A headline in the January 8, 2009, issue of The Wall Street Journal “Hospital Scrubs Are a Germy, Deadly Mess,” caught my eye. The article discusses how hospital scrubs and other garments carry infection, not only around the hospital but outside it too.
A headline in the December 2008 issue of Lawyers USA reads “Hospitals Face Infection Suits.” This article covers, guess what, the increased number of infection suits facing hospitals.
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) adds certain SSIs and other infections to its list of nonreimbursible “Never Events.”
And, can you guess what the cover article is in the January 2009 issue of Nursing Management (the journal of excellence in nursing leadership)? It’s an article discussing the debate over nursing uniform colors, combinations and identity (as well as patient preference and perception).
Give me a break. I don’t care what you wear as long as you’re not killing me with it. I cannot stand to see a doctor, nurse or even someone who’s probably a med-tec standing around my local Starbucks in their scrubs. Even worse –
a healthcare provider in scrubs or lab coat fondling the veggies in my local supermarket. I can’t assume she’s taking that cucumber to work, so I’m guessing she’s just spreading germs on her way home.
The CDC estimates that more than 2,000,000 hospital-acquired infections result in over 90,000 deaths. What about the civilians who are being infected outside of the hospital? Talk about an issue ripe for Certified Legal Nurse Consultants – I feel like a pig at a feeding trough.
When I entered nursing the color was white (the color of purity). Nurses wore clean white uniforms. We shined our shoes (not “Crocs”) and yes, even wore (anyone remember this?) caps. What’s the point? We looked clean, we were clean and you didn’t see a nurse in white outside the hospital. I constantly tell Tom those nurses you see collecting money outside the mall AREN’T REALLY NURSES.
Today, we’ve got multiple piercings, exposed midriffs and our choice of uniform – if you can call it that. I call some of it inappropriate wear.
I’m not calling to revert back to aprons (although they are being tried in Britain). But I am asking that hospitals go back to laundering scrubs and not allowing them out of the hospital.
The same nurse who won’t touch the door handle in the restroom thinks nothing of wearing those Ebola-ridden scrubs when she picks up her kids to hug them.
Study after study shows that where docs and nurses go infection follows. Why aren’t our nursing executives discussing a real issue – infection, disease and death – instead of the colors of our scrubs? You tell me. And, if you’re one of the offenders, stay out of my neighborhood Denny’s.
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