When it comes to workwear, few garments are as critical as nursing uniforms in the protection they offer wearers.
Existing in the form of scrubs, tunics, tunic dresses and trousers, nursing uniforms are worn by nurses, doctors, surgeons and other healthcare professionals worldwide.
This small number of clothing styles comes from years of research to find garments that give the highest number of benefits to medics.
Here are the top five benefits nursing uniforms offer medical professionals:
Improve staff safety
Easy to thoroughly clean
Help staff to be identifiable
Cheap to purchase
Help nurses to do their job
Nursing uniforms help keep medical staff safe
Medical professionals work in environments that constantly expose them to infectious substances, so their nursing uniforms act as the first line of defence for infection control.
The types of infectious substances the uniforms protect against are:
And other bodily fluids
Germs and fungus
Most nursing uniforms consist of body protection (scrubs, trousers, tunics and shoes) and extremity protection in the form of PPE (gloves, face masks and aprons).
Both body protection and extremity protection are designed to act as a protective barrier between the wearer and any infectious substances.
This barrier reduces the risk of the medic becoming infected, infecting others and spreading the infectious substances to other areas.
For example, scrubs stop spillages of infectious substances from reaching the medic and provide a wipe-clean surface for the medic to decontaminate. Similarly, gloves provide a barrier to stop bacteria from reaching the wearer’s skin which would be an infection threat.
Nursing uniforms also help to keep staff safe by adhering to strict standards for their durability and bacterial resistance. Properly made uniforms, such as those made by Alexandra, are rigorously tested in labs and user trials to be of a standard to keep medics safe.
Nursing uniforms can be thoroughly cleaned
Due to the possibility of cross-contamination, all medical garments are designed to be easy to thoroughly clean after every use.
Hospitals use an industrial laundering process to clean their uniforms that utilise strong chemicals to ensure the garments are properly decontaminated.
The chemicals used in the process include chlorine bleach, disinfectants, heavy-duty detergents and white vinegar. Many of which are much stronger cleaning products than everyday clothing can withstand.
Medical uniforms also need to be washed at a higher temperature than normal clothing. The UK Health & Safety Executive states that a 10-minute wash at 60ºC is enough to kill most microorganisms. However, particularly soiled surgical gowns might need to be washed in water that reaches at least 71ºC for at least three minutes.
Fortunately, high-quality nursing garments are created from durable fabrics designed to retain their integrity for several years through repeated harsh industrial laundering cycles. This ability is essential for maintaining a clean, sanitary medical environment.
All nursing uniforms sold at Alexandra are designed to last for years throughout the harsh cleaning cycle. We’re certain of our garments’ ability that we offer a two-year guarantee on all items from the date of delivery.
They help staff to be easily identifiable
A third benefit of nursing uniforms is that they help staff to be easily identifiable for patients, visitors and colleagues.
Most NHS Trusts and private hospitals operate strict uniform dress codes because it’s an easy way to signal who is a qualified medical professional.
By having all trusted medics wear similar uniforms with ID badges, the uniforms reassure others that their wearers are trustworthy professionals.
Many hospitals also use uniform colours as a way to denote roles. For example, a surgeon might be expected to wear light green scrubs, whereas a matron might have to wear navy blue.
Such a code further reassures patients and colleagues that they are speaking to the correct medic for the problem or task at hand.
Nursing uniforms are inexpensive
Another benefit of nursing uniforms is that they are often inexpensive and much cheaper than personal clothing. This helps to keep costs down for the purchaser, whether that be the Trust, hospital or medical professional.
A full set of medical scrubs from Alexandra starts from £16.50 and comes with a guarantee to last for at least two years. Therefore, purchasing scrubs as a set can cost as little as £8.25 a year.
The low cost of medical uniforms means that purchasers can afford to buy spares or replace worn garments.
They help nurses do their job
Most nursing clothing provides space for medical professionals to store their most-needed tools and equipment close to hand.
Many garments come with pockets and loops that allow medical staff to easily carry items such as scissors, pens, penlights, fob watches and bandages.
However, nurses should bear in mind that the number of pockets and pocket size can vary between garments. Some items of uniform offer minimal storage space to boost infection control.
At Alexandra, we’ve worked with medical professionals to design the uniforms that best aid them during their shifts. That’s why all of our scrubs, tunics and trousers come with storage space to make accessing tools easier.
Where can I buy nursing uniforms?
Alexandra offers a wide range of healthcare uniforms for male and female medical staff. Experts in the field, we continually update our clothing designs to ensure they offer medics the benefits they need to best aid their work.
All of our garments come with a two-year guarantee from the date of delivery.