cloth scrub hats in the OR

  1. 0
    Hi, new to the site. My hospital just started providing warm up jackets along with our scrubs. We can no longer wear our own jackets. They say the cloth scrub hats are next...we will need to wear hospital provided disposable hats. What do other hospitals do and what is the rationale behind your policies. They say we can wear our cloth if a disposable is put over it...they have to say that because we have several surgeons who wear turbans for religious reasons and they cover the turban with a disposable hat. Where can I find the magical AORN standard for this policy? Is it backed by evidence? I change my hat every day and wash them frequently but I know others who wear the same hat all week long...that's not good but if I wear a clean one every day, I have to think my own person laundering is sufficient to wear it again and again. thoughts, comments welcome

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights newsletter.

  2. 11 Comments...

  3. 0
    Our hospital recently stopped allowing us to wear cloth hats. We now wear the hospital disposable ones. They say it is because there is no way to know if staff is laundering them regularly and to the right temperature.
  4. 1
    We can wear our own hats, our own scrubs, and our own fleece jackets/ pull overs. Tell somebody to get off their AORN high horse.
    shodobe likes this.
  5. 0
    We can wear the cloth hats if we wear the disposable ones over them. We are told the same thing that there is no way of knowing how often they are being laundered.
  6. 0
    OP, I think the rationale behind it is precisely what you mentioned - not everyone puts on a clean cloth cap every day. I see it in my own hospital.
  7. 0
    I work in a pediatric OR so 75% of us nurses, surgeons and techs wear bright colored hats with all kinds of designs. The patients and families love our hats. I know there are some people who don't change their hats on a daily basis but no one is acting as hat police. I'm crazy about hats so I could probably go for 30 days without wearing the same one.
  8. 1
    OK, nowhere in the AORN Recommended Standards of Practice do they directly address cloth OR hats. I say as long as your cloth hats are clean, carried in a protective cover and donned in the locker room, it covers ALL of your hair (b/c that is WHY you wear a hat) and you sign a form that you PROMISE TO KEEP YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE WOUND cloth hats, like shoes, have yet to prove as a source for contamination. The problem with scrubs and jackets is that one person's idea of "clean" and another's could be way different. Not only that, when you wear your clothes IN from home, all the contaminates from your home and car/bus are on those scrubs. Pet hair, dandruff, baby drool, MRSA and who knows what else are on those scrubs. There is actually research to back that up (culturing of scrubs). Besides, who wants to wash those scrubs with the family laundry in the family washing machine? Water has to be a certain temp to kill pathogens and home laundry just doesn't cut it. I think hospitals allow home scrubs for financial reasons alone. It is really not best practice. About the turban issue? I think they wear those out & about, too so I can see where they are required to cover them up. Cloth hats, like cover-ups, should be worn only in the hospital. When you leave the hospital, take them off!
    kids likes this.
  9. 0
    They tried banning the cloth hats in my department but it never worked. I get itchy from the disposable hats and I have lots of hair and it keeps falling out. I love theatre but I am not cutting my hair!
  10. 0
    I get flaky scalp from the disposables, too! Must be one of the chemicals used in the manufacturing or something. I misspoke about the cover-ups......put those ON and take your hats OFF when you leave the hospital. Patients LOVE colorful hats especially peds. You don't look so scary if you have Tweety Bird on your head! I think not trusting your staff to launder their caps is like not trusting your staff to renew their license. It is just part of being a professional and being responsible. I think you can have the best of both worlds if you create the right culture. Maybe I'm wrong but I think that is still possible.
  11. 0
    It is amazing how a lot of OR Directors will state they abide by AORN standards but when you get right down to it, they make up their own rules as they go along. Nothing wrong with wearing cloths hats in the OR. I change mine everyday. I have lots of them, and if I was to get ANY body fluids on it I throw it away. I won't take something I knowingly is on it, not worth it.


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors
Top