Amid a global pandemic, best sanitation practices have come to the forefront of public conversation. People are now more concerned with what to do to prevent contracting and spreading the COVID-19 virus.
The conversations are more pronounced among healthcare practitioners, who are deemed the ‘front liners’ in the fight against the pandemic. These modern-day heroes are exposed to contagious environments almost every day with little rest. A study has demonstrated that bacteria can remain active on a practitioner’s clothing 48 hours after their shift has ended.
These findings take on a new kind of importance to doctors, nurses, and other support staff. Not only are they exposed to the virus on a regular basis, but also might remain exposed to it through their clothes even when they’re away from the front lines. It won’t be just them who are in danger, but also anyone who comes in contact with their contaminated clothing within that 48-hour period.
The good news to this rather gloomy account is that this is why medical scrubs are there and why they’ve become even more important than ever before.
Why Medical Scrubs are Essential
Medical scrubs were born out of a need to limit cross-contamination, as doctors in the 1940s grew more aware how wounds could get infected easily. Since then, they’ve been an integral part of a healthcare professional’s arsenal in fighting deadly outbreaks. Aside from reducing infectious spreads, here are several other functions.
1. Providing Comfort and Range of Movement
Medical professionals have one of the most demanding jobs on the planet, spending non-stop hours making their rounds. And with the current pandemic, these hours have grown to the point of taking their toll on their physical and mental health.
A surgeon might spend an entire shift on their feet, while a nurse might only get to sit for very short intervals. For a job of this nature, medical scrubs provide comfort to the wearer who has to spend long hours of standing and sitting. Their movement is not restricted, which makes brisk and constant movement much more comfortable than in any other form of clothing.
They’re also tailor-made to fit whoever is wearing them because of the differences in shapes between medical scrubs for men and women.
2. Identification Purposes
Anyone who works in a hospital or has seen how one works will know that personnel have to be fast on their feet. If a severe case enters the emergency room in all haste, it’s always convenient to be able to identify the right healthcare professionals in a room or hallway by what they wear. They’re typically wearing scrubs.
Scrubs work well in helping identify doctors or other personnel qualified to deliver urgent and proper care. You may find nurses wearing a different color of scrubs from the surgeons, while non-medical personnel wear casual clothes, if not a hospital’s prescribed uniform.
People are either seeking treatment for the coronavirus or trying to get tested for it in addition to the regular hustle and bustle of hospitals. Easy identification is a must to allow visitors to get assisted quickly.
3. Fostering Convenience
In designing medical scrubs, convenience always takes priority. Whether checking up on patients or delivering urgent treatment, a healthcare professional must have easy access to necessary tools. Some of these don’t have to be medical equipment, such as a pen or smartphone.
Medical scrubs typically come with a couple of pockets to store things safely. Some even come with zippers to secure the professional’s valuables, so they’re within reach in a fast-paced environment. Regular clothing doesn’t provide the same storage capacity as medical scrubs, not to mention the comfort they offer the wearer during a non-stop shift.
4. Economic Efficiency
If you get medical scrubs, it might be safe to assume you won’t need to replace them anytime soon. Scrubs are made from some of the highest quality materials around. They can withstand even the most rigorous washing processes so they last longer.
Because of the benefits these scrubs bring, one would probably expect them to come at a steep price, but it’s quite the opposite. They’re some of the most economically priced forms of clothing, given that they’re essential in delivering adequate healthcare. With their wide range of uses and benefits, their average price is quite a bargain.
5. Improving Sanitation and Reducing Cross-Contamination
Their number one function is still that of sanitation. High-quality scrubs are made from a thick fabric, ensuring your body is blocked from contact with bodily fluids. At the end of a day’s work, your scrubs will likely have a lot of stains, some of which might include blood. The job of your scrubs is to make sure that this blood or any other liquid doesn’t touch your skin.
If you work in the medical field, getting stains on your clothes is probably the least of your worries. You’re more exposed than the average person to contracting the COVID-19 virus or any other infection for that matter, so it matters that what you wear helps in significantly reducing that exposure.
When dealing with cross-contamination, it’s not just a concern that starts and ends within the medical facility. The risk extends to the community as well. If you use public transportation, pass through the supermarket to grab a few things for dinner, and a lot of other ‘regular’ activities, then you’ll have exposed a lot of people to any bacteria or virus you might be carrying.
Medical scrubs are very useful in curbing this risk. Because ideally, you wear and remove your scrubs within the confines of the medical facility.
These are precarious times. A virus, unlike any other most have seen in their lifetimes, is still raging. Vaccines are promising a breakthrough, but a full victory isn’t here just yet. The virus remains a thing to avoid through all means possible.
If you work in the medical field, you probably understand how fatal the virus has proven to be over its lifespan. Wearing medical scrubs can protect you and significantly improve your work experience.