Pros and Cons of Matching Scrubs in the Workplace

by Howard Gerber on February 16, 2012

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When you walk into a hospital or a doctor’s office, one of the first things a person sees is the office staff, then a nurse, and finally a doctor. For years now, hospitals and private practices have been moving toward allowing everyone to wear scrubs to work. Staff members and patients tend to love the policy or completely hate it, and there are good points to be made for either side.

Love the Scrubs Trend

There is certainly something to be said for uniforms. Schools, athletic teams, and almost every other organized group have some sort of uniform that allows people to recognize members easily. This same premise is the reason matching scrubs have become so popular. They allow patients to instantly recognize who in the area may be able to help them. It also allows for a sense of unity and can increase teamwork between coworkers. Another positive feature of matching scrubs is that they are relatively inexpensive and you never have to think much about getting dressed for work. Instead of spending valuable time before work choosing just the right outfit, you can look for a clean pair of scrubs and be on your way. Comfort is another key factor. It is much easier to move and accomplish daily tasks in scrubs. This is true whether you are seeing patients or having to climb up ladders for patient files.

 

 

Hate the Scrubs Trend

The only people in a hospital or doctor’s office who should be discussing medical issues are nurses and doctors. However, when everyone looks the same, it is easy for patients to get confused and ask office staff about medical issues. This tends to be frustrating for both the patient and the office worker. Another annoyance is that if the administrators choose a color that is less common, it may be difficult to find options that are flattering for all staff members. Finally, if all staff members have to wear matching scrubs, it greatly reduces the individuality each person is able to express through their clothing. Many nurses purposefully wear cartoon characters or animals to cheer patients up or to make the day more enjoyable for themselves. By having to conform to a strict dress code this creative outlet is removed potentially making the workplace less enjoyable.

 

How do you feel about mandated matching scrubs in the workplace? Do you think it makes life easier or do you prefer standing out from the crowd?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jill Ramel 04.09.12 at 12:48 pm

I don’t mind the uniform look .What I do HATE is CEIL BLUE !!!
Along with solid colors and white shoes. I work in the ED and the white shoues are never white.

RMarsRN 04.10.12 at 1:56 pm

After years of hearing everything imaginable from the “white jacket” types of Nursing Admin folks who wander the corridors trying to look busy, I have to admit I almost lost it when one of them Seriously told me that it is Arlington Hospital’s policy for nursing personnel Not to Ever wear any scrubs that have faces on them because patients recovering from anesthesia can be horribly frightened by seeing them. In 25+ years of Critical Care Nursing ( including Surgical Recovery) I have never, ever seen a patient respond to anything nurses might be wearing. What they have mentioned is: wanting pain meds, repositioning, being cold, having a dry mouth, a sore throat, being thirsty, or sometimes the IV bothering them. Never once heard anyone mention my scrub top scared them.

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