without makeup. In a pinch, there are two items that must always be applied: mascara and, most importantly, lipstick. Mascara can make any sleepy eye look at least half opened. It gives a bright-eyed look that usually can last all day long. Lipstick takes only seconds to apply, and while it does make for a pretty face, it also enhances our smiles, which are a big part of who we are.
I feel better about myself if I look at least halfway presentable. I always keep my lipstick in the pocket of my scrubs and reapply it throughout the day. It just makes me feel good! Nothing is more frightening than a nurse who actually looks as if her intentions are to hurt you! Lipstick stat!!!
One day when I was working in the hospital, I was bathing a patient and his nurse came in to introduce herself. She was as sweet as could be and I didn’t think twice about her until the patient made a comment to me: “She could have at least dried her hair before she came to work!” Apparently the nurse’s hair was still wet from her morning shower.
This is just is example of how attentive patients are as to how we present ourselves. Some people may argue that beauty lies within. Very true, but our faces are the physical focal point for the patients we’re treating. If we can’t take time out to care for ourselves, how can we care for our patients?
Now it's your turn to weigh in. What do you think? To lipstick or not to lipstick, that is the question? And for all our male nurse readers, what are the pressures you face regarding your physical appearance at work? Let's discuss in the comments section below.