How To Choose the Perfect Scrubs

How to find the best scrubsFor some physical therapists, what you wear to work depends on both the setting and your employer.  Scrubs are the generally accepted/required uniform in acute care facilities, pediatric rehabs and some home health care companies.  However, it is best to check with your employer before purchasing to determine what they expect you to wear.  Do they prefer a specific manufacturer and style?  Are there color and pattern preferences/ restrictions?  Take note of what your co-workers are wearing, you don’t want to stand out too much from the rest of the staff.

Once the dress code rules are clear, the next step is measurements.  Every online and retail store sizes differently, therefore this step is crucial. Measure over your clothing, to ensure a fit that isn’t snug.  Purchase separates, rather than complete sets, to accommodate for size differences between upper and lower body. Always bend over when trying scrubs on, making sure nothing is too tight or too revealing. Here are some other tips:

  • Quality pays off in the long run:  100% cotton scrubs are generally considered more durable, and breathable than synthetic fabric scrubs.  However, the new synthetics have dri-release properties which whisk moisture away from the skin.  These often feel softer and are more body flattering.  Look for double seams in high usage areas.
  • Choose the best neckline:  Necklines are an important part of scrubs’ comfort.  There are many styles: boat neck, keyhole, u-shaped, snap front, mock wrap and V-neck, to name a few.  Bustier women and hairy-chested men should avoid deep V-necks.  Instead choose mock wrap or u-shapes and men should layer a dark tee under the top.  The V is a great choice for petites and those with athletic frames, while the boat neck style helps balance out a larger bottom half.
  • Choose the best waist style:  As with necklines, there are several waistband styles: button, zipper, elastic, fold-over and drawstring.  The latter is the most forgiving and adjustable for all body types, and usually the most comfortable.
  • Pockets versus no pockets:  Determine what you need to carry to perform your tasks.  Decide how many pockets this requires and your preferred placement: chest waist or pants.   Never overload pockets; this can cause  pressure pain to the neck, shoulder and hips. Consider scrub tops with multiple compartment pockets and cargo style pants if you have a lot to carry.
  • Sleeve length and type:  If you are always cold at work, buy long-sleeved scrub tops, or wear long tees under short tops. Raglan type sleeves extend completely to the collar, whereas set-in sleeves end at the shoulder. The seams of set-in sleeves run around the armpit and may cause irritation in that area, while raglans have slanted seams running under the arm to the neck, making them potentially less irritating.
  • Choose the best pant style and color for your body type:  Pear and triangle-shaped women look more balanced in wide legged dark pants.  Rectangular or athletic frames do best with flared, boot cut or cargo styles. Hourglass figures and larger men should select monochromatic looks. Full figures look best in high-waisted, straight legged pants. Low rises flatter body types with short waists and larger bottoms, elongating torsos and minimizing hips.  High rises best suit long waists and those carrying weight in their midsection, shortening torsos and concealing problem areas..
  • Tailor when needed:  Scrubs won’t necessarily fit off the rack.  Pants that are too long are both a safety and sanitary issue, so make sure pants’ hems only touch the tops of shoes.  Go a half-size larger rather than buying too tight scrubs.  Have excess fabric in the seat removed, and if petite, look for companies offering shorter top and pant lengths.

Centra Healthcare Solutions can help you find your next employment opportunity.  Call our team at 800 575 0076 and we will help you find the right “fit” for you.

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