To many, pharmacists and dispensers alike sit in a limbo between the retail, professional, and medical vocations. This poses problems of definition which particularly applies to pharmacy uniform. There are no specific regulations due to the privatization of the industry and as a result one wouldn’t be surprised to see a white-coated pharmacist in one branch, and one wearing a t-shirt in another. Although we cannot change the regulations, I think it’s important to outline the necessity for pharmacy uniforms, and how this can ultimately be beneficial to the business, and industry as a whole.
Of course, it is commonly accepted (and expected) that a pharmacist and all staff within a pharmacy should be dressed professionally, and maintain a high level of hygiene, including not wearing too much make-up, perfume, or jewellery. This however is difficult to control, and I propose that if a pharmaceutical business were to introduce a set pharmacy uniform, regulation of staff appearance would be made simple. This is not to suggest an institutional approach, we still want personality to come across to patients, but an overall clean and simple look across the board should induce a sense of comfort and security to customers. We have paid special attention at Uniforms 4 Healthcare to consider these factors in our Pharmacy Uniform section
On the other hand, we must consider approachability. A team full of staff wearing white coats would make the business feel like a laboratory; not the most people friendly environment. As a source of primary care, a community pharmacist should be easy to talk to for all, and not just a clinical dispensing engine. Moreover dispensers and shop assistants should appear friendly, trustworthy, and approachable, a feeling which a business-wide and company specific pharmacy uniform would invoke.
In previous blogs I have mentioned that for a business the branding factor is largely important also. One only needs to look at the largest retail pharmaceutical chains to see a firm pharmacy uniform policy in place including branding and name tags. All of this is carefully researched to achieve a feeling of community values, and professional discipline. At Uniforms for Healthcare we offer all branding and more, bespoke pharmacy uniforms can be produced to order to really make your business stand out from the rest.
Anand Sodha, Dencowear 2013
1 ‘What Should Pharmacists wear?’ Lin Nam Wang, senior contributions editor at The Pharmaceutical Journal (http://www.pjcareers.com/article/242/what-should-pharmacists-wear-/)