You wear your scrubs WHERE?! The do's and dont's of wearing scrubs




Who knew that scrubs could be such a hotly contested topic?

Some say you shouldn’t wear scrubs anywhere outside of work because they could be a vector for infection; others say that doesn’t pose any real threat. Still, just the idea of spreading those germs does give me the heebie jeebies. Especially with the ever growing list of antibiotic resistant organisms out there.

Then there are those who think that wearing scrubs out and about may not be the best for building public trust. The Skeptical Scalpel writes, “Being “old school,” I don’t like to see people wearing scrubs outside the hospital. I just think it sends the wrong message — and what’s worse, it continues to provoke folks into writing letters, blogs and newspaper and magazine columns full of indignation.” Not being the most aware, I didn’t know that there even was indignation over this.

I say, like with most things in life, use your best judgment and be sensible. Don’t wear scrubs to Mardi Gras or to climb into a dumpster. And don’t roll around the hospital floor and then sit on the tomatoes in the produce aisle of your grocery store. Here are some more unofficial scrubs-wearing guidelines.

Scrubs dont’s

Don’t wear scrubs to a party. Especially if you’re the type to let loose on the dance floor a la Elaine from “Seinfeld.” Unless it’s a Halloween party. But if  it is a Halloween party, and you’re a nurse, you need to be more creative than wearing scrubs, anyway!

Don’t wear scrubs when making a personal visit to someone in a hospital. Major confusion for everyone.

Don’t wear scrubs through holiday eating. Those drawstring pants can get mighty comfy mighty quickly after a few too many pieces of cake. Imagine your surprise when you finally pull on a pair of jeans to find that buttoning them requires an extra set of hands.

Don’t wear scrubs that are soiled. Yuck. Take those sad souls off before you go ANYwhere. Read our stain-removal guide to figure out how to best clean them.

Scrubs do’s

Do wear scrubs at home on laundry day.

Do wear scrubs (an old, clean pair) when you’re in for the night. They make great PJs.

Do wear scrubs to grab a coffee on your way into work. Unless you work in the OR or other sterile environment where you’re wearing street clothes and changing anyway. Not every area of healthcare has the ability to provide a locker room to change into work attire and you do need your usual caffeine dose after all.

Join the discussion

What do you think about nurses wearing scrubs in public?


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