What is a medical scrub set?
Mention the word ‘scrubs’ to someone who does not work in the medical field and you’ll probably hear an answer involving dishy American actors (George Clooney) or American parody singers (‘Weird’ Al Yankovic and his parody of Madonna’s “Like A Virgin”, entitled “Like A Surgeon”).
Yet for many people, standard medical scrub sets are everyday PPE protective workwear. Not just for certain medical staff, but many patient-facing staff.
Whether you’re the leading brain surgeon in Europe or the guy who delivers the kits for the surgeon to use when performing the operation, scrubs are a necessity in an operating theatre.
The short sleeved design of the top is clinically correct according to current infection control rules. The drawstring trousers allow wearers to don and remove them with as little contact with the garment as possible.
Scrub sets are designed to be washed and worn again and again. They’re tough, easy care and while most wearers will agree they’re not high fashion, they do their job remarkably well.
The public may also find scrub sets being worn in many other medical and animal healthcare locations. In a hospital or clinical setting, such as for nurses, imaging staff and even medical administrators, a set of scrubs is a lifeline when they have arrived at work wet through from the weather outside, or have accidentally spilled something down their top at lunchtime.
All staff working in a hospital operating theatre are required to wear scrubs – only the colour of the scrubs or the colour of the hat they wear with them will differentiate between the teams.
Many veterinary surgeries also keep scrubs for staff to use in situations where they are likely to need to change quickly, for instance if they are caring for a seriously ill animal or feeding one which is unable to feed itself.
Many scrub sets are plain, but some of the scrubs stock held by Aston Pharma is patterned – great for use in children’s medicine where they might be frightened by the seriousness of plain scrubs. A nurse with a piggy scrub tunic would seem much friendlier to a youngster than someone in a plain green set, for instance.
In a high risk environment such as an A&E unit, scrubs are an ideal attire for staff on the front line of medical care, dealing with anyone who may arrive through the doors, no matter how unwell they may be.
Veterinary surgeries, dentists and other clinics keen to show patients that their staff adhere to the highest possible standards of cleanliness have also adopted scrubs as a uniform of choice. The fact that scrub sets are available in a variety of colours is also an advantage, as teams can be colour coded according to their role or even wear scrubs in the hospital colours to reinforce the corporate ideal.
Most hospitals adhere to the wearing of ‘greens’ in operating rooms; scrubs in a shade of light green or blue-green, while outside teams such as porters or procurement staff may wear blue scrubs to differentiate their role from those staff directly involved in the operation.
Some hospitals mandate the wearing of other colours due to the likelihood of greens being stolen and potentially used in impersonation or as casual clothing. A corporate logo stencilled on each garment can reduce this risk.
In order to ensure that surgical greens are clinically clean, they are always cleaned in house, no matter what the clinical speciality. Other colours can be washed at home by the wearer, due to the lower risk of infection transmission to or by non-clinical support staff.
PPE protective workwear takes many forms. Scrubs are just one of them, one of the more versatile, as it happens. Many hospitals have realised that having a pile of clean scrubs on hand is useful for staff in all areas, so that they can quickly and simply change from street wear to clinically correct clean wear in a short time.
The fact that this form of clothing is both clinically safe and hard wearing is a very good reason to stock up on these colourful sets for your medical workplace.