Healthcare is a large and growing industry in the U.S. that provides employment for around 18 million people. Much of this growth stems from the increasing population of senior citizens who require more medical care than younger populations.
Among healthcare workers, the most common uniform is medical scrubs. These are the simple, sanitary clothes that are commonly worn by physicians, nurses, and even techs that work in hospitals, clinics, doctors' offices, dental practices, and even in veterinary practices.
For those who are new to the healthcare field, the problem of how to choose medical scrubs can prove vexing. There are, after all, many options for scrubs. If you're struggling with this problem, keep reading for our guide to choosing the right scrubs for you.
The first place you should start is with your employer. In many cases, they have a policy about what scrubs are acceptable. For example, they may require that you get scrubs from a particular medical scrub provider.
In cases like that, your employer may let you order through them or provide discounts for that vendor. Also, be aware that some hospitals or departments have specific policies in place about colors or patterns.
For example, a surgical department may require navy blue scrubs while a pediatrics department may favor light colors or even patterns. Not every employer has such policies in place, but you should always check in advance before buying or ordering scrubs. It can save you some money by avoiding purchases you can't use on the job.
Assuming that your employer doesn't have specific policies or vendors in place, let's look at some of the factors you should consider.
Sizing is also an important consideration. On the one hand, you want comfortable scrubs. On the other hand, you don't want scrubs that hang off of you like an ill-fitting fabric bag.
This can take some trial and error on your part, different scrub sizes won't exactly correspond from one medical scrub provider to the next. For example, a medium from one manufacturer might fit you perfectly, while a medium from another manufacturer might prove a little too big or small.
Once you find a manufacturer with the right size fit for you, the best option is to stock up on several sets of scrub pants and shirts from that manufacturer. While manufacturers don't go out of business that often, it does happen.
Just as importantly, they may change their sizing specifications between now and when you next need to order scrubs. Having an extra set or two tucked away can make your life easier if you need to find another manufacturer down the road.
Assuming you have a choice about it, consider your color selection carefully. For example, while warm skin tones often work well with bright colors, the exact same color can look terrible on someone with cool skin tones.
Yellow, for example, can make you look sickly if you pair it with the wrong skin tone. The last thing anyone in the medical field wants to project while dealing with patience is an aura of sickliness.
If you're not sure about your skin tone, you can always ask friends or family members for advice about what colors they think look good on you. You'll probably be surprised to find there is a general consensus about it.
The good news is that scrubs come in a wide array of colors ranging from pink to black. You can click here for more. If you have a local outlet that sells scrubs, you can even go there and simply hold up different colored scrubs near your face to get a sense of what works for you.
While it's often of less concern than issues of size, style can matter as well for your overall comfort. For example, some people prefer a v-neck scrub top to a square-cut top.
By the same token, some options for scrubs offer tops with a longer cut and deeper pockets, while others offer shorter cuts without pockets. These are things you'll want to keep an eye out for, while you shop.
Quality and Care
Comfort in your scrubs will often boil down to the quality of the material. Cheaper scrubs are often less comfortable on your skin and won't hold up as well in the long term. While getting something cheap is often practical right at the beginning, upping the quality of your scrubs over time can boost your quality of life at work.
You should also pay attention to the care instructions. Since your scrubs may come into contact with some nasty materials, you want scrubs that endure things like a hot wash cycle without bleeding color or shrinking after the first wash.
Since no one can have experience with every brand of scrubs out there, you can save yourself some time by reading online reviews of scrubs. While any product will get a few bad reviews, a flurry of negative or neutral reviews can serve as a warning to avoid a specific brand.
Pricing is often a legitimate concern for medical professionals, especially those fresh out of college or training programs. Comparing scrub prices is a practical means of stretching potentially thin budgets.
Just make sure you don't price yourself down so much that you end up with wildly uncomfortable scrubs that won't hold up to long-term use at your job.
How to Choose Medical Scrubs?
The question of how to choose medical scrubs has a couple of valid answers. For someone on an extremely tight budget, buying the cheapest scrubs you can find is often the best solution for the short term.
For those with a little more disposable income, though, you want to consider factors like sizing, color, and style. These can boost your comfort and look better on you. Other areas to keep in mind in include quality, care, pricing, and even reviews.
Looking for more clothing tips? Head over to our Fashion section for more interesting posts.