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Why scrubs?

Posted

Specializes in Home Health/Geriatrics. Has 1 years experience.

I've been wonderinag for quite some time now, is there a special reason scrubs are used instead of some other uniform? I can't really think of anythig you can do in scrubs that you couldn't do in jeans and a t-shirt. I know that scrubs give you that medical look, but is there any other real purpose for their design?:confused:

RNDreamer

Specializes in acute care.

Not sure, but I definitely would not want to go to work and clean up bodily fluids in my jeans and t-shirts.

RNperdiem, RN

Has 14 years experience.

Once, not that long ago nurses wore uniforms that were tailored. Even simple pants and top could be bought in a uniform shop that stocked sizes from 2,4,6 on upward.

I think the change came in the 90's when hospitals loosened their rules on who wore scrubs.

It used to be that only nurses who worked in certain speciality units like OR, ICU and burns wore hospital scrubs. Scrubs became a mark of an odd sort of prestige. Medical TV shows showed their characters in scrubs.

Outside of nursing, a more casually dressed workplace was becoming more common.

I think the trend is swinging back towards uniforms. The scrubs in the catalogs have a more tailored look, are less boxy and baggy and sloppy looking.

I liked the look of uniforms more than scrubs.

Why scrubs? Simple, doctor envy! *LOL*

As previous poster stated, up until not too long ago, say the 1980's or so, the only persons allowed to wear scrubs were doctors and nurses in L&D, OR and the units. Even then female nurses were normally given scrub dresses, not the top and pants. So there was an elitist sort of thing going on. Being seen in the cafeteria and or allowed to wear scrubs as a nurse meant one worked in one of the aforementioned units, not on the floors.

Floor nurses were strictly forbidden to wear scrubs, or any change from starched whites (with or without cap)in most hospitals. The main reason given was that one might be mistaken for a doctor. If you spilled something on your uniform,tough chedder. Well perhaps one or two things might happen. First a request would go up the ranks from the head nurse to the supervisor and perhaps DON for an exemption so one could wear scrubs. Or, one was asked to phone home, call the nurse's residnece or whatever to have someone bring you a clean uniform. If all else failed you wrapped yourself in an isolation gown and got on with things.

Uniforms were seen as something that belonged to service staff like housekeeping, not professionals such as nurses, after all doctors do not wear uniforms, so the theory went and starched whites began to go the way of caps in most hospitals. That being said some places still insist that floor nurses wear whites. Have an Internet friend from the South that says the doctor in charge of her clinic insists on not only whites, but caps as well. Go figure.

Indy, LPN, LVN

Specializes in ICU, telemetry, LTAC. Has 5 years experience.

The docs I see at work don't wear scrubs, they don't get dirty enough to need anything comfortable. Nice slacks, shirt, possibly a tie, lab coat, etc. I don't try to dress like a doctor, but I've been a nurse for 4 years. The predominant uniform thingy is scrubs. I do admit that I like them halfway tailored. I don't want to look like a bunch of lumps in a square sack. A dress code as ridiculous as the white dress and cap would be a deal breaker for me even showing up to work somewhere.

Anyhow, to further answer the OP, a lot of scrubs nowadays are really good, durable fabric and decent stitching- like you can hang 'em up and not iron them, and they take a whole lot of hours to come apart on ya, if they fit right in the first place. I lost only one top to bad sewing, the arm fell off. The other pieces I have lost are two pants and a top to leaving ink pens in pockets for the wash, and a top that was made unusable by a generous dose of lactulose poop. I didn't try to wash that, it went in the red bag trash.

One thing I wish the people who make all the tieback tops would realize is that sometimes women have breasts, and they aren't all teeny tiny, sitting way the heck up on our chests like perky little lemon drops, for pity's sake.

/ramble off.

LTC Lady

Specializes in Long Term Care/Mental Health.

Scrubs by nature of thier design are made for ease of movement, easily washed, and most are wrinkle resistent, so no need to iron. On casual day at work we are allowed to wear jeans, and to be honest i find my ROM is decreased and its just not fun to get urine, poop, etc on your jeans. FOr that reason i have a designated work jean if i even bother to wear them.

I am still a student and have been on winter break. I have been wearing sweats (have not left the house/worn jeans since Dec 23rd!!) spending time with my kids. Well I went to put on my jeans today and could barely button them. I don't feel like I have gained weight but low and behold the scale says I have. I called my husband and told him that when I get a job I am going to have to invest in scrub pants with a regular waist and snap to keep my health/diet in check. Elastic waist pants sure are comfy but in my case I think they might be too comfy!

ghillbert, MSN, NP

Specializes in CTICU. Has 20 years experience.

I am still a student and have been on winter break. I have been wearing sweats (have not left the house/worn jeans since Dec 23rd!!) spending time with my kids. Well I went to put on my jeans today and could barely button them. I don't feel like I have gained weight but low and behold the scale says I have. I called my husband and told him that when I get a job I am going to have to invest in scrub pants with a regular waist and snap to keep my health/diet in check. Elastic waist pants sure are comfy but in my case I think they might be too comfy!

You are right on that - I wear scrubs to work and have put on a ton of weight - can only tell when I have to wear "real clothes" and I can't do my pants up!

Purple_Scrubs, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 8 years experience.

One thing I wish the people who make all the tieback tops would realize is that sometimes women have breasts, and they aren't all teeny tiny, sitting way the heck up on our chests like perky little lemon drops, for pity's sake.

Amen, sister!

Care4U391

Specializes in Medical, Peds, Surgical, Clinic. Has 26 years experience.

I think you are correct in your thinking about scrubs. Now all the hospitals want the nurses and techs to wear them. They also demand specific colors for each specialty, OR, Medical/Surgical etc. Some hospitals are going as far as to expect your credentials on the scrubs, for example if you are an RN or LPN, NP etc.

I feel like wearing scrubs is like wearing my PJ's to work because they are so comfortable. I do not think they look that professional. They can look sloppy if they fit too loosely. I also need pockets on the scrub top. Plus there can be so many different colors of blue, or green etc. unless the hospital buys them for the nurses and that will never happen...

Bill E. Rubin

Specializes in Neuro, Cardiology, ICU, Med/Surg. Has 7 years experience.

I just :redbeatheLOVE my Aviator scrubs with all of their pockets and durable fabric. I have several sets of them in sensible colors that look good on me and I thank the good Lord my hospital doesn't require us to wear a particular color or type of uniform as they will have to pry my Aviators off of my cold, dead body. :D

ghillbert, MSN, NP

Specializes in CTICU. Has 20 years experience.

At home in Australia we used to wear navy tailored pants and a hospital-logo blouse. Hated ironing etc every time I worked - scrubs rock. My hospital provides and launders my scrubs... gotta love it.

No idea why, but thank goodness for scrubs!

psalm, RN

Specializes in Staff nurse.

I used to wear scrub dresses with a tie belt that was mandatory unless pregnant. Had to wear hose and slip. i would much rather wear scrub tops and pants. More modest and comfortable with all the contorting positions I find myself in on a busy floor. Scrubs with a bit of stretch are great! And pockets. (and no more pantyhose).

I would wash mine and put in dryer for about 5-7 min. and then hang dry to keep them looking new.

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