Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Given Linda's experience over the past year with MRSA (which has been chronicled in this blog -- see post below) in addition to the fact that my 3 year old niece was just diagnosed, I wondered whether or not I was beginning to get "germ phobic."

There was an interesting piece in the NY Times Well Blog yesterday that deals with the issue of wearing scrubs in public places. This is something which I had never given a thought to before -- I've seen medical people wearing scrubs at the supermarket, at the dry cleaners, in the dentist's office, and all those other places that we "regular" people frequent in our daily lives. (I was probably even a little impressed up until now -- especially if they had a stethoscope hung around their neck.) Now, I'm thinking "Typhoid Mary" and looking for the quickest exit!

Seriously, though, this brings up an important point. Are you alarmed when you see someone wearing their scrubs in public? If you're not, should you be?

Winnie Tobin


  1. I used to volunteer in an animal shelter where there were very strict infection-control rules. Sick animals were kept separate from healthy ones. Volunteers caring for sick animals were not to even enter the room with the healthy ones.

    We were told to keep the shoes we wore outside our houses, wash any clothes we wore in bleach as soon as we got home, and shower before interacting with our own pets.

    Granted, this was a small system compared to a hospital. Everyone was informed if one of the animals in the shelter got sick or died. Because there was a personal connection with the animals, we took our responsibility for keeping them healthy very seriously.

    What I wonder is, do the people who wear scrubs home from work change clothes before cuddling on the couch with their children?

  2. I don't worry about seeing scrubs actually -- in older days, nurses and other providers wore a more traditional uniform which has gradually been replaced by scrubs. scrubs are easier to care for, easier to clean which is why so many healthcare providers wear them. truthfully I worry more about whether people (not just providers) wash their hands...



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