Each nursing specialty comes with its own set of demands. Some specialties are very active, many expose you to a lot of gross stuff and still others make you carry a lot of gear. No matter what the job requires, nurses agree on one thing about scrubs fashion: It’s all about making the job easier and more enjoyable. Here are some scrubs selection tips for six nursing specialties.
1. ICU Spilled Something There
Is it possible to look and feel great even when your scrubs aren’t perfectly spotless? Perhaps so. ICU RN Ruth Rema Pouchie finds that the right scrubs can give her a lift, even on days when things get messy. It’s all about fabric, fit and fashion. She likes scrubs that are “soft, comfortable and stylish. Makes you feel good even when you have an unwanted bit of body fluid spilled on them.” Obviously, these scrubs also need to stand up to frequent washing!
2. Telemetry Nurses “Heart” These Scrubs Pants
Michelle Chance Bailey is a tele nurse. Her job involves close, constant monitoring of the heart health of critical care patients. She needs to be able to whip out the right piece of equipment at a moment’s notice. Here’s her favorite way to make sure she has what she needs: “I love cargo-style scrub pants. The pockets on the legs are perfect for carrying my stethoscope all day along with my ‘brain’ sheet. I carry a few extra electrodes for the heart monitors, too…among the other odds and ends that I’m always hoarding.”
3. Calling All ER Nurses: We Need More Pockets, Stat!
Like tele nurses, emergency room nurses also choose storage space as the number-one criterion in their choice of scrubs. Tami Uselton Hamill doesn’t care about the brand as long as there’s plenty of space. Her preference is “any cargo. I utilize all my pockets with scissors, IVs, flushes and syringes.” Some ER nurses seek out extreme cargo pants that feature up to 14 pockets. If you go that route, you’ll need a system to remember what you put where. There’s no time to waste searching through your pockets when someone’s crashing!
4. Cancer Caregivers Crave Comfort
Being an oncology nurse is hard enough without wearing scrubs that are itchy, scratchy or sweaty. These caregivers need modern blended materials that offer the best features of two or more fabrics. Nurse Anna Liza Matamis likes to keep things simple with “material designed for comfort. Cotton and spandex mixed are the best—and you don’t have to iron them.”
5. Kids Can Run You Ragged
This is true even for pediatric patients who are working through their physical rehabilitation. You need clothing that is breathable and practical to keep up with this demanding job. Pediatric rehab nurse Belinda Duran says she pairs cargo scrubs pants with cotton T-shirts and a good pair of sneakers. That’s a uniform that says “casual” rather than “clinical” to help put kids at ease.
6. Dressing Outside the Lines
Private care nurses have an entirely different set of decisions to make about what they wear. While scrubs are certainly cost-effective, comfortable and well-loved by most nurses, some patients don’t necessarily like them. Les Seay reveals that he’s thinking of choosing another type of medical uniform altogether: “Thinking of going to EMS 9 pockets and T-shirts or polos. My patient says scrubs remind him of hospitals too much.”