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Why Do Medical Professionals Wear Scrubs?

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Medical dramas like Grey’s Anatomy, Chicago Med, and The Good Doctor have burned the image of surgical ward attire into the common imagination. Caps, masks, gloves, and scrubs! Medical scrubs are important in the healthcare industry because they prevent cross-contamination, ensure functionality, and enable identification. Here are five reasons healthcare centres mandate scrubs for their workforce.

1. Health and Hygiene

When you work in a hospital, clinic, or healthcare centre, infection is all around you; it is in the air you breathe, the hands you brush, and the people you touch. Scrubs minimise the risk of transmitting infections and infectious diseases. Healthcare staff do not don scrubs merely for the sake of uniformity. Scrubs are designed with antimicrobial properties. Their ability to resist and destroy bacteria stops infections from spreading within and without the hospital.

Hospital staff handle strong-smelling medicines and chemicals and deal with bodily discharges. Substances like blood and iodine leave unsightly stains. As medical professionals have demanding working hours and hectic schedules, they do not have the time to experiment with DIY laundering methods. Work clothes that repel dust and grime are a boon. They can withstand hardcore sterilisation methods and still come back good as new.

2. Comfort and Convenience

Healthcare staff are always on their toes. They move briskly through corridors and elevators, from the emergency rooms to the surgical wards. The urgency of their work demands agility. Medical scrubs provide the essential comfort and convenience of movement. They are neither too tight to suffocate the limbs during long periods of sitting or standing nor too loose to require constant adjustment because they keep slipping off or dangling. Aside from inflicting physical torture, uncomfortable work clothing can sour people’s moods. If patients get a clue that the staff are irritable, it will not bode well for the doctor’s reputation or the establishment.

3. Functionality

Apart from comfort, scrubs are designed with functionality in mind. They come with large pockets to enable the convenient storage of medical equipment like scalpels, compression bandages, masks, stationery, and even small monitors. The pockets of jeans and formal pants are tight or shallow, allowing a handkerchief, a pen, and a band-aid, at most. As scrubs are not fitting, they will not look unsightly or comical if you decide to keep a number of items in them.

4. Who’s Who

It is a no-brainer that uniforms create a sense of uniformity. It allows patients to tell the staff from other patients and distinguish between doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and support staff. Further, it allows staff to recognise one another. Many hospitals colour-code their uniforms. For example, they could have doctors in green and nurses in blue. They might also distinguish based on seniority or department. When outfitted distinctly, healthcare professionals receive the respect that is due to them and gain credibility. Patients focus on them as doctors and nurses instead of evaluating their professionalism based on their wardrobes.

To avert scams with impostors, hospitals can emblazon their logos plus the names of doctors and nurses on medical scrubs. 

5. Reduced Eye Strain

White is the colour of sterility. It is still common to see doctors dressed in immaculate white coats. Even the rooms, surfaces, and lights were bright white. However, the colour white can be harsh on the eyes and induce strain. Strain is undesirable and dangerous when a doctor performs delicate surgeries and procedures. Nowadays, scrubs mostly come in gentle colours like blue (cornflower, royal, navy), green (jade, sea green, teal), and grey.

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