Socializing after work in your scrubs - page 2

Yuck! Who does this? So my husband and I are on a long weekend in Taos, NM. Friday night we were at a local bar listening to a band. In walk a group of women in their mid-twenties. They appeared to... Read More

  1. by   sharpeimom
    my first thought was that not everyone who wears scrubs is a nurse. not by a long shot. around here, scrubs are worn by: nurses, aides, cleaning staff at various institutions, school student aides (in preschool and elementary,) home health aides, vet techs, clean up
    after the critters staff at our vet's clinic, students at two local tech schools, whether in allied health programs or not, nursing students, etc.

    i agree with the yuck! factor -- to a point. i think the yuck! factor is every bit as bad with cleaning staff as it is with the nursing/
    aide staff. if i clean our three bathrooms thoroughly, do laundry, take our stove apart and clean it properly, mop floors, dust and vacuum, scrub hither and yon, dump, spot clean, refill 10 litter boxes, am i going to shower and change before i go out? you'd better believe it!

    if, when i worked in psych or addictions, i didn't happen to get my front and my shoes hurled on, i might stop and get gas or maybe dog and cat food on my way home. but stop for a drink or other socialization? no way in .... aside from the gross factor, i just happen to think it's totally unprofessional. ok... so i'm a crusty ol' bat!
  2. by   TheCommuter
    Some points to remember:

    1. Everybody (and their mama) wears scrubs these days, not just nurses. The women at the bar could have been medical assistants, dental assistants, housekeepers, receptionists, veterinary technicians, lab assitants, or just about anything under the sun.

    2. Some 'street clothes' are even more dirty and germ-infested than scrubs. I know of people who do not wash their laundry regularly and will readily spray some Febreze on dirty clothing to make their clothes smell 'cleanlier.'

    3. Some peoples' hands are filthier than the scrubs that we wear. Many people leave public restrooms after using the restroom without washing their hands. Many people fail to sanitize their hands after touching dirty devices such as door knobs, ATM machines, and so forth.

    In a nutshell, I do not think that wearing scrubs to a bar after work is that big of a deal. Microbes are everywhere.
  3. by   chuckster
    There's little doubt that scrubs are the vector for nasties of all sorts. Here's just a sampling:
    Hospital Scrubs Are a Germy, Deadly Mess
    Opinion: Hospital Scrubs' Deadly Mess -
    Hospital workers wearing germs on their scrubs
    Hospital workers wearing germs on their scrubs - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
    Hospital garb harbors nasty bacteria, new study says 60 percent of uniforms tested positive. Should workers wear duds outside?
    Hospital garb harbors nasty bacteria, study says - Health - Infectious diseases -

    This issue could be easily rectified - all hospital's would need to do is to have facilities for their staff to change in and lockers to store the scrubs. Would be even better if the hospital would also provide an in-house laundry, even if they had to charge the staff a nominal amount. And even better if the hospitals provided clean scrubs to their staff free of charge, as some UK hospitals are doing.
  4. by   bluemushroom
    Quote from Flare
    I think it looks really unprofessional. Germs and bodily fluids aside - think about how it looks to see a nurse with a bottle of Corona in his/her hand tearing up the dance floor. I certainly don't want that person taking care of my grandma!
    Um...what? So, nurses don't go out drinking and dancing? Are we supposed to hide that we do these things? I wasn't aware that it was "unprofessional" to do normal things on my own free time, whether I'm in scrubs or not. I was also unaware that doing these things means that I'm unable to take care of patients. Sorry, but I don't pee sunshine, poop rainbows, and vomit flowers. I'll stick to having fun when I want and cursing like a drunken sailor. I wish people would stop having this unrealistic image of nurses as perfect, angelic beings.
  5. by   nurseprnRN
    i agree that it's probably not a significant microbiological issue, because, well, the human race evolved a long, long time before there was alcogel for hand-washing.:d you probably will, and do, encounter those bugs and more on a public escalator handrail or banquette at the mall food court.

    gotta agree with the idea that it looks bad, though. of course people who wear scrubs for work are entitled to go out for a little adult beverage and hair-hanging-down, just like anybody who wears anything else for work. and like it or not, fair or not, reasonable or not, the general public does not want to think about physicians/nurses/therapists tying one on, even on their own time, in the off chance that they could still be affected on the next shift. like it or not, we do have a visual brand and an image to keep up, in the name of public confidence.

    therefore, i'm in the camp of "change out of your identifiable patient care uniform/ditch the lab coat if you can wear civvies to work" folks.
  6. by   Flare
    Quote from MomRN0913
    it looks like the nurse is being human and enjoying a beer and some socialization after a shift while not caring for patients.

    Get over the nurse is holier than thou thing. We are not, we are human and live a human life like everyone else outside of work.

    What about the business man in his suit enjoying a corona after work? He doesn't get judged.

    Not everyone remembers to bring a change of clothes and they should be judged for doing what the want off shift in their work clothes.

    I really hate double standards.

    That being said I have done it as my coworkers have. No plans to go out, didn't bring any clothes, had a stressful shift wanted to enjoy dinner and a drink.

    Yeah, we really shouldn't be taking care of anyone's grandmothers.
    I wouldn't call professionalism a "holier than thou" attitude, and i certainly did not limit my opinion about professionalism to only nurses. If you are willing to go out and drink in your uniform, then you are opening yourself up for potential criticism. I am sure I'm not the only person that feels this way.

