What does your Doctor wear in the operating room?

When I worked in the Hospital first as a surgical technician, I noticed Doctor’s going from case to case in the same scrubs, For me this seemed odd because A operating room is considered a sterile environment. The Doctors would walk to the cafeteria, there Doctors offices off campus in the same scrubs. But yet the rules were clearly stated. When I worked in labor and delivery we were to wear the hospital scrubs with nylons and we could get dressed once we got there and left our clothes in a locker to wear home. Then the hospital decided to safe money, pretty soon, our own scrubs were ok to wear and wash at home, which I would totally wash separately but what was gross is people coming to work covered in dog hair, horse hair, cat hair and we are suppose to be a as sterile environment as possible. Well someone finally did the research. Here are the following guidelines:

Change soiled scrubs and/or hats as soon as possible after surgery, and certainly before speaking with family members.

Change scrubs and hats after contaminated cases, even if clothing is not visibly soiled. Discard paper skull caps at least daily and after every dirty or contaminated case. “Religious beliefs regarding headwear should be respected without compromising patient safety,” the authors explain.

Do not let masks dangle.

If wearing scrubs outside the operating room (OR), cover with a clean lab coat.

Change out of scrubs before leaving the hospital. To enforce this, ACS recommends distinctive, colored scrubs for OR personnel. “I think there’s been a drift of wearing of scrubs into areas where you would not traditionally expect to see them,” Dr Hoyt said. “It does send a message other than that these are things worn for infection control and patient safety.”

Remove or cover any jewelry on the head or neck that “might fall into or contaminate the sterile field,” before procedures, the authors recommend.

Cover mouth, nose, and hair during invasive procedures. However, “There is no evidence that leaving ears, a limited amount of hair on the nape of the neck or a modest sideburn uncovered contributes to wound infections,” the guidelines authors write.

Wear clean, appropriate professional attire (not scrubs) during all patient encounters outside the OR. “Physicians need to be reminded of these things, just like anybody else does,” Dr Hoyt said, although he acknowledged some will see it as one more set of rules to follow.

I can tell you when I worked at the hospital we couldn’t have long nails let alone fake ones, due to fungus, couldn’t wear perfume because it could make a patient sick, then they put in a coffee stand that smelled so bad, I couldn’t believe coffee on the main floor with hospital rooms, with patients in the next room.

My dad was at Standford and had a heart transplant, we couldn’t bring him flowers or things from the outside, we had to wash our hands be extra careful which was a blessing they were being so careful, then we have a nurse with long finger nails filled with dirt from gardening, My mom pointed it out and she was removed from the unit.

You have the right to speak up for your self of your loved one, if your Doctor or nurse looks like they just came in from the outdoors or another patients room, ask them to change there clothes, your family members life may depend on it. I know for a fact these Doctors and nurses do not uphold the rules when it comes to wearing their attire, so you have to speak up for yourself or loved one.

Kelly

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