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18 May

You wear & wash your scrubs where?

You wear & wash your scrubs where?

As it seems a new super bug is born every day, the subject of wearing and laundering scrubs outside of healthcare facilities continues to be a trending discussion now more than ever. Healthcare professionals on average work a 10 to 12 hour shift, so for some the thought of having to change into street clothes on their way out of work is just inconvenient. They would rather just leave work, run errands in their scrubs and then wash the garments themselves at home with the rest their clothes.

While I can empathize with wanting to run out of work after a long day, I cannot fathom willingly wearing and laundering scrubs at home. Beyond loving the idea of someone else doing my laundry, I would not want to risk the spread of infection. Healthcare facilities, specifically hospitals, are cesspools of disease that do not need to be shared with loved ones or patients that are putting their health in your hands.

Even after you wash your scrubs at home, potentially infectious microorganisms can survive on inanimate surfaces for up to a month. A 2012 study found that three patients got Gordonia bronchialis sternal infections following open heart surgery. A nurse anesthetist was identified as the source of the infection; specifically it was traced to the nurse’s home washing machine.

While evidence suggests that NOT wearing and laundering scrubs outside of work would be in the best interest of healthcare professionals, their families, patients and anyone else they come in contact with, there is still resistance with convenience being the main driver.     

To learn more about the dangers of wearing and laundering scrubs outside of healthcare facilities, check out our top blog posts on the trending discussion:

 

Agree or disagree: Healthcare organizations should discourage the wearing & laundering of scrubs at home?

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