The “Capping and Pinning Ceremony” is one of the highlights of being a nurse. It signifies a lot of things and besides passing the battery exam, it can be the start of the real nursing life where you will start to be exposed to different hospitals and signifies the start of your “duty days” or hospital training.
The nurse’s cap original purpose is to keep the women nurse’s hair neat and away from their face. Wearing your hair very neatly is very important so you won’t spread bacteria and microorganisms from one patient to another since a person’s hair can be one of the factors that can transmit different types of bacterias.
In the early years, since its main purpose is to keep away hair from the face, its worn like how a nun wears a veil where it covers the whole head. But as time goes by and nurses have also become fashionable, it has evolved to how our nurse’s cap is today. In the later years, nurse’s cap started to mean more than just for safety and sanity reasons but has also started to signify the nurse’s dignity and has been a symbol for nurses. Though each school has different designs and cuts, it serves as one of the most symbolic accessories that nurses wear.
The nursing cap symbolizes trust, purity, and devotion to the nursing profession. It has been considered as the nurse’s crown when doing her pledged duty. But, how should one take care of the nurse’s cap? When I started to wear this cap, I had a hard time figuring out how and what to do to take care of it because it was seldom discussed in school and sometimes, they took it for granted because it seems unimportant. Nevertheless, as we take care of our white uniforms, we should also put proper care to our nurse’s cap.
As you know, nurses’ cap should be stiff or hardened. It was made this way to seal the fabric thus lowering the chance of dirt/bacteria to penetrate from it. It also makes the fabric last longer.
In taking care of nurse’s cap, you should prepare the starch solution.
1. Prepare a cup of water, pour in one tablespoon of starch (cornstarch will do) and stir it.
2. In another bowl, prepare another cup of water and bring to boil.
3. Pour in the cup with cornstarch and stir continuously until you get the “paste” texture of it.
4. Set aside and cool it off.
After washing your cap the usual way like any other clothes, (remove the stain and you can soak it with disinfectant for around 30 minutes), place it on a flat surface and spread the starch solution into the newly cleansed cap. Make sure to put the starch paste in every corner of the cloth. Once done, you can drain it with the heat of the sun.
Once dried, it will become stiff and you can iron it and fold it the way it should be depending on your institution’s instruction or design. Make sure you also have at least 3 caps so you can wash it at least twice a week and you can alternately use it. Washing your cap and disinfecting it is imperative since you can spread some bacterias you got from the hospital to your own home. That is why aside from the cap itself, your cap case must also be disinfected as much as possible and this must be stored well in your baggage as well.
Keeping your cap clean and free from any stain can make a difference with how the patient will perceive you. Securing it well should also be noted so that it won’t interrupt your work. A nurse with this cap must wear this with pride and dignity. At last, you will put to action all you have learned theoretically from school and you can start becoming the “real nurse” that you have always dreamed of.