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22 Oct

Don’t touch my fruit! – Wearing healthcare uniforms outside of work

Scrubs and Lab Coats by Fashion Seal Healthcare

Working as a uniform provider in the healthcare industry I tend to take notice any time I see an individual dressed in scrub apparel outside of my work bubble. On a recent trip to the grocery store I noticed what I presumed to be a nurse, near me in the produce aisle. While pretending to be fascinated with the tomatoes that were on sale, I examined her uniform from a distance trying to determine the brand. As I watched her handle fruit and set it back on the shelf, it occurred to me that she had just come from work where she had been working with presumably ill patients all day. Now she’s running errands and handling food in the same attire that she cared for patients in early that day.

Many hospitals and clinics have rules that discourage their employees from wearing healthcare uniforms in public settings. However, the challenge is actually enforcing the rule which seems to be the noticeable issue if you look around the restaurant at your lunch hour. I am typically not one to be squeamish about such things; nevertheless I have let my imagination get the best of me.

The research results seem to confirm my fears. NBC reports that “More than 60 percent of health workers’ uniforms sampled by researchers tested positive for pathogens, including the germs that can cause pneumonia, bloodstream infections and drug-resistant infections such as MRSA.”*

Laundry services seem like a viable solution but may not be financially realistic for smaller clinics. Reducing the risk of spreading bacteria ultimately falls on the shoulders of the healthcare employees to be aware of the dangers associated with wearing work uniforms in public.   

Are you concerned with healthcare workers wearing their uniforms outside of the workplace?


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