How Have Healthcare Work Uniforms Evolved Since COVID-19?

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Since the beginning of the healthcare industry, nurses and doctors have donned uniforms that provided them an extra layer of protection while setting them apart from other workers. But medical uniforms have never stayed as-is for a long time. 

Whenever there was a significant event, healthcare work uniforms faced massive overhauls. Take the Spanish flu pandemic, for example. At that time, gowns became irrelevant as the industry shifted to more practical uniforms, such as short-sleeved shirts and cloaks. Now that we’re faced with a different pandemic, it’s only natural that uniforms face another overhaul. 

Read on to know how healthcare work uniforms have evolved since the COVID-19 outbreak and how this would affect medical workers. 

Scrubs Outside Of Healthcare Facilities

Healthcare work uniforms have gone through numerous evolutions throughout history, ultimately leading to what workers wear now–medical scrubs. 

Medical scrubs are sanitary clothing worn by different healthcare workers such as surgeons, doctors, and nurses. This garment is worn when medical workers are sterilizing or ‘scrubbing’ themselves, hence the name. Scrubs became the golden standard in the health industry because of the following reasons: 

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  • Manufacturing costs are low 
  • They’re made of fabric that provides decent protection against bodily fluids 
  • Scrubs are flexible and comfortable to wear 
  • The colors are easily identifiable 

Although it was initially intended for medical workers, it became more common in other sectors since the COVID-19 outbreak. Schools, restaurants, and other facilities that deal with interactions daily require the help of these garments, so scrubs are no longer exclusive to healthcare facilities.

If your company deals with customer interaction on a daily basis, then perhaps you also need medical scrubs. In that case, you can visit this website for stylish medical garments. Speaking of, this virus outbreak has also resulted in many changes when it comes to the uniform’s styles. 

New Normal, New Styles

The recent virus outbreak has brought up numerous topics to the world. One of the most popular issues has been the ‘new normal.’ It entails that all must be cautious and watch out for infections, so it’s expected that more people will wear medical scrubs despite not being healthcare workers. Unfortunately, these garments can be uncomfortable when worn for a long time. 

As such, the fashion industry is developing different types of medical garments that are, hopefully, more functional, comfortable, and stylish than the previous healthcare work uniforms, and it seems that they were more or less successful, especially with trends like: 

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  • Jogger Scrub Pants: Jogger-style scrub pants are pretty similar to the typical scrub pants, except it features elastic cuffs in the ankle part of the garment, offering a wider range of movement and provides comfortability throughout your shift. 
  • Stylish Tops: Scrub tops have also become more of a fashion statement as the fashion industry develops more and more styles. Examples include tuck-in and V-neck scrub tops. 
  • Athletic Scrubs: Certain companies have also added to their collection a new athletic style to medical scrubs. Athletic scrubs are tops that contain numerous pockets and are made of breathable and flexible fabric, like most athletic sportswear. 
  • Medical Scrub Jackets: Scrub jackets have also joined the fray as the preferred garment of healthcare workers who are sensitive to cold. There are many more changes within the style of healthcare work uniforms than these four, and you can expect to see a lot more as the fight against COVID-19 rages on.
  • Mandatory Disposable Equipment Over Medical Scrubs: Perhaps the most noticeable change within the healthcare work uniform is that all healthcare workers must wear disposable equipment over their medical scrubs when entering the facility. These include goggles, caps, N95 masks, gowns, gloves, and face shields.  Like medical scrubs, wearing these pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) for an extended period of time can lead to irritation.
  • Reintroduction To Traditional Medical Garments: Operating gowns and aprons were some of the medical garments that the older generation of healthcare workers regularly wear, although gowns are still worn during surgical operations.  Nevertheless, since the late 1940s, we’ve seen a decrease in usage of these medical garments as workers transitioned to lighter uniforms, such as scrubs. During this COVID-19 outbreak, that’s probably no longer the case as healthcare workers are now beginning to revert to gowns and aprons for regular use since they offer more protection than scrubs.
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  • Modified Medical Uniforms: One of the main disadvantages of traditional medical garments, like gowns and aprons, is that they’re much less comfortable than medical scrubs and are harder to remove. On the bright side, designers are creating modified medical uniforms. Gowns with gloves fastened at their cuff and gowns with paper tabs are just a few examples of modified medical uniforms. The concept behind this is that with paper tabs, workers can remove gowns a lot faster while having gloves attach to its cuff will save workers the time they would’ve spent donning and doffing the gloves.
  • Variety In Medical Scrubs: When you enter any medical scrub store, you’ll find that more options cater to women than men, which is understandable since there are many more women healthcare workers than men. However, in 2019, the healthcare industry has seen an increase in male medical workers, and this increase may continue in the coming years. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 outbreak resulted in a massive demand for healthcare workers, which led to more male healthcare workers entering the scene. As such, most retail stores now cater to male medical workers more than they did before.
  • Footwear For Healthcare Workers: As the fight against the virus outbreak rages on, medical workers are subjected to extreme working conditions, especially since they’re required to work longer shifts. Unfortunately, this has proven to be very exhausting to healthcare workers, and wearing sneakers only adds to their irritability, which is where medical sneakers come in. The medical sneaker is a new type of sneaker that provides support and comfortability to healthcare workers. Compression socks have also become quite popular as they also offer a level of comfort by applying pressure to the feet, promoting good blood flow. Nevertheless, both of these products can be a massive help for medical workers that run around their shifts for an extended period of time.
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Wrapping Up

The COVID-19 outbreak has led to numerous problems for everyone worldwide, but healthcare workers are undoubtedly one of the groups that have got it the worst. Fortunately, changes within the healthcare work uniforms have made it a lot easier for these individuals to adapt to their working conditions. Hopefully, these improvements are here to stay.

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