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Can Scrubs Be Too Cute?

Can Scrubs Be Too Cute?

Marijke Durning | NursingLink

July 28, 2010

The debate on scrub styles goes hand in hand with being a nurse. Some hospitals can’t decide what type of uniform nurses should wear, while others debate on the colors they should wear. Some facilities allow nurses to wear what they like, be it scrubs or uniforms, only specifying that they must be clean and look professional. But what defines professional? Is it the choice of uniform style or the type and color of fabric used?

There once existed only two choices in scrub color: A dull green or blue. It used to be that surgeons and others who worked in the operating room were the only hospital staff who wore scrubs. But scrubs gained popularity as other medical staff began wearing them and uniform companies saw a new opportunity to make money and began designing scrubs of different colors other than the old standbys. From then on, it was only a matter of time before companies began experimenting with scrub designs, as well as color.

First came little logos and pictures such as rainbows, hearts, and even cartoon characters. Major corporations began licensing their products (like Winnie the Pooh) to be used on scrubs. Today, designs and patterned fabric are so popular for scrubs, it’s not always easy to find a solid color top that’s not screaming neon or puke green.

Why do some nurses choose to wear Hello Kitty scrubs, or tops with flowers and bunnies all over? Some argue that these designs are cute and fun; plus they make patients smile. Cute scrubs may work in a pediatric setting, but is it the same in an adult environment?

Some argue that unprofessional clothing undermines the professionalism that nurses strive for. After all, how can a person be taken seriously if she has unicorns and clouds on her clothing? And how comforting can a nurse delivering bad news be when she wears balloons and happy faces on her scrubs?

Of course, the other side of the argument is that it doesn’t take clothing to make a nurse professional. A nurse wearing Mickey Mouse scrubs can be just as professional as someone wearing white scrubs, but Mickey may be helping her patient smile a bit. Mickey Mouse may evoke a distant memory, or the colors and lightheartedness bring life back into an otherwise grim hospital environment.

So, what side of the argument do you fall in? Should cutesy scrubs be allowed in adult health care environments?

Discussion: Fashionable Nursing Uniforms a Trend?

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