Scrubs - The Health Care Worker Uniforms Trend

by Adriana N. - Date: 2010-11-18 - Word Count: 612 Share This!

Throughout history, fashion has not usually been dictated by comfort or purpose. This is not the case, hACowever, in health care where necessity has created a booming uniforms' business for workers in medical fields. These new uniforms are called "scrubs" and they are, to date, the most fashionable, brightly colored, comfortable and fun work wear for health care workers.

Special clothing worn by health care workers has changed a great deal since the days of white uniform dresses, white shoes and stockings and starched white caps. This type of sterile-looking uniform uniquely and immediately differentiated the appearance of nurses from others in the medical field. The starched caps and solid white uniforms which symbolized health care-taking have, thankfully, left the medical staff wardrobe scene.

Since approximately 1980, a more comfortable and more aesthetically pleasing type of uniform has been adopted for wear by health care workers. The style follows that of clothing traditionally worn in the operating room (OR), called "OR greens" or "scrubs". Although in previous years female nurses were required to wear "OR greens" dresses in the OR, concerns for the OR's sterile, antiseptic environment eliminated this requirement. This became especially important when styles dictated that hemlines go shorter.

Eventually all medical personal in the OR began to wear loose-fitting, green cotton, v-necked tops with matching drawstring-waist, loose-fitting pants. The dresses made from the same material were completely eliminated. This loose-fitting cotton clothing was designed specifically to keep surgeons and other OR personnel cool, comfortable and clean while performing surgery.

As more people began to discover just how comfortable this clothing was, more people began wearing their OR greens out of the OR and into other areas of the hospitals. Sometimes people went so far as to wear their "greens" outside of the hospital too. "OR greens" were always easily recognized as they would normally bear the stamp of the hospital on the pants back pocket and somewhere on the front of the shirt.

The style took on a designer level of popularity and hospitals were losing money fast because thousands of their "greens" were disappearing from their supplies. As a result uniform companies began manufacturing "scrubs" for hospital employees to wear in lieu of the real thing. This new uniform style, which copied the look and comfort fit of "OR greens" became popular immediately.

Eventually, it became illegal for anyone to wear hospital I. D. Bearing "greens" outside of the OR and the manufacture of "scrubs" uniforms became a lucrative niche business. During the transition from the starched white attire to scrubs, nursing caps were eliminated too. It was discovered that caps would harbor all sorts of bacteria and nasty microbes which would easily be transferred to patients and to sterile equipment, etc. In addition, they looked rather silly with the new "scrubs" uniforms.

Over time patients have become accustomed to the new "scrubs" and often comment on how much better the brightly colored and patterned materials make them feel. It seems to be important in pediatric centers particularly where "scrubs" uniforms are not as scary as the old starched whites had been. Uniform tops made out of material patterned with teddy-bears and bright colors seem to calm young patients instead of traumatizing them.

The "scrubs" business is certainly booming with newer and trendier styles advancing all the time. Although certainly not of haute-couture status, the more fashionable "scrubs" do not resemble in the least the old "OR greens", yet they continue to provide comfort, cleanliness and style to the wearer as well as interesting and aesthetically pleasing fashion to the patient. Scrubs are available for men and women and have left the old starched whites and the theft of "OR "greens" far behind in their wake.

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