Nurses at a Jiangsu hospital attend to patients in air hostess uniforms. (Photo/CFP)
A hospital in east China's Jiangsu province is raising eyebrows after introducing a new policy requiring nurses to wear air hostess outfits, reports the Nanjing-based Yangtse Evening Post.
Amid recent reports of frustrated family members attacking hospital staff across the country, 12 nurses from a hospital Lianshui county in Huai'an city began discarding their traditional white nurse garbs for a new air hostess getup on May 10.
Recruitment for the voluntary program began in March, and the participating nurses were given a month of training by a real air hostess from China Eastern Airlines in April.
"The nursing department had long intended to create an air hostess ward, but just didn't carry it out," said a spokesperson from the hospital, adding that this first batch of 12 nurses is currently confined to serving patients from a particular ward.
The air hostess uniforms at the hospital have a slightly longer skirt for reasons "everyone understands," said the spokesperson, who also noted that the participating nurses receive a higher salary but also take on a heavier workload.
One of the participating nurses, 23-year-old Zhao Yanan, said dressing up as an air hostess makes her work with more enthusiasm and has even encouraged her to sleep earlier so that she looks better in the mornings.
The majority of the Chinese netizens and patients are positive about the introduction of stewardess nurses, with many saying that it brightens up the hospital. The detractors, on the other hand, say focusing on attire detracts from what patients really care about, which is the quality of the nurses' service and attitude.
Zhao Yanan 趙亞男