Scrubbed and Ready to Go

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by Martie L. Moore, RN, MAOM, CPHQ

I loved it!

I loved it when nursing moved from all white uniforms to scrubs. Not only did scrubs provide better protection and cleaning capabilities, they provided ease of movement and comfort.

Scrubs and the Silent Solidarity

Wherever you are, scrubs are like a badge of honor and provide you with the instant recognition of working in healthcare. How many times have you locked eyes in public with someone else out and about in scrubs and shared that moment of silent solidarity? “I know what you do. I know what you sacrifice. I know your struggles and your triumphs. Here’s to us.”

Scrubs can be equalizers. As a former CNO of a large hospital on the West Coast, I would round in my usual suit and heels. When I did that, I was seen as a “suit,” or someone not close to the bedside
Screenshot_4in the eyes of the nurses. When I rounded in scrubs, however, they saw me as one of their own: someone who could identify with their struggles and needs—someone who would pitch in—rather than play “Big Brother,” looking over their shoulders and thinking in numbers and dollar signs.

Scrubs are also versatile and speak a universal language of care. I’ve worn them everywhere from the ED to the OR to training at a child safety fair. One of my colleagues even wears scrub pants when she’s practicing her ballroom dancing. You might be surprised as to where people admit their scrubs pop up.

Scrubs Shouldn’t Fail on the Job

As much as I love the comfort of scrubs, the fashionista side of me still wants to look good: to look polished and professional, and—depending on the style of scrub—perhaps a little less like a sack of potatoes. Everyone wants that. Caregivers want to put on scrubs and not have them look like they slept in them despite the fact that they’re fresh from the dryer. After all, scrubs are part of the first impression patients will have when clinicians meet, and we only have one chance to make sure that first impression is a positive one.

If scrubs make you look disheveled, what message does that send about the care you might provide? My uncle is currently in Intensive Care, and the first thing my cousin told me about his nurse was how wrinkled her scrubs were, how disorganized her practice was and how much my cousin did not trust her care. She never had to say a word – her non-verbals of appearance and action said it all. 

ave photoScrubs = Fashion

Fortunately for all of us, there are some exciting advances in scrub fashion out there. And lest you think “scrub fashion” is a contradiction in terms, take a look at some of the new styles out there, such as Medline’s ave® scrubs. Now available at select Target® stores and on, these scrubs are designed with four-way stretch to move with you at work and on the go, providing flattering and sportswear-inspired fits to stay comfortable all day long. So for every lift, squat or stretch in your on-the-go day, you can do so with effortless confidence. These scrubs are offered in a variety of vibrant, lasting colors, and best of all, you can pull them straight out of the dryer fresh and unwrinkled.

Find scrubs that fit who you are: your life, your work and your style. You’ll be amazed at the difference the right scrubs can make.

About The Author:

Martie L. Moore, RN, MAOM, CPHQ, is the chief nursing officer at Medline Industries, Inc., the manufacturer of ave® scrubs. As CNO, Martie develops forward-thinking, solution-driven clinical programs, as well as new products and educational services. Prior to joining Medline, Martie was the chief nursing officer at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Oregon. Moore has nearly 30 years of clinical experience and extensive nurse leadership.

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2 Responses to Scrubbed and Ready to Go

  1. smoylan says:

    What really gets me angry is seeing Heath care providers “out and about” in scrubs. Did they just leave work? If so, then they are taking every microbe with them from patient care, and spreading them to the general public. Scrubs should be worn only in patient care areas and be changed before leaving work. In reverse, they should be put on once in the healthcare setting. If worn to work, every germ from the community with which they came in contact with, could be transferred to your patient. Scrubs are “work cloths” and should be worn only at work.

  2. Beth_Boynton_RN_MS says:

    I love this post and I too loved when we went from all white to scrubs! I also love that you are designing scrubs with professionalism and fashion in mind. I have a dream of going all over the country and presenting workshops on ‘medical improv’ while wearing scrubs that convey me a s a professional presenter, allow me to move w/ as much grace and flexibility as I can, and be comfortable!!! How do you or others think I’d be perceived if I presented in scrubs? Nice ones, I mean!

What are your thoughts?