Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Brief History of Nursing Scrubs

The Nursing Profession and Nursing Scrubs
You may remember that it was recently Nurse's Week 2011, so you are not unfamiliar with my chosen profession as a nurse. I like to do product reviews and product analysis, especially having to do with my profession and related to my everyday life. I have always been fascinated by things that seem so simple but in actuality are very complex and serve a specific purpose. Nursing scrubs seem to be simple articles of clothing, but in actuality they are designed specifically to be antimicrobial and deter the passage of germs into hospitals. Hospital scrubs and uniforms were publicized for promoting hygiene and cleanliness. Before that, surgeons and medical professionals performed surgeries and other formalities in the operating room wearing their regular clothes, not to mention without cleaning them, or their hands for that matter.

Early in the 19th Century, professional and other forms of nurses wore what looked like an old servant’s uniform. You know the one's I'm talking about, with an apron and a long dress or skirt and a white bonnet cap. Up until later in the 19th century, the nursing profession was not organized and most nurses worked in either wealthy homes or just out of the kindness of their hearts. There were no schools, no formal training and no organization. Towards the end of the 1800s (Crimean War-era), Florence Nightingale’s hard labor had transformed the nursing occupation into a more reputable profession. Professional or registered nurses had to be separated from the rest of the women helping out; they were required to have distinct uniforms to differentiate them from common, unregistered or untrained women who volunteered their services to the army or in the few hospitals. Now we have schools, standards and professional clothing. People working in the medical domain, especially as nurses, have to wear hospital scrubs during their entire professional lives.

My Favorite Scrubs

My favorite brand of hospital scrubs happens to be Dickies scrubs. The company is actually called "Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing Company." They have an interesting history. Apparently, C.N. Williamson and E.E. "Colonel" Dickie began their ventures in the business world in the great state of Texas in 1918. They worked in the automotive industry until 1922, when they bought out an overall clothing company and renamed it to Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing Company. They stuck to "working-man" clothing up until the nursing industry started booming. Soon thereafter, Dickies scrubs were born!

Scrubs from Dickies are very durable and can be found pretty much anywhere. There was a time, recently, that they stopped manufacturing them and they went off the market. They are back! I prefer to wear them because they are manufactured specifically for working nurses. That sounds awkward, but it makes sense; they were known to primarily manufacture clothing for people like construction workers, mechanics and the like. They know that the nursing profession is not all fun and games, it gets dirty. Dickies scrubs are some of the most long-lasting scrubs I've had, which is why I prefer them; I get my money's worth!

Benefits Of Dickies Scrubs 
I'm not too worried about my Dickies scrubs when I'm working, I don't worry about them getting dirty and allow me to concentrate on what I am doing. I can increase the number of new uniforms I can afford because Dickies scrubs, for the most part, are cheap scrubs. Not material-wise, price-wise, so you get to buy more uniforms compared to the expensive ones. I like their plain take on scrubs. I will admit, when I worked at the children's clinic, I bought the flashy scrubs with cartoon characters on them. Now I like to look much more professional, nothing flashy for me. Although, Dickies does offer those kinds of scrubs. I can extend the life of my hospital uniforms because Dickies are manufactured to last in the first place.

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