A Chinese Hospital Has Asked Nurses To Dress Like Flight Attendants In An Effort To Improve Patient Care

Nurses Dressed As Flight Attendants: Is This The Latest Chinese Craze?

If you ask many people, chances are they have positive views of flight attendants. After all, hosts and hostesses of the air are generally known for being well-dressed, courteous, and friendly, even while enduring the longest, most turbulent transatlantic flight experiences. One creative-thinking Chinese hospital is banking on that favorable perception and hoping it will help boost patient morale. Specifically, nurses at the healthcare facility are dressing like flight attendants while they provide care.

In some respects, the initiative makes sense. So-called “white coat syndrome” is a well-documented phenomenon where even the sight of a person wearing traditional medical attire is enough for a usually calm person to exhibit characteristics such as an elevated heart rate and higher-than-normal blood pressure. And, the hospital seems to understand, it’s more than just the attire of flight attendants people often prefer.

Representatives from the hospital had nurses go through a month of training given by actual flight attendants from China Eastern Airlines. Hopefully then, the nurses have been able to retain their bedside manners, but have perhaps enhanced their behavior so they are even more customer service-oriented than before.

So far, the program is relatively small. It’s restricted to just the Lianshui Huaian Hospital of Chinese Medicine in the Jiangsu province, and only 12 nurses there were selected to swap their nursing attire for flight costumes. You may be surprised to learn that this idea to have nurses dressed as flight attendants is not a new idea nor is it entirely unique.

The head nurse at the hospital that’s giving this approach a try said plans to dress nursing staff members as flight attendants were in the works for months, but some people were initially afraid the bold move would attract negative press. It’s said the goal is to improve the overall quality of nursing at the hospital. Since people perceive flight employees to have good manners, maybe those impressions will match the type of service a patient receives while on the premises.

In Taiwan, a dentist office experimented with a similar concept by dressing the workers in maid uniforms. There are apparently three other dentists on that same Taiwanese street, so something had to be done to help that one practice stand out against competitors. In addition to wearing maid uniforms, the employees temporarily work as attendants by offering to get patients slippers to help them relax.

So, what do you think? Can nurses who dress like flight attendants really be worthwhile for improving patient care and improving morale?

[Image Credit: Kotaku]