Socializing after work in your scrubs - page 2

by klone

33,458 Views | 259 Comments

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 have just gotten off work, as... Read More


  1. 35
    like a bar is any cleaner? Probably have higher chances of getting Hep C sitting at a bar than you do working in a hospital.
    fuzzywuzzy, Zookeeper3, KimberlyRN89, and 32 others like this.
  2. 25
    Quote from klone
    Anger? Laugh! No, I'm not angry. I have a very dry sense of humor that doesn't always translate to message board posts unless you know me well.

    Yes, my assumption is that one generally doesn't wear street clothes around poo and pee
    (SNFs are pretty much all there is around here) and then go out to bars afterwards, so I would say that it's a pretty safe assumption that non-scrub clothes are going to be generally cleaner than scrubs worn after a shift.
    Parents of infants? Children and grandchildren who take care of grandma who had a stroke and is now incontinent? I don't think these people are gowning and gloving before they change little Timmy's diaper and they're likely in street clothes. Maybe Mommy and Daddy were on their way out the door and little Timmy's diaper needed to be changed before they left. Should they change their clothes before going out because of the yuck factor of being around pee or poo? Not to mention, EVERYONE is around poo and pee in their street clothes every day... you don't only poo or pee when wearing scrubs, do you?

    I've worn my scrubs out before. If I worked all day and people are going out afterwards, I'm not taking 2 buses home which will take me at least an hour to change and then meet them out. If someone had vomited, urinated or defecated on me, I would have already changed.
  3. 10
    needless to say, i would never go to a bar in my scrubs not only for the obvious reasons, but for my luck, i might encounter a pt. of mine; and one never knows what can happen after 3 or four shots. therefore, i have always kept an outfit in my locker just in case i need to change into civilian clothes. besides that, one has to remember while you're in your scrubs your representing the facility that you work. lastly, with the technology of now of days, one could end up in a video for everyone to see including your colleagues.
    fiveofpeep, 905RN, *4!#6, and 7 others like this.
  4. 11
    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!
    Laurab14, fiveofpeep, kalevra, and 8 others like this.
  5. 39
    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.
    Zookeeper3, sonja77, KimberlyRN89, and 36 others like this.
  6. 7
    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 - WSJ.com
    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 - msnbc.com

    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.
    Pistachio, GradyGramNot, Miss Molly, and 4 others like this.
  7. 32
    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.
    monkeybug, karen3860, fuzzywuzzy, and 29 others like this.
  8. 9
    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.
    canesdukegirl, 905RN, clearblue3, and 6 others like this.
  9. 6
    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.
  10. 1
    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.
    fromtheseaRN likes this.


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