Although medical scrubs as we know them have been around for about 70 years, the most significant improvements evolved in just the last five. Prior to 2008, clinician scrubs, as opposed to nursing scrubs, were unisex. They were patterned on straight lines with right angles, and often made of cheap, coarse, uncomfortable fabrics. Those fabrics pilled quickly and stained easily. While scrubs like that are still available, now vastly superior alternatives are as well. Here’s a list of the key advancements in the design and manufacture of the medical scrubs worn by clinicians:
- In 2008, a physician assistant, frustrated with what she had to wear to work every day, started designing and manufacturing medical scrubs specifically for clinicians – physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners. Two of the first improvements she implemented were the use of different patterns for men and women, and curves instead of straight lines. The new patterns succeeded in accomplishing their goals – complimenting the male and female body.
- To improve the fit, she introduced the same sizing systems for medical scrubs that were traditionally used for quality apparel. Women’s sizing, for example, went from the 6 sizes available in the Small thru Triple Extra-Large scale, to the 9 sizes available in the 0 to 16 scale.
- Next, that same physician assistant introduced to medical scrubs the performance fabrics that had recently begun to be incorporated into the design of high tech fitness wear.
- Finally, she integrated into her designs specialized fabric treatments. After extensive testing, the most effective and relevant of these treatments were applied to the performance fabrics.
- Ironically