Scrub Guide: Don’t Get the Wrong Scrub

Although scrubs are usually thought of as a health professional's uniform, the uses for scrubs vary. Scrub benefits include comfort, durability and easy maintenance, so they are useful in a variety of situations.

If scrubs are part of your official uniform, as you consider how to buy scrubs, find out if there are any guidelines or dress codes that you must follow. These guidelines tell you which colored medical scrubs are suitable for work. Some employers do not want patterns or certain colors.

If your workplace does not have guidelines on what scrubs to buy, then you have the freedom to choose what you want. The best scrubs to buy will fit well, allow you to move comfortably and maybe even display a bit of your personal style.

>> Consider how you will use your scrubs

The function of scrubs is just as important if not more important than their style.

Medical professionals, such as doctors and nurses, need to know how to buy scrubs for their jobs. Scrubs help them maintain a germ-free environment, particularly when they wear the type of scrubs that is antimicrobial. Even if you're not a medical professional, you may want to buy medical scrub clothing for use while operating home medical supplies or equipment or when using certain health products.

Because certain types of scrubs help keep the wearer germ free, scrubs are also ideal for cleaning. Scrubs may be worn by cleaning professionals or simply for chores around the house.

Scrubs are known for their lightness and comfort. They can make a great alternative to pajamas, particularly the pants.

>> Determine the scrub size you need

Size and fit are important aspects of your wardrobe. Scrub sizes differ for men and women based on their differing measurements: bust, waist and hips for women's scrubs and chest and waist for men's scrubs. Unisex scrubs are also available. Sizes may vary based on brand, but the sizing charts below can be used as a general guide.

Women's scrub sizes

Size XS S M L XL 2XL 3XL Bust 34-35 36-37 38.5-40 41.5-43.5 45.5-47 50-52 54-56 Waist 25-26 27-28 29.5-31 32.5-34.5 36.5-39 41-43 45-47 Hips 36-37 38-39 40.5-42 43.5-45.5 47.5-50 52-54 56-58 Men's scrub sizes

Size XS S M L XL 2XL 3XL Chest 30-32 34-36 38-40 42-44 46-48 50-52 54-56 Waist 24-26 28-30 32-34 36-38 40-42 44-46 48-50 >> Choose a style

One of the first decisions when determining how to buy scrubs is if you want to buy a set of scrubs or single pieces. Buying matching sets for work is generally a better value than buying the two pieces separately, but if you are using them for pajamas or leisure, you may want only the pants.

Next decide if you want an elastic or drawstring waistband. This can be a matter of comfort or style, but it is ultimately your choice.

Choose other stylish features like collars, ties and V-neck scrubs. If you work in a clinical setting, you may want to consider getting scrub tops and/or bottoms with pockets, as these can be essential for day-to-day tasks.

Finally, decide on the type of material you want. Advanced microbial is the best material for a hospital or clinical setting. However, harsh materials can brush against your skin and leave rashes in sensitive areas, so make sure the material you pick suits your daily needs. Comfort is also important, especially if you are running around all day. If you prefer something more comfortable, flannel or fleece may be the best bet. In terms of material, the scrubs that are good for you depend on how you intend to use the scrubs and your budget.

>> Choose a color and pattern

When figuring out how to buy scrubs, you will notice that there are many scrub styles for you to choose from. Which scrubs are good for you is based on your own particular sense of style and color or material preferences.

There are many different scrub designs to choose from, including solid colors and patterns and prints. Some scrub designs are more suitable for certain types of workplaces, such as brighter colors and patterns for nurses and professionals who work with children. Different types of scrubs are better for a more professional environment. Working within your employer's guidelines, choose a scrub design that suits your personality so that you enjoy putting on your work uniform every day.

If you are not wearing scrubs for work, then a wider range of styles is available when determining which scrubs are good for you.

>> Consider the cleaning and caring of your scrubs

If you work in a hospital or clinical setting, or if you are a cleaning professional, your scrubs get dirty on a regular basis. To ensure that your scrubs are well-sanitized, use this recommended double-wash method.
First, wash your scrubs separately from your other clothing, and leave plenty of room for the scrubs to tumble around for maximum cleaning. Use detergent and cold water for the first wash to remove all dirt and debris. For the second wash, use hot water and bleach. This will disinfect your scrubs. Dry your scrubs on the highest dryer setting to kill all bacteria. The direct heat from an iron will also kill lingering bacteria and germs.

Be sure to sanitize your washing machine before washing any other clothes using a 10-to-1 bleach-water solution in a spray bottle. Spray down the washer and run a wash cycle, while empty, with hot water and bleach.

When you shop for scrubs, remember to use all these tips to find and maintain the most functional and comfortable pair.

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