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Scrubs 101

All You Need to Know About Medical Scrubs

Q&A

Q - Who invented scrubs?

A - Scrubs were actually not invented by any one individual, rather they slowly evolved into the scrubs as we know them today.
The earliest nursing uniforms were created by the mother of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale. During the Crimean War in the 1850s Nightingale actualized on her vision of what nurse’s attire should look. She believed nurses need to wear a uniform that will help them garner the respect that they deserve, as well as protect them from illness. At the time their uniform attire was a dark colored, long sleeves, full length dress covered by an apron, topped with a nurse cap.
In the early 1900s, the dark colored uniforms slowly gave way to all white, which was considered more sanitary and clean. As time went on pockets and practical details were added to the uniforms, essential for the necessary medical instruments and accessories. Soon enough the long dresses were exchanged for short white dresses, and along with the iconic white caps they became the symbolic attire of nurses.
By the 1980s and 90s the formality in nursing uniforms began to fall away, and scrubs became the go-to uniform for nurses. Comfortable, easy and most importantly sanitary, nursing scrubs are now worn by doctors, nurses, and just about all the staff in healthcare facilities and hospitals.

Q - Why are scrubs called scrubs?

A - The term scrubs was adopted due to the fact that they are the clothing worn in a scrubbed and sterile environment. Scrubs have now become the word that is most commonly used when referring to nursing uniforms.

Q - Why do nurses wear scrubs?

A - Nurses wear scrubs for several reasons, including the fact that they help create a sterile environment, allow for easy identification, look professional and uniform (no pun intended), are convenient and practical, and are economical and easy to purchase.

Q - What are the most comfortable scrubs?

A - With so many scrub brands creating super comfortable and easy to wear scrub uniforms these days, there are actually several great options to choose from.
Our top picks for uniforms that stand out on the comfort scene are:

These nursing scrubs are extremely soft, and are comprised of fabric containing spandex, lending itself to a super flexible uniform that is made to move and stretch with you.

Q - What is the best brand of scrubs?

A - Hands down Grey’s Anatomy scrubs wins the title “best brand of scrubs”. Voted as the most comfortable, soft, high quality, and stylish scrub uniform that also offers a great fit, it is no wonder that these are a favorite pick amongst discerning healthcare professionals.
The designers at Grey’s Anatomy scrubs have their pulse on the fashion trends, and are constantly rolling out new lines and products to keep their doctors and nurses looking and feeling their best.

Q - What are the most expensive scrubs?

A - Grey’s Anatomy scrubs come with the highest price tag, but for good reason. These are designer scrubs, and you get what you pay for; they are stylish, extremely high quality, soft and comfortable, to top it off they offer a great fit as well.

Q - Do hospitals supply scrubs for their employees?

A - Although hospitals are not required by law to provide scrubs for their employees, some hospitals supply their employees with scrubs free of charge. Other hospitals give a stipend to their employees to use towards their scrub purchase, while there are some that expect their employees to purchase their uniforms with their own funds.

Q - What color scrubs do doctors and nurses wear?

A - There is no set color scrubs that doctors wear across the board, but there are some popular colors that you will often find doctors and nurses wearing.
Most hospitals require their floors or units to be color coded with specific color scrubs for easy identification. And it’s not just to make everyone look uniform, there are reasons for those particular colors; color psychology is a real thing!
For example, blue scrubs are extremely popular amongst nurses on various floors since the blue color gives off a professional, trustworthy and approachable vibe, an image that every nurse would want to portray. On the other hand, pink scrubs are often worn by those working in the postpartum unit since this color gives off a feeling of calmness, compassion and friendliness, feelings that every new mother is sure to benefit from. Often you will find surgeons clad in surgical green scrubs since aside from giving off a feeling of tranquility, comfort, and well-being, the green color keeps the eyes of those involved in surgery sensitive to the red color of blood.

Q - Should doctors or nurses wear scrubs in public places?

A - The topic of whether or not it is proper for doctors or nurses to wear their scrubs in public places has been a hotly debated one. People against public scrub-wearing reason that wearing scrubs in public can spread bacteria and contamination, and is just plain old inappropriate; it is like going out in your pajamas. They say that the wearer should change out of his scrubs prior to leaving the hospital, and scrubs should be worn strictly in the hospital setting. Others argue that there is no real evidence proving that bacteria on scrubs actually spreads disease. Also, many of those involved in non-ancillary services are required to wear scrubs as well, so all those who you see in scrubs are not necessarily working directly with patient care or in a germy environment.
This topic will most likely remain debated for years to come, and honestly there is truth to both sides of the coin. But to sum it up, if the scrubs are stained or soiled they should obviously be removed before leaving the hospital. And remember to always judge others favorably, because the woman wearing scrubs in front of you in line at Starbucks may just be a billing clerk at the local hospital.

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