The Change in Scrubs
The only permanent thing in this world is change”
As a scrub lover and collector I became aware that even scrubs are not immune to change. Through the changing times, scrubs also changes, was modified and innovated.
A nurse uniform is attire worn by a nurse for hygiene and identification. The traditional nurse uniform consists of a dress, apron and cap. It has existed in many variants, but the basic style has remained the same and can be recognize.
The first nurse uniforms were derived from the nun’s habit. Before the 19th century, nuns took care of ill people and the link with the uniform is made. One of Florence Nigtingales first students (Miss VanRensselaer) designed the original uniform for the students at Miss Nightingale’s school of nursing. Before the 1940s minor changes occurred in the uniform. The clothing consisted of a blue outfit. Historically, a typical nurse uniform consisted of a dress, pinafore apron and nurse’s cap. A nurse’s cap or nursing cap is part of the female nurse’s uniform, introduced early in the history of the profession. The cap’s original purpose was to keep the nurse’s hair neatly in place and present a modest appearance. In some hospitals, however, student nurses also wore a nursing pin or the pinafore apron may have been replaced by a cobbler which is a is a type of apron that covers both the front and back of the body. It is fastened with sides ties or with waist bands that tie in the back. It covers most of the upper part of the body and is frequently used in many vocational occupations style apron. This type of nurse’s dress continues to be worn in many countries.
But since late 1980’s, there has been a move towards alternative designs of nursing uniforms in some countries. Newer style nurse’s uniform appeared. Example of this style is tunic-style top and dark blue trousers that are optimally designed to prevent cross-infection, the color of which depends upon the grade (or, more recently, band) of the nurse – the color varies between NHS Trusts. The tunics often feature piping around the edges of the uniform and a dress in the same color as the top tunic.
A “scrub dress” is a simpler type of uniform, and is sometimes worn in operating rooms. For outdoor clothing the nurse had a red jacket over the indoor nurse uniform. If a nurse is seen outside in their uniform, this is an offence and the nurse may be subjected to a review. Traditional uniforms remain common in the Third World, but in Western Europe and North America, so-called scrubs.
Scrubs are the shirts and trousers or gowns worn by nurses, surgeons, and other operating room personnel when “scrubbing in” for surgery. They are designed to be simple with minimal places for dirt to hide, easy to launder, and cheap to replace if damaged or stained irreparably.
Beginning in the 1990s, and until the present time, the traditional nurse uniforms have been replaced with the “new” scrub dress in some countries. Most hospitals in Europe argue that the scrub uniform is easier to clean than the old nurse uniforms. This new trend resulted to division:Those who prefer the new scrubs; they disliked the old nurse uniforms and the nurses who liked the old nurse uniforms; they argue that nurses who wear scrubs are seen by the patients as cleaners and cannot be identified as nurses.
The change from traditional nursing uniform to stylish scrub is still a mystery that shows that things here on earth really change including the perception of fashion and style, of cleanliness and dirtiness and professional looking to casual.
Though there are changes I still believe that the change in the style of nursing uniform is a change in form but not in the spirit of the nursing world. Still nurses are the same yesterday, today and in the future, as long as the spirit of service is there. No matter what the change will be in the future the most important thing are the hearts of nurses towards their endeavors.