As a healthcare worker, you’re probably dealing with a number of unpleasant fluids on a regular basis. You might work in a neonatal unit, the ICU, a stand-alone emergency room, or even for a home healthcare service, but chances are there are plenty of ways your uniform can get dirty or stained during your shift.
And while the mess is part of the job, you still need to maintain a certain level of professionalism, not to mention cleanliness. Soaked, dirty or even stained healthcare uniforms put you at risk for infection, or even possibly contaminating patients and coworkers. Plus, it causes patients and their families to doubt your medical facility’s professionalism, cleanliness and infection precautions.
But how is it possible to keep your healthcare uniforms clean when every medical emergency is trying to ruin your pristine lab coat or scrubs?
Here are a few tips to help medical professionals keep their healthcare uniforms clean throughout the shift:
1. Pre-treat stains right away
If your healthcare uniforms get stained, the best thing to do is to deal with it immediately, or the stain will set and become more difficult to remove. This also will minimize its appearance during the rest of the shift if another set of scrubs is not available, to buy you time until they are professionally laundered. Check out this stain removal guide to find the treatment that matches the stains you deal with most frequently!
2. Wear protective apparel when applicable
Personal protective apparel (PPE) not only protects you from infection, but it can also protect your clothes from stains and spills! According to the CDC, PPE should be used “during procedures and patient care activities when contact of clothing/exposed skin with blood/body fluids, secretions, or excretions is anticipated.” Many healthcare professionals will forego PPE if it appears unnecessary or if they feel like they don’t have the time, but wearing protective clothing when coming into contact with bodily fluids is absolutely essential to protect the health of the employee and the patient. Plus, it protects your healthcare uniforms and keeps them clean and professional.
3. Wash your hands frequently and wear gloves when necessary
Often, even if your healthcare uniform isn’t making contact with a patient, your hands are. Let them rest on your knee for even one second, and you’ve now transferred blood or bodily substances from the patient to your hands to your uniform! Although preventing the spread of bacteria is obviously the most important reason for medical workers to wash their hands, keeping your hands clean will also help keep your uniform clean. Also, make sure to wear protective gloves when mandated.
4. Keep extra uniforms on hand
As hard as you might try to stay clean, taking care of a patient is ultimately more important than looking nice. For when contaminating your uniform is inevitable, you should have an extra set of healthcare uniforms on hand so you don’t have to finish the shift in wet, bacteria-infested apparel. You’ll look good, feel better, and you won’t be a hazard to yourself and others.
Uniforms that Meet the Highest Standards for Hygiene
After a long shift, there’s only one medical uniform company that can get your scrubs truly clean and ready for another long day or night: Unitex Healthcare Laundry Services. We can provide your medical facility with healthcare uniforms and laundering services so you can focus on what you do best: saving lives and keeping people healthy. Contact us today to learn more about how we can supply you with clean healthcare uniforms!