Medical scrubs are a type of protective clothing worn by medical personnel when they’re likely to come into contact with a potentially infectious substance or bodily fluid. They form a barrier, thus ensuring that clinicians and patients work in a clean and safe environment. Since there are so many different brands and designs available on the market, the following factors may help you find the right ones for your facility!
Comfort & Mobility
The fit of medical scrubs is crucial, as it determines how well they allow or restrict movement throughout the day. Since they are commonly worn for an entire shift, you should opt for a comfort scrub made of stretchable fabric and lightweight material with a relaxed fit! These fabrics allow a slimmer fit without compromising mobility. However, when compared to non-stretchy scrubs, stretchy models are less durable and can handle high heat washes.
On the other hand, scrubs should be loose enough for you to move around freely. You should be able to bend down, squat, and stretch upwards. Check if your scrub top is long enough to be easily tucked in. Scrub pants should have an elasticised waistband and a drawstring for a comfortable fit.
When it comes to finding the right size, scrubs designed by Western brands typically run in Western sizing. This means that the sizes are larger when compared to your normal size. On the other hand, Japanese brands tend to be a bit shorter than usual. However, buying scrubs from local brands would be ideal since you can go with the same size you usually wear for clothes. Remember that nursing scrubs should fit loose, so you should go for a bigger size if you’re in the middle of two sizes.
A comfort scrub should allow you to keep whatever you need with you. This is a subjective metric, but it is critical to the scrubs’ overall performance. Moreover, its features can make or break the scrub, allowing you to either appreciate it at the end of your day or irritate you every time you work in it.
Pockets, collars, sleeves, seams, and zippers should all be considered when shopping for the ideal medical scrub. Scrubs should have pockets as a bare minimum. The number of pockets and their location will allow you to keep your phone, writing materials, medical tools, and anything else you need close at hand.
The most popular scrubs are the ones that come with three pockets- one on the chest and two on the lower torso. Specialty pockets, such as side seam pockets and zipped pockets, can be helpful, but they can also get in the way of mobility when you need to bend down.
If you usually carry bigger items such as tablets and notepads, then you should look for bigger pockets that are additionally spacious and deep. On the other hand, carrying a lot of things will require additional features on your scrub. Compartments for pen, scissors, zipped compartments, and ID or instrument loop are some of the options.
Collars & Neckline
Not all scrub collars are created equal. Some V-shaped collars, for example, have an open sew method, whereas others have an interlocked collar. These collars are better at retaining their shape and provide more modesty protection if you don’t wear an inner layer. They are, however, a little more structured.
The fabric type determines the nursing scrub’s comfort, durability, and maintenance. Although poly/cotton, poly/rayon, poly/spandex, and poly/viscose are the most common material blends in scrubs, natural materials, such as cotton, are more soft and comfortable. On the other hand, synthetic fabrics are easier to maintain, are wrinkle-resistant, and have long-lasting colours.
Scrubs’ breathability is also affected by its fabric. Those working in cold environments prefer warmer materials, whereas those working in hot and dry climates will typically opt for a fabric that will keep them cool and allow their skin to breathe!
However, when shopping for comfort scrub, choose fabrics that contain 3-4% elastane or spandex as having a bit of stretch adds to the overall comfort while wearing it. Blended fabrics such as polyester-rayon or polyester-cotton will keep you dry and cool while providing extra breathability and comfort. Furthermore, if you’re looking for durable fabrics, weighted fabrics with 35-45% cotton are your safest bet!
Care, Maintenance & Durability
Although some hospitals may require washing and drying at high temperatures, medical scrubs are easy to maintain. Scrubs should be chosen based on the laundry methods, temperature, and frequency of washing. Check to see if the fabric can withstand high-heat washes or specific laundering methods, typically labelled. A ticker scrub fabric is a good choice when dealing with fluid spills or contamination. Check out if the scrub you plan on buying can withstand frequent cleaning while remaining durable over time.
When it comes to durability, double-stretched seams, French seams and reinforced seams are the best you can get! Since premium quality scrubs are sustainable to touch, checking for sturdy stitches can help you identify a pair of good scrubs.
These stitches are less likely to come undone, making them more resistant to everyday wear and tear. Scrubs with high-quality fabrics will last longer. When held, the material should feel substantial and weighted. Meanwhile, stay away from zips and snap buttons, as they make it more challenging to maintain and repair your scrubs.