Scrub caps


Our facility recently changed it's policy on cloth scrub caps, previously a company would launder both our scrubs and person cloth hats, but after changes companies the hospital and outside company refuse to wash our hats. Our department policy states that we are allowed to wear cloth scrub hats IF the hospital will launder them, which they won't, or you can where your cloth hat, but also must wear a disposable bouffant over it. This has a lot of our staff members very unhappy, I was wondering if other hospitals were also moving towards this policy and if so can anyone make a recommendation on what could be done to make both parties happy (I understand the disposable hats over cloth hats may seem like the only compromise, but im curious for outside opinions).


412 Posts

Specializes in Operating room..

Yep, in the last 2 hospitals I have been at we have had to wear bouffants over our caps. Doesn't bother me anymore.

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

6 Articles; 11,273 Posts

Specializes in OR, Nursing Professional Development. Has 18 years experience.

My facility stopped letting us wear cloth hats years ago. No middle ground with allowing cloth hats under disposable, either. Never were offered laundry services by the hospital. However, we have seen absolutely no change in our infection rate, which was the reason given for the change. Considering how often as a circulator I've had to tuck a scrub's hair back into the hat or pluck hairs of the front of a gown at the neck (and once even out of the patient's incision as a second assistant!), I'd say the disposables do a much poorer job of controlling most people's longer hair, plus staff morale dropped when they took away pretty much the only way we could show our individuality.


4,083 Posts

Specializes in NICU. Has 8 years experience.

I used to have a co-worker when I worked in surgery that hand washed his cloth hats and then autoclaved them in a autoclave sleeves. He would store them in the sleeves in his locker and pull a clean one each shift The hospital couldn't say anything because it was essentially sterile.


76 Posts

My hospital allows us to wear them but we are required to wear a bouffant cap over. They are now enforcing this with the surgeons, which hadn't been done before.


20 Posts

We now have to wear the bouffant cap over our linen hats. To me it is no big deal, as you can see through the bouffant hat to see my personal individuality.

springchick1, ADN, RN

1 Article; 1,769 Posts

We have to wear a bouffant over our personal hats. We were told it was a Joint Commission thing...


3 Posts

Thanks for everyone's reponses! I have noticed staff morale dropping since this started to be enforced, what's odd about our facility is most of the surgeons aren't employees of the hospital they are employees of a private clinic so they can't enforce this rule to the surgeons or there assists.


412 Posts

Specializes in Operating room..

Well, they could....but they risk those Drs not coming back.


193 Posts

I don't see what all the hubbub is about. Yeah, personal caps are cool, but think about possible infection control issues. Are there any studies regarding personal caps and disposable caps changed each surgery? I'd be curious to read it. Our facility uses disposable caps and it doesn't seem to bug anyone.


26 Posts

Our hospital has a local laundry service that will launder cloth hat for $.25 each. If you choose to do this, no disp. bouffant over it is required. This is completely on the honor system. Otherwise, we either wear disp bouffant over cloth cap or alone. I though I would miss cloth hats, but I don't and my hair looks much better at end of day!


412 Posts

Specializes in Operating room..

Those disposable caps don't hold all of my hair in. I need the non disposable ones (with a disposable one over it of course)!