4 Reasons Hospitals Have Scrubs Policies

Every time you go to the hospital, you’ve probably noticed that while not everyone is wearing the same pattern, they’re all wearing scrubs. Sometimes, even the non-health care related employees wear them. So why is it that hospitals have policies on what employee’s wear?

  1. They mark healthcare employees. Primarily it’s because we expect healthcare workers to be in scrubs, which means it is easier to quickly identify a health care employee in times of emergency. This set of clothing is immediately associated with healthcare work, which is one of the reasons employees like recreational therapists tend to wear street clothes. When we see a white coat, we think doctor. When we see someone in scrubs, we think nurse, or nurse’s aide.
  2. They’re easy to wash. Considering the amount of bodily fluids, dirt, and other grime a healthcare worker might come in contact with, clothing that is easy to wash is a necessity. With good scrubs, it’s possible to get even some of the toughest stains out. And as a patient, the last thing you would want to see is a healthcare worker with stained clothing! Not all scrubs are as cleanable as others, though, which is why hospitals pick a style like Grey’s Anatomy scrubs, and stick with it.
  3. They hide dirt well. While it may be tempting to go and clean your scrubs every time they got dirty, it’s not possible, especially when things get busy. So healthcare workers need some clothing that can seem clean, even when that’s not necessarily the case. Patterns help with this, as well as certain colors, which is why it’s not uncommon to see “fun” scrubs or darker ones, in addition to the traditional blue.
  4. They’re cheap to replace. Despite how easy they are to launder, scrubs do get stained irrevocably and no longer can be worn. Scrubs are much cheaper than standard clothing (although fancier options can be bought at a higher price, if the employee is allowed to choose their own scrubs) because of many things, such as the material that they’re made from, the fact that they’re mass-produced, and that they’re a simple pattern.

Of course, some hospitals have even more reasons to keep people in scrubs, like the ones you can get from Grey’s Anatomy scrubs. But these four are the core reasons that we associate the clothing with hospitals — and even dentists.


  1. says

    This is a great article to promote discussions about why we need alternatives to scrubs. I’m in my third year of research and development to provide something new for healthcare professionals! Brenda June is providing beautiful and ‘smart’ apparel for nurses and professionals. We need to be differentiated from all other auxilliary hospital staff for a number of reasons. Our career choice is to provide professional hands-on care to patients. The patients need to know who we are! We have a duty to uphold a professional image, and scrubs does not provide that. As a nurse, I started my company with a purpose to’ raise the bar’ of professionals….to take back the pride of our profession. By a twist of fate, my focus changed when my sister acquired c-diff during a hospital stay for a kidney stone. Not only should healthcare professionals have the ability to look great, fashionable and professional, they need the most innovative fabrics available in the textile industry to reduce the spread of infection.
    It concerns me that some like their scrubs because they hide the stains. This is exactly why we are promoting white uniforms. You and your patients should both be aware of bodily fluids that are present on your uniforms. I agree that we need to get stains out, but more importantly is killing the pathogens that you carry from room to room and home to your family. BLEACH is the only thing that will kill resistant strains of c-diff and MRSA. Most scrubs cannot be bleached because they are NOT white and come in multiple colors and designs. Brenda June is introducing a fabric that is manufactured in the USA and patented. Chlorine bleach is impregnated into the fabric at a molecular level and is recharged every time you bleach it. This is providing a barrier and reduces cross-contamination.
    Your article is correct when stating that scrubs are cheap and easily replaced. We get what we pay for, and some positions in the auxillary staff require nothing more. Brenda June products are 100% made in the USA, not just sewn here. Our textiles are exclusive to our brand. Our apparel is original, not unisex, fashionable, comfortable, breathable and beautiful! You have a choice! Put a face on your profession. We’re getting ready to launch a national campaign to elevate your image. Visit our site at brendajune.com and tell us what you want! You have a voice here, and we are listening!

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