What are scrubs?

Q: I’m a workwear designer and I need to know each type of clothing feature for my work, I’d like to know what are scrubs.

– Vassia Roditou

A: Scrubs are a type of uniform worn primarily by healthcare workers, including nurses, doctors, surgeons, and other medical staff. They are designed to be simple, easy to launder, and cheap to replace if stained or damaged.

Scrubs typically consist of a short-sleeve top and pants. The top is usually a loose-fitting v-neck shirt, and the pants often have a drawstring or elastic waist for comfort and ease of movement. Scrubs come in a variety of colors and patterns, although some hospitals and clinics may require specific colors for different departments or roles to easily identify staff.

Scrubs serve several important purposes in the healthcare setting:

  1. Hygiene and Cleanliness: Scrubs can be cleaned at high temperatures to kill bacteria and other pathogens, reducing the risk of infection. They are also worn exclusively in the healthcare facility and are often changed at the start and end of a shift, which helps to prevent the spread of pathogens outside of the facility.
  2. Comfort and Practicality: Healthcare workers often have physically demanding jobs and long shifts. Scrubs are designed to be comfortable and allow for a wide range of movement. They also typically have pockets for carrying essential items like pens, medical instruments, and notepads.
  3. Identification: Wearing scrubs helps to identify healthcare workers and differentiate them from patients and visitors. In some facilities, different roles or departments may wear different colors of scrubs for easy identification.

Originally, scrubs were worn only by surgeons and operating room staff, who needed clean, simple clothing that wouldn’t shed lint into surgical wounds. However, they have now become standard attire for many types of healthcare workers due to their practicality and hygiene benefits.

Have a question about personal safety equipment, work clothes, PPE industry? Anbu Safety writer Arlen Wang will find answers to the queries. to submit a question send an email to: info@anbusafety.com

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