Hospital Issued Scrubs vs. Personal Scrubs

  1. Does anyone out there have information or studies or even opinions about wearing your own scrubs(laundered at home)at work. I work on an LDR unit that does sections on the unit. We are having some skin irritation problems from our hospital issued scrubs. Please Help!

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    About Hollywood/rn

    Joined: Feb '01; Posts: 3
    Registered Nurse


  3. by   puzzler
    Hi Hollywood

    We wore hospital laundered scrubs for many years in our L&D. We switched to home laundered scrubs a number of years ago. Their theory (infection control) is that as long as we wear a sterile gown over our scrubs when doing a C/S it is OK. I do not know where they got their information but I will try to find out. Have you checked with the CDC?

    Good luck with your search

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  4. by   gravida
    We are allowed to wear scrubs from home and must change into hospital washed scrubs or cover with a sterile gown prior to entering the delivery suite for surgery

  5. by   bbnurse
    Hi. There is the AAP/ACOG Guidelines for Perinatal Care book that addresses this in the chapter about infection control. It is not specifically required to use hospital laundered scrubs for protection of the patients. Rather the hospital scrubs are used to protect nurses and their families from contamination from Hepatitis or other pathogens from body fluids---which the road most infection control persons and hospital administrators follow. Nothing has been proven, that I am aware, to increase infections by home laundered scrubs. It's a habit and the safety factors are in place for the nurses. However, ours look like they were never ironed and mismatched color shades. It is disgraceful to be wearing such things AND have an itch from the scrubs. It may be poor rinsing at the laundry. Ask the Director to notify the laundry of the issue. If it bothers you, the baby clothes may be bothering the babies too. Ours do that periodically. Good hunting.
  6. by   jama
    Hi! We used to have hospital scrubs until about 8 years ago we went to wearing our own scrubs. At first we all had to have same pattern then went to same color and now you can wear anything. My favorite is the denim. We do sections also. Some nurses use cloth long sleeve gown over their scrubs and some do not cover at all. We have scrub techs who obviosly wear sterile gown over their scrubs. we do wear disposable shoe covers, hats, masks. For vaginal delivery we don't cover our scrubs. I like wearing what i want but don't like the cost (no uniform allowance) and don't like washing them in my washer. jama
  7. by   haras regnurps
    There is not much out there in the way of research because our UD tried to find some, at the last hospital I worked at switched to laundering their own scrubs at home for surgery. The hospital was trying to say that they were losing $$$ because personel were taking the scrubs home with them, mind you this was a large teaching hospital with lots of students, med,nursing,PT,RT, etc. pleeeaassse, it was not the hired help taking scrubs. The hospital found this out in less than 6 months but our infection rate stayed about the same.
    personally I think it is just gross to take that stuff home and wash it, I always took my stuff to a laundreymat.
  8. by   MemphisOBRNC
    We switched to wearing our own a number of years ago, too. We have specific colors per unit and no allowance. Last year, I couldn't even take the expense off on taxes!
  9. by   HazeKomp
    I've done L&D for 33 years...
    In "The Olden Days" we wore hospital laundered scrubs...
    now we wear scrubs we wash at home ourselves.

    When the switch was allowed, there was NOT a change in our postop infection rates for our patients...
    and there WAS a decrease in skin rashes on the part of our nurses, as hospital laudry detergent is so irritating!
  10. by   LaborLovinRN
    In my L&D unit we are required to wear the provided hospital scrubs. The first reason is because we circulate all our own c-sections, and have to wear "proper OR attire". The second reason is for easier identification for patients. Our scrubs have logo's on the top and on the pant leg that clearly identify us as "Birthing Center RN's" When we switched over to mandatory hospital scrubs a couple years ago I wasn't happy, but now that I have gotten used to it, it's great!
  11. by   mom2michael
    We use hospital scrubs, not only for the sections but also as a safety and security thing for the moms/babies. Our scrubs say "Family Birth Place" on the tops/bottoms, they are all the same color and we drill into our parents heads that without those scrubs and our pink name badge NO ONE is to take their baby to and from their room.

    Ours are washed by a speciality company that is licensed and bonded (security measures) and so far no major skin irritations from the scrubs. To prevent the stealing of scrubs, they are locked up in our locker room and if anyone is caught leaving to and from the facility with them on, it's grounds for termination. If anyone from outside our department is caught wearing them (OR mainly) it's grounds for termination as well.

    I love, love, love not having to wash my scrubs at home anymore. So much nicer.
  12. by   Salgal08
    Where I work we are also required to wear hospital scrubs- I'm so glad because I certainly do not want to put my family at risk by bringing something home. Yuck!

    Also, I believe patients are more at risk from scrubs laundered outside the hospital. I see people all the time in scrubs at the grocery store, gas station, garden center, etc. If they end up in the OR, I don't see how that can't be an infection control issue.

    As for the skin irritation from hospital laundered scrubs, I think that's a serious issue and would hope they could resolve it. As someone else said, maybe better rinsing, or less irritating detergent that would achieve the same cleaning results.