During a 12-hour shift, nurses want clothing that’s easy to clean, durable, and comfortable, which is why scrubs are the preferred uniform. These versatile uniforms allow nurses to move freely throughout a hospital or medical facility while tending to patients, and they come in multiple colors and patterns, which allows nurses to showcase a little of their personality while on shift. New clothing technology has made today’s scrubs more comfortable and functional than ever. Here is how.
Moving Beyond Cotton
Traditional cotton scrubs came into fashion in the 1970s and 1980s, offering a less expensive and more flexible alternative to the white dresses that were common until then. Through the 1990s, nurses started playing with colors and patterns having fun with their wardrobes without sacrificing comfort and durability.
Today’s scrubs have evolved with technology with improved features that enhance their longevity and make them better suited to nursing. Modern scrubs have antimicrobial properties, similar to what you would find in workout gear.
When you’re spending 8-12 hours traveling throughout a clinical facility or hospital, you want something that keeps you dry. Modern scrubs use moisture-wicking fabric to help keep you from getting too sweaty on the job. These fabrics are also breathable, helping keep you cool while you’re on duty.
Upping the Safety Factor
Antibacterial properties in modern scrubs are good, but many manufacturers realized they could be better. Multiple studies have been conducted on medical uniforms and supplies showing that nurses and others in a hospital setting carry bacteria on their scrubs and supplies. This can cause them to transfer infections between patients, which is particularly dangerous in the ICU and when working with high-risk patients.
Typical antibacterial coating is fine when you’re in a hot environment, but it’s not as effective when you’re working in a cold operating room. Scrubs manufacturers are working on self-disinfecting scrubs that are more hygienic. One brand of medical scrubs has started making them with copper because of its natural antimicrobial properties. They weave copper into the yarn, creating a fabric that is better at repelling germs.
Another brand has been working on scrubs with an active barrier that helps reduce contaminants on the uniform. This technology not only protects nurses from bacteria and microbes, it also keeps you drier while on the job. These new fabrics are made to be breathable and comfortable while offering better protection to you and your patients.
When you’re working in a clinical setting or at a hospital, you want scrubs that can withstand the demands of your job. You may be changing out of your scrubs multiple times a day depending on your caseload, and you need fabric that can withstand stress and wear.
Today’s scrubs manufacturers use advancements in textile engineering to create soft and breathable fabrics that are incredibly tough. When creating a pair of scrubs, they consider how fabrics are woven and processed to create garments that wick moisture and move with you while being able to withstand multiple washes and other wear and tear associated with nursing.
Some brands of scrubs are also made with medical professionals’ needs in mind, offering better stain resistance and practical elements including pockets and velcro closures. With these advancements, you can store your medical supplies easily and change quickly when you need to.
Most scrubs are made of polyester, which can be manufactured from recycled plastics. Plenty of hospitals and clinics are embracing this effort to reduce their environmental impact choosing scrubs that are made with recycled materials or plant-based fabrics.
Using recycled plastics and other materials helps keep these scrubs from fading and improves their durability.
Early scrubs were shapeless and ill-fitting, constructed in a way that made them hard to fit nurses of all sizes. Now, scrubs come in all shapes and sizes, offering a better, more personalized fit. With fabrics that move better with the body, today’s scrubs make it easier for nurses to work without having to constantly adjust their uniforms.
Some brands have also come up with plus-size lines as well, so nurses of all sizes can be comfortable while doing their jobs.
A New Wave of Scrubs
Technology has changed the way in which fabrics are treated, produced, and dyed, and nurses can reap the benefits in their scrubs. From endowing modern scrubs with antibacterial and antimicrobial technology to creating durable fabrics that are also comfortable, manufacturers have given nurses a wider range of stylish and comfy attire.
As a nurse, your options for scrubs to wear to work are more functional, helping you to better help your patients. Check out infectious.com.au for more interesting statistics.