    And yes, there is a double standard... but nurses don't corner the market on that one. I'm sorry that the business man in a suit doen't get judged, but neither does the construction worker in jeans or teacher in business casual.

    I'm not saying you can't go out after work, but keep a plain shirt in your car or locker and at least take off your scrub top.
  7. by   RainzRN
    I am in my last year of RN school and my Med/Surg instructor last semester made a GREAT point about this... even tho we are "only" stopping for a loaf of bread or gallon of milk in our scrubs we are dragging into the community all those awful microbes from work like MRSA, and other nosocomials.... I thought that was a great point and that is enough to make me change my shoes and clothes before heading home even (my kids don't need that crud!). So I have to agree with the yuck factor.
    I don't know the details but she mentioned that is part of the reason behind "community acquired" MRSA.
  8. by   Been there,done that
    I agree wearing scrubs out of any facility is not hygienic. You cannot be sure what organisms you may have come in contact with and carried out on your scrubs. (c-diff is coming to mind)
    I can't WAIT to get mine straight into the washer with HOT water and bleach.

    As far as partying in scrubs... for a professional , it really does not look good.Yes.. we are allowed to loosen up and have a couple of drinks... but face it , we ARE held to a higher standard. (unfair as that is)
  9. by   theantichick
    I can't even bring myself to stop for a gallon of milk in my scrubs after a rotation. I'm a bit of a germaphobe - not bad enough to keep me from doing the work, but enough that I use the heck out of the alcogel & soap, and change clothes IMMEDIATELY when I get home (usually a shower too). If I had the option with my house layout of coming in through the garage, my work shoes would never come in the house.

    I wish hospitals provided better facilities for staff to change on premises. I wouldn't want them supplying my scrubs because I'm picky about what brands I wear (I'm hard to fit) and I don't mind having a dedicated bag for taking them home to wash, but I've been in several facilities in the area for rotations, and only one had good changing areas with lockers for the nursing staff.
  10. by   Esme12
    Wow, I NEVER knew I was in the minority here.

    I have gone out for liver rounds after a long 3-11 shift more times than I could count. I have gone to breakfast after midnights and had a beer (or two). Even when we wore white, we just didn't wear our caps , when we went out after work. I have gone to the grocery store in my scrubs on the way home to pick up something up for home. Trust me if I have been peed, pooped, bleed or puked on I have already changed into surgical scrubs before I left the hospital. I've even interviewed for a job after nights, in my scrubs because I didn't have time/energy to change due to one crisis or another.

    I know that my scrubs and the bottom of my shoes are cleaner than and shopping cart handle or bar stool.

    Just to think....I have been unprofessional all these years.......I had no idea..
  11. by   hiddencatRN
    I don't get covered in poo and pee on a regular basis. If we go out after work, I'm not going to drive home first then go out. And most of my patients have URIs not MDROs that spread via just about anything. Are you one of those people who strips in the garage when you get home?
  12. by   IEDave
    Quote from MomRN0913
    ...What about the business man in his suit enjoying a corona after work? He doesn't get judged...
    Exactly how much would you care to wager on that one?

    So far, I've heard of it happening about half a dozen times at my various employers - and, witnessed it twice.

    The best one was, hmm, would've been in the early 90's. At the time I was a young computer operator at a firm that insisted on business attire for the DP staff, including dress shirts, ties, presentable slacks, etc. for the operators. Really "by the book" forward a bit...along came a Friday night & there was a company 'do at the local baseball game. The "real" suits got to use the box & us peons got the nosebleed seats. Anyhow - game was on, and one of my co-workers points out one of the managers, in his suit, with an adult beverage in hand. My nosy co-worker kept track of his actions, and...Monday morning, I got in at my usual oh-seven-bleary-eyed & got called over by one of the management - handed a cardboard box & told to go help clean out so & so's office. Seems that the CEO got a report from someone of one of the managers loosening up at the ball game, left an after-hours meeting, drove over to the field and witnessed said manager in action.

    So...Mr. "Life of the party" shows up at 7:55 a.m., apparently oblivious to the police cruiser in visitor parking :redlight: and the fact that the CEO's car was in "executive row" (which very rarely happened - CEO was a "9 to whenever" kind of person) :redlight::redlight:. CEO called him in to the conference room & closed the door. Nobody witnessed what happened next, but about 15 minutes later two of the local gendarmerie escorted the manager out of the building; manager looked white as a sheet; and a couple of the office staff took the boxes out to his car. Ta-ta, y'all!

    Technically, it wasn't an "after work" scenario - the other one that got nailed was as you described though; just wasn't as interesting a tale is all. Unprofessional behavior is unprofessional behavior, and the "suits" get nailed as well - it's just a little more low-key as to how it's handled.

    Far as me - I usually carry a couple of change of clothes (backup scrubs & street clothes) with me anyway. Being a CNA's not terribly clean to begin with, and for me it's not that big of a deal to change into casual street clothes at the end of a shift. But, that's just me - do as you like.

    ----- Dave
  13. by   Perpetual Student
    To each their own, but I sure wouldn't go to a bar in scrubs. I always change in the locker room at the end of the day. The only time I leave the hospital grounds in scrubs is if I'm going to hit a drive-thru and report back for duty.

    It just plain looks trashy as heck regardless of how clean they are. I won't leave my house in sweat pants for the same reason.