Thursday, November 5, 2015

Scrubs as Streetwear?

"Where are we going for lunch?"
When I started hatching this post it was my intention to give female scrub-wearing members of the medical profession a big fat pass. I have compassion for any woman who wears scrubs to the supermarket to pick up dinner or runs one of those never-ending errands we women seem to have. From my decidedly female point of view, it's more complicated for a woman to change wardrobe than a man. She has to carry multiple items and accessories to put herself together.

It was the men who were going to get detention. How difficult is it for a man to thrown on a collared shirt and a pair of pants before he leaves the hospital?

I loved "Scrubs" but on television
Not all men wearing scrubs are doctors. Approximately 6% of nurses are male and a great many men are in lab/tech positions and wear them. And not all doctors wear scrubs. Those (male and female) I visit in their offices are in civvies with the occasional lab coat thrown on for good measure.

I can't help feeling our man in scrubs at the gas station is not just lazy, he's showing off. He thinks he is so important and busy that whatever he's doing outside the hospital, there isn't time to change before he runs back and does it some more.


I'm not thinking these same scrubs were just in the OR (too clean). I'm hoping this scrub-wearing man is not going to the OR. That would be frightening.

It's been remarked that wearing scrubs is like wearing pajamas. Though we've gotten perilously close to giving those the "ok", we're not there yet. From a fashion point of view scrubs don't have one.

But the subject has serious connotations that suddenly equalize the issue, goose and gander alike. What about the possibility of germs and bacteria hitching a ride on someone's scrubs and landing on your sandwich at Subway?

"In the 1980's when I did residency in NY, it was absolutely forbidden at my hospital... to be seen out of the OR in scrubs. You were to change in and out of and then back in again if you had to leave temporarily. 
Outside the hospital, residents who would sneak out their scrubs and wear them off hours usually did it to attract women by letting them know they were doctors. 
Fast forward to the present. Doctors, nurses, along with all sorts of ancillary medical providers like physical, respiratory and occupational therapists will wear scrubs all day long and then leave the hospital. I have little doubt that being around sick ICU patients with all sorts of infections can leave those bugs on the scrubs. 
... I would agree that the possibility of bringing hospital acquired bacteria and viruses to outside environs occurs." 
 – Dr. Charles Rosen, clinical professor of orthopaedic surgery at the University of California, Irvine, founding director of the UCI Spine Center, School of Medicine, and president of the Association for Medical Ethics.

So now I'm not just being cranky, I'm worried.


  1. Ok I'll say it. Scrubs look slovenly. Everyone in the hospitals wear them and you can't tell the cleaning staff from the doctors and nurses. I know it's a different subject but please bring back crisp white nurses uniforms. Just my opinion. Signed JulyGulf

    1. They are related subjects, but I must admit those crisp white nurses scared me silly as a child.

  2. They commanded respect.