Should Hospital Scrubs Be Worn Outside Hospitals?



A 2012 study from the University of Michigan School of Nursing found that nurses’ work uniforms had an average bacteria colony growth of 5,795 per square inch after just one night shift. Dayshift nurses’ uniforms had an average bacteria colony growth of 1,246 per square inch, which, although significantly lower, may still be a cause for concern.

With the frequency of infections from antibiotic-resistant bacteria on the rise and the alarming results of the university’s study, experts are now wondering if hospital scrubs pose a serious threat to the general public. Healthcare officials meanwhile have the task of deciding whether stricter policies and regulations should be implemented.

Germs and Hospital Scrubs: A Biological Fashion Statement

According to biologist Jonathan Eisen of the University of California-Davis, medical care facilities tend to be hot spots for bacteria and other potentially harmful organisms. Once inside a building like a hospital, scrubs can become contaminated quickly and begin collecting bacteria. The fear is that those contaminated scrubs, once worn outside the hospital, can potentially transmit bacteria to other objects and people.

However, that’s not to say medical care facilities are blind to the potential threat. In fact, many even have specific policies concerning wearing scrubs outside the hospital, especially when it comes to scrubs worn in the operating room or other specific areas of the building. The downside is that these rules are usually poorly enforced or ignored altogether by healthcare workers.

This leaves healthcare officials to wonder how they can effectively enforce a new policy for changing out of scrubs before workers leave the building. The answer, it seems, may actually lie in the facilities themselves.

In Search of a Low-Cost and Sanitary Solution

One way that healthcare officials can help to prevent workers from wearing scrubs outside the building is to provide comfortable and convenient spaces where workers can change before and after their shifts. These changing rooms can easily be designed as a series of stalls, much like shower stalls, making them both efficient and private. They can also be cleaned easily by the building’s janitorial staff.

By simply giving workers an area where they can easily change in and out of their scrubs, healthcare officials may have an easier time enforcing safety policies and preventing the possible spread of potentially harmful organisms.

More on Dressing Compartments

Dressing compartments can be made in a variety of colors and textures in order to provide a design that compliments the facility’s existing décor. These compartments, made from high-quality performance plastics, also resist dents, scratches, and corrosion, with little need for maintenance or repairs, which makes them an ideal investment for expenditure conscious officials.

To learn more about these durable dressing compartments, click here. Scranton Products uses high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic in the making of their compartments, which means they’re not only tough, but they also have a low environmental impact. And their GREENGUARD Gold Certification means they’re safe enough for use in healthcare facilities.