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Why are Scrubs worn Within the Medical Field?

Within different job roles, there are different tasks in which need to be performed. Different duties need to completed and different uniforms are required. Although in many cases we may personally dislike our own uniforms, they allow us to be a part of a team. They also provide us with an identity of our role. Within the field of medicine, the uniforms are medical scrubs. We are mainly made aware of this from the way the medical field is portrayed by the media via films and television, and from our personal experiences. However, the reasons as to why they are worn can be pin pointed down to a larger reason.

It is a well-known fact that working within the medical field can at times, be a messy business. Due to the nature of the work involved, those who work within the medical field can be exposed to a large range of bodily fluids. Traditionally, doctors would complete procedures and surgeries in their own clothes. This would lead to stained materials and was an unpleasant sight for patients and workers. As this realization came about, aprons were introduced as a means to protect clothing and make the completion of procedures slightly more sanitary. This still did not allow for doctors to protect their clothing from the everyday tasks they had to perform. Eventually, around the 1940s, scrubs were introduced to the field of medicine. These allowed those who worked within a hospital to protect their clothing. It also provided them with cleaner, more attractive attire in which to work. As time passed, these scrubs were re-designed to create more attractive and appealing clothing for both workers and patients, taking into consideration the different needs of each department.

However, scrubs are not just used as a means to provide hospital workers with something attractive to wear. They are also a means to help keep a clean environment. Due to the level of germs and bacteria which we carry on our persons, hospitals need to be as sanitary as possible. This helps eliminate the possibility of the spread of infection. Scrubs are easy to clean as well as being easy to change. They allow for doctors, nurses, and health care assistants to be as sterile and clean as possible. This protects not only the health of their patients, but also their own health. This is one of the main reasons why scrubs were introduced as an alternative to workers wearing their street clothes.

The world of medicine is fast paced and busy at all times. Those who work within hospitals need to be comfortable and dress practically. Scrubs allow for comfort, as well as providing ventilation to help stop the wearer from becoming over heated and uncomfortable. If sweaty clothing were worn, it would help to encourage germs to breed; hindering the health of patients.

Finally, there is the need to be easily identifiable. In an emergency, a patient needs to be able to quickly and easily identify a member of the staff. By wearing street clothes, this would become next to impossible. Scrubs allow staff members to become instantly recognizable. By using color coded uniforms, this helps identify the staff by department.

Uniforms can help mold a team together, but in terms of a hospital, they do so much more than that. Not only do they help maintain a clean and sterile environment, but also create a beacon in emergency situations.

About the author:

Jennifer Morales represents the nursing scrubs company blue sky scrubs in Austin, TX. She lives there with her husband of 20 years, their three children and two dogs.

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