Thursday, March 24, 2011

Medical Scrubs and Their Role in Treatment

A guest post from Josh Weiss

Every nurse wants to be the best she can be, and is constantly working to improve her service to patients and the medical community at large. One aspect that is rarely touched upon is that of the medical scrubs worn on the job. Although it may sound mundane, studies have shown that the medical scrubs worn by doctors, nurses, and those in the medical community affect the way patients view them, and may even interfere with treatment.

Nursing scrubs used to be restricted to white, with a few styles that were worn by the entire medical community. Today there are many manufacturers of medical scrubs, with countless styles and varieties to choose from. It is the responsibility of every nurse or doctor to choose medical scrubs that will help comfort their patients, and provide the best possible care.

A study in the April 2009 Journal of Clinical Nursing supported this theory through the use of a study that was conducted at the Meyer Children’s Hospital in Florence. Patients between the ages of six and sixteen and their parents were surveyed by means of open ended questions and semantic differential scales (SDS). Their reactions to nurses in multi colored scrubs, as opposed to conventional white scrubs, were studied. The results showed that multicolored, unconventional medical scrubs improve how children perceive nurses. This in turn makes the children, their patients, and patients of any age more comfortable with their surroundings and the treatments being given.

Some medical scrubs manufacturers produce lines specifically to suit this need, such as a line of Cherokee scrubs called Tooniforms. These medical scrubs feature well-known characters such as Hello Kitty, Betty Boop, Paul Frank, and others. Scrubs can also be obtained in a variety of different patterns. Dickies scrubs also cater to this need, with an assortment of colored and printed scrubs. Nurses should, however, be careful to adhere to the dress code of their office or department before purchasing unconventional medical scrubs.

In opposition to this, a study conducted by Ohio State University came to conclude that patients and medical caregivers alike appreciate the professionalism conveyed by white medical scrubs, or scrubs in muted colors. The leading colors selected after white were light green, light blue, and dark blue. To this end, both Dickies scrubs and Cherokee scrubs offer all of their different styled scrubs in these universal popular colors.

In some cases, hospitals and large offices set the regulations for medical scrubs. For those nurses who are free to choose their own scrubs, it may be a worthy investment of time to ask opinions of patients and fellow nurses before investing in new scrubs. The preferences they show may be surprising.

Josh Weiss is a style consultant for Medical Scrubs Collection. He recommends Cherokee scrubs and Dickies scrubs for a wide variety of medical scrubs that will fit any need or preference.