Embroidered lab coats are available in a range of choices that run the gamut of fashion, functionality, fit, durability, and value. Some lab coats are exquisite in every way. Others barely qualify for the description. Some embroidery is a work of art. Others are a slight step up from a patch. The very best embroidered lab coats, when both the lab coat and the embroidery on it reflect the standard of excellence the patient is hoping to receive from the clinician wearing it, can contribute meaningfully to a positive professional relationship between the clinician and patient.
Shabby lab coats without personalized embroidery can understandably put a patient, or their family members, on guard. Patients may be predictably cautious with regard to what low personal appearance standards indicate about the clinician’s professional standards. After all, it’s a well documented fact, verified in countless studies, that when an individual is proud of their appearance they often perform at a higher level. Similarly, higher opinions are routinely attributed to professionals who take pride in their appearance. It’s simply a common and natural reaction to be more favorably impressed by someone with an outstanding appearance than someone who appears to place little value in how they present themselves to patients, peers, or staff.
Ever had an opportunity to observe the appearance of interns or residents during mealtime in the hospital cafeteria of a teaching hospital? The sometimes dreadful, dingy, ragged lab coats they’ve been given, perhaps bearing a thick, stiff patch identifying nothing more than the name of the hospital, stands in stark contrast to the stature imparted by an exquisitely hand-tailored, professionally finished, embroidered lab coat. The very best are made of special proprietary performance fabrics possessing a subtle texture, complemented by detailed embroidery defining the physician’s name and title, perhaps their specialty, and possibly a beautifully detailed, custom, full color hospital or practice group logo.
The difference between these two contrasting ways to present oneself couldn’t be more profound. It follows then that two of the medical specialties most aware of the advantages of wearing high quality embroidered lab coats are Emergency Room Physicians, who are typically making a first impression each time they greet a patient, and Plastic Surgeons, whose patients obviously place a high value on appearance. The reality, however, is that every clinician, resident, and intern, no matter what their specialty, would personally and professionally benefit from a tailored, properly fitted, embroidered lab coat.
Perhaps this is an appropriate time to note that the only objection ever offered to the high quality embroidered lab coat is its initial cost. The irony is, as those who buy them well know, the premium coats last so much longer than the cheap ones, setting aside all the other benefits they impart, on a cost per wearing basis, they’re actually a much better value.
There are what seems to be an infinite number of lab coat manufacturers selling embroidered lab coats. As virtually everyone in the healthcare industry knows, the vast majority of them are initially very inexpensive – for understandable reasons. They’re typically:
- made of very basic, low cost, non-functional, often coarse, polyester fabric that loses its brightness quickly and is highly susceptible to pilling and staining – since they’re polyester, they can also get rather warm
- available in unisex sizing and styling which ignores the fundamental differences between male and female anatomy
- made with cheap buttons that break or come loose
- constructed using simple machine stitching with low quality thread that can contribute to an unusually short shelf-life, facilitating torn pockets and seams
- based on designs that are limited to straight lines and right angles which predictably detract from the fit and appearance but do lower production costs for the manufacturer
- offered with messy embroidery in limited colors using cheap thread that’s subject to fading or bleeding
To no one’s surprise, these low quality lab coats illustrate that you do get what you pay for. Ironically, some clinicians spend more on a pair of jeans than they do on the lab coat that influences the first impression they make on their patients. Others spend more on a sweater than the single article of clothing they wear to work 2,000+ hours per year.
Alternatively, there are medical apparel companies that offer a starkly different choice, with Medelita www.medelita.com, being perhaps the most obvious point of comparison. Founded by a clinician who specialized in Emergency Medicine, their apparel is technically in the same category, but embroidered lab coats from Medelita bear little resemblance to the aforementioned garments. For example, Medelita embroidered lab coats are:
- made of a special, proprietary, soft, comfortable, pre-shrunk, textured, pristine white, 100% quality cotton fabric
- ergonomically designed to allow excellent range of motion
- easy to care for and offer long-lasting durability
- wrinkle resistant due to High-IQ Easy Care Plus ®
- fluid and stain repellant due to Advanced Dual Action Teflon ® (even blood is easily wiped away)
- offered in gender specific traditional apparel sizing, to ensure a more precise fit
- available in a variety of truly exquisitely tailored models offering a variety of coat lengths, lapels, and styling details that could only be achieved with hand-sewn production and curved seams
- made with multiple reinforced pockets both inside and out
- available with iPad compatible pockets
- hand finished with quality workmanship throughout, from a clean finish on inside seams to durable, specially secured buttons (costing 26 times the typical lab coat button)
Similarly, Medelita premium in-house embroidery offers comparably superior styling, durability and service, as all Medelita embroidery includes:
- embroidery thread that is 100% polyester to prevent fading or bleeding
- an unmatched embroidery color palette to choose from
- the finest embroidery equipment available coupled with the most advanced technology for digitizing embroidery programs to enhance the finish
- the talent of highly skilled, experienced embroidery artists who spare no expense in their pursuit of perfection regardless of whether they’re re-creating a name, a title, or an intricate logo
- the most technologically advanced and most simplified embroidery ordering process of any medical apparel company in the world
- custom logo services that simplify the process through specially designated customer service representatives carefully selected for their personalities and attention to detail
For reasons that should be apparent by now, the Medelita approach to fit, fashion, function, performance and customer service has initiated a paradigm shift in the way health care professionals approach how they look and feel at work. The combination of benefits and value offered by these premium brands has undeniable appeal. As awareness of product lines of this caliber continues to grow, it’s difficult to understand how or why premium brands wouldn’t inevitably replace the low quality offerings that have dominated the healthcare apparel market for decades.