Buying scrubs for the first time

  1. Those of you who have to buy your own scrubs, help out a colleague who has only ever used hospital-provided and laundered scrubs. I'm soon moving to the US and I've understood I'll need to invest in scrubs myself.

    I understand there are regular and online stores where you can choose scrubs that fit but also comply with unit/hospital criteria. I've read that hospitals define the color, anything else?

    How many pairs of scrubs should I buy? Considering that I need to change into clean ones for every shift - if that's not obvious. I'll be working full-time, so 3-4 shifts per week? Do you wash your scrubs at home? Do you wash every day or all at the same time? How do you manage laundry without contaminating regular clothes?

    Also, I've heard rumors that there really aren't lockers for your clothes and scrubs, only racks for coats and shoes but is this true? Where do you change if you want to maintain infection control protocol? Where do you store your extra pair of scrubs in case you need it during the day?

    Thank you for your insight!
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    About SpidersWeb, BSN, RN

    Joined: Dec '17; Posts: 149; Likes: 49


  3. by   meanmaryjean
    I have ALWAYS washed my scrubs in my regular laundry. 40+ years. No one in my family has gotten any type of cooties from it. And I worked in Pediatric and Adult ICUs- Cootie Central.

    Every workplace is different. But if you drive- I kept a spare set in the trunk of my car if I didn't have a locker. Or I borrowed OR scrubs if somebody barfs on me.

    You are WAAAAAAY overthinking this. Get a job and they'll tell you what color to buy. Buy them. Wear them. Wash them.
  4. by   bugya90
    Color is set by the hospital. Don't buy any scrubs until you know what color your hospital requires. I'd recommend you go to a scrub store and try on the different brands and styles to find what you like. There are many different styles for all body types. Once you figure out which brands/styles you like then you can order online (prices are slightly cheaper online normally). I have 5 pairs of scrubs and work 3 days per week. I wash all my scrubs after my third shift, I wear navy so I wash them with laundry soap made for dark colors to keep them from fading as bad.
  5. by   psu_213
    Quote from meanmaryjean
    You are WAAAAAAY overthinking this. Get a job and they'll tell you what color to buy. Buy them. Wear them. Wash them.
    I agree. Most places make different disciplines (nursing, radiology, respiratory, etc.) wear different colors. Some require scrubs with the hospital logo on them. When you get a job, the facility will tell you what color to buy and certainly stores may give you a discount if you are an employee of a certain hospital. The facility should tell you which stores give discounts.

    Otherwise, launder scrubs as necessary. I, too, have never washed scrubs separately from my other laundry. Barring having scrubs with someone's diarrhea, vomit, etc. on them, you will have the same germs on your regular clothes. You will pick them up at the grocery store, out at a restaurant, on the bus, from your kid's school, etc.
  6. by   NurseSpeedy
    Wait until you are hired to buy scrubs. Colors may be different and some facilities actually require that the scrubs be purchased via a specific vendor and will need proof that you purchased scrubs from them. Some of these brands are not the best for fitting right either.

    I keep an extra set in my trunk. However, if it's bad I'm not going all the way to my car for clean clothes. I'm borrowing from the OR. Luckily, this has only happened twice in almost 20 years.

    If I don't have a lot of scrubs to wash I throw them in with the rest of the clothes. I was told years ago by an instructor that the heat from the dryer should kill everything anyway.
  7. by   wondern
    Yes, that's my theory too, the dryer heat kills the germs. If you wash in cold water they stay brighter way longer. I always washed mine separate just cause I'm .