Wearing scrubs can help you stay comfortable and look professional throughout your shifts while attending to patients and meeting with colleagues. However, wearing only a single layer of scrubs can leave you feeling cold and uncomfortable, especially during the cooler months or inside a frigid hospital or clinic. Healthcare settings can experience fluctuations in temperature based on the outside weather, air conditioner settings, and your line of work. Whether you engage with patients directly or provide pharmacy services, layering is essential to staying comfortable in your scrubs. Proper layering can help protect you against germs, provide warmth and style, and make you feel more confident at work.
1. Assess Your Medical Facility’s Dress Code Requirements
Medical facilities have specific dress code requirements that the employer sets. These rules ensure the safety of both patients and healthcare professionals. Before buying additional layers, check your medical facility’s guidelines for wearing them with your scrubs. For instance, the operating room department may require all attending medical staff members only to wear scrubs with no layers. Limiting attire to clean scrubs can prevent cross-contamination during medical procedures.
Some departments in your facility may permit employees to wear clean and professional layers as long as they wear scrub tops to identify themselves as healthcare professionals. Check if your employer requires you to wear specific colors like white, black, or blue underneath your scrubs.
Your employer may also want all medical staff, including those not in direct patient contact, to wear matching layers with their scrubs. Wearing matching scrubs and layers helps maintain a professional image and engender patient trust in the hospital facility. A 2021 study found that patients prefer seeing surgeons in scrubs and white lab coats than in casual wear.
2. Wear Scrubs That Leave Space for Layers
Take your time when trying scrubs on, and ensure that you find a style, material, and fit that best fits you. When buying scrubs, choose styles that fit all areas of your body snugly but not too tight. If you attempt to layer with other clothing items, your scrubs should not bunch up or wrinkle. Having a tight uniform can hamper mobility and prevent you from helping patients in cases of emergency. Your scrub top should leave enough room for layering throughout all seasons. You may want not to add an undershirt beneath your scrub top in hot and dry weather. As the weather cools down, you can reach for a reliable layer, such as an undershirt, to stay warm.
For instance, a good pair of tights or leggings can add some insulation to your scrubs, but a poorly fitted pair of pants will make them bulky. Layering tights and leggings under pants can cause them to catch and cling due to the stretchy material. Squatting or sitting may become challenging due to the fabric binding over your knees and thighs. If you want to wear an extra layer for your legs, ensure your scrub pants have enough space. Check your outfit in the mirror at home before you wear it at work for fashion, fit, and functionality issues.
3. Comfort is Key with Appropriate Underwear
The right underwear beneath your scrubs is an essential aspect of layering. Choose scrubs with a slightly looser fit so you won’t show underwear lines. You may find seamless underwear, so the lines are less visible when you wear your uniform. Bras can also be a factor in comfort during your long shifts. Some people prefer comfort with wireless bras. Sports bras are also helpful as they are sweat-wicking and offer additional support.
For men, boxers may prove challenging under scrubs. Loose-fitting boxers can bunch up and cause a baggy, wrinkled look. You may opt for fitted boxer briefs or briefs, depending on the color of your scrubs and the length of your scrub top. When possible, avoid wearing white scrubs at work. If you are required to wear white scrubs by your department, make sure your bra and underwear have minimal embellishments and are as close to flesh-colored as possible.
4. Choose a Stretchy Layer for Extra Comfort
The fabric of your layers is a critical factor to consider, as it should provide a wide range of movement as you work. For example, rayon-spandex blends are lightweight, smooth to the touch, and resistant to wrinkles. They also stretch when pulled vertically and horizontally. Polyester-spandex fabrics also provide comfort and stretchiness while still being comfortable.
You can choose to wear a snug-fitting undershirt that reflects your sense of style and performs well under the pressure of your profession and medical setting. A long-sleeved undershirt can provide extra warmth when it’s cold outside and protect your arms from chemicals and other potential hazards. If you plan to wear a long-sleeved shirt, ensure it matches your scrub top. It can look like it is a part of your uniform, primarily if you work in a hospital that requires color-coded scrubs.
5. Put on Outerwear Over Your Scrubs
A jacket can also provide more in addition to your undershirt. This layer can go over your scrubs and is removable if you overheat. Wear a jacket that complements the colors of your scrubs and follows your facility’s dress code rules. Ideally, your coat should be lightweight and flexible enough for effortless motion, whether you’re meeting with colleagues or grabbing a coffee while on break from work. You might consider adding a lightweight cardigan underneath your jacket, so you are well-protected from the cold. If appropriate, a lab coat can also help you stay warm.
Wearing a vest is another versatile option with your scrubs, so it may be a better choice if you want to stay warm without the bulk of a jacket. You can try layering a vest made of a polyester blend for extra insulation and warmth. In addition, vests often have pockets where you can store items like pens or cell phones while working.
Design the Look You Want for Your Work
Selecting suitable layers for your scrubs can help you look sharp and stay comfortable while you’re busy helping others. You can find various layers in various styles, colors, and cuts for women’s and men’s scrubs to help you stay in line with your facility’s dress code. Layering your scrubs requires you to remain professional while maintaining comfort and style while working in a healthcare facility.
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