How the humble scrub suit has evolved into practice uniform.
Since the advent of modern surgery and advanced operating theatres following the 1st World War the basic outfit of the practising clinician beneath their surgeons gown has been the 2 piece scrub suit, basically a short sleeve shirt and a pair of pj trousers than were lightweight, capable of being boil washed and cheap. They came in only 2 colours, blue or green and only 1 design and for decades this was the norm, and although it was an ugly duckling, nobody was the slightest bit bothered about it, or so it seemed.
In the swinging 60’s, in the US, things were changing, the medical profession were asking why their uniforms were so dull and boring, why were they not available in a wider variety of colours, why were there no variations of style. This call was quickly taken up and addressed by the popular workwear brands who introduced new colours and styles that allowed the profession to be able to differentiate disciplines or rank by colour and style and thus the new breed of scrub uniform was born.
This new breed of scrub uniform was quickly adopted by the dental profession and other medical disciplines who saw that it’s low cost, easycare practicality and crisp professional medical ‘look’ was just what was needed to help promote and amplify a corporate or personalised image to the patients who were now becoming discerning ‘clients’. They realised that a smart but professional clinical look made an excellent 1st impression with the customer. This new flamboyant approach was greatly assisted by their prominence in popular tv shows such as ER, Scrubs, House etc, and be honest, who doesn’t want to look like George Clooney ?
Eventually this movement towards brighter clinical uniform crossed the Atlantic, where for decades the standard practice uniform for the dentist was a white button up tunic and the nurse’s ,well, dressed like nurse’s ! We now see that that the majority of surgeries and practices have moved into scrubs as there are now a myriad of styles and colours available to project whatever the impression required. AWB Textiles are at the forefront of this movement and our latest styles from Dickies and Cherokee will be on display at number of exhibitions this spring. Modern embroidery techniques mean that logo’s or names and job title’s can now be applied directly to the garment without the need for clumsy pin on badges. In fact the options in both colours and styles allow for almost every taste, and we can see that that the ugly duckling has become a beautiful swan by a process of evolution not revolution.