Dress codes are standard practice in most professions, especially those in the medical field.

In the field of Respiratory Therapy, how you dress can have a massive impact on patient care and satisfaction. That’s why it’s important to wear the proper uniforms while at work in the hospital setting. But you may be wondering, is there a dress code for Respiratory Therapists? Let’s take a look and see. 

While every facility is different in some ways, the basic required dress code for Respiratory Therapists is consistent for the most part. 

Required Dress Code for Respiratory Therapists:

Wear closed-toe  shoes

This one will be, pretty much, standard anywhere you go. You will definitely want to wear closed-toe shoes at all this. Just think about when sticking an ABG, what if the needle were to slip out of your hand. You need shoes that will protect your feet from an accidental needle stick. Here is our list of the best shoes for Respiratory Therapists.

Wear the right color scrubs

This will be different for every hospital, but you should always wear scrubs of the proper color. For instance, we are required to wear hunter green where I work. I typically see Respiratory Therapists wearing shaded of blue and green in most hospitals. Do you wear a different color where you work? Let me know in the comment. Also, check out our list of the best scrubs for Respiratory Therapists

Wear a lab coat

While this one isn’t required, I definitely recommend that every Respiratory Therapist wear a lab coat. For one reason, it just looks uber professional (and I’m all about looking fly ?). And two, it serves as another layer of protection from blood, chemical spills, and body fluids.

On top of that, lab coats are made from flame-resistant materials. Students may be required to embroider their school logo patch on the lab coat. Click here to see the best lab coats for RTs

Display your I.D. badge at all times

Most hospitals require that you wear and display your identification badge at all times. This helps coworkers, patients, and even patient family members to know who you are. Also, you’ll probably need it to gain access to restricted areas. 

For the ladies, we like this LuLu Lung Badge holder from Amazon.com. I mean, honestly, does it get any cuter than this?

Keep your uniform clean

Always show up with your scrubs in tip-top shape. This means no stains or spots and try to keep them wrinkle-free. Respiratory Therapists should always strive to look professional at all times. 

Keep jewelry to a minimum

Limit the number of earrings that you wear to one pair. Also, for safety concerns, don’t wear earrings that are too big. Limit rings to wedding bands or rings. Bracelets and necklaces are acceptable. 

Keep your fingernails in order

You don’t want them to be too long and this can interfere with your job duties. I mean, you can’t be sticking ABGs with long fingernails. Also, nail polish should be natural colors; nothing too wild. Fake nails shouldn’t be worn as it increases the chances of harboring infections. Keep your cuticles and the areas beneath your nails clear of dirt and oil. 

Keep your hair neat

Gentlemen should have a clean haircut and facial hair should be well-groomed. Ladies need to have their hair pulled back from the face. This helps to prevent the contamination of sterile fields if it were to fall over your shoulder. 

No fragrances while in uniform

That means no cologne for the guys and no perfume for the ladies. It’s always important to maintain good body odor while in uniform but never wear strong fragrances. This is because highly scented products can cause allergic reactions and breathing difficulties for some patients. As a Respiratory Therapist, this is the last thing you want. Save your fragrances for hot dates with your significant other.

No smoking or chewing gum

I know, it sounds ridiculous to say that you shouldn’t chew gum, however, this is a rule for most facilities although it usually isn’t enforced. Chewing gum can lead to an embarrassing, and potentially harmful event if it were to fall out of your mouth at the wrong time. 

It goes without saying:  you, my friend, are a Respiratory Therapist, so you definitely shouldn’t smoke. But you already know this. You know what it does to your body; you’ve seen it first-hand. Many of you won’t listen to me but that’s okay, I still love you. Most healthcare facilities establish a smoke-free environment to within 250 feet of their grounds.

Have the right tools on the job

Tools are definitely a part of your uniform, even though you may not think of them as such. As Respiratory Therapists, it’s important to use the best tools in order to do your job as best as you can. that means a good stethoscope, pulse oximeter, clipboard, and more. You will use them so often throughout your shifts that they not only become an extension of your uniform, but also an extenstion of you. 

Final Thoughts

Now you know all about the dress code requirements for Respiratory Therapists. Some of the rules listed here may sound silly but they are in fact necessary. In order to do the job right, you need to look the part and it all starts with your uniform.

Dress codes were put in place because they are important towards achieving maximum patient satisfaction. Follow the rules above and you have nothing to worry about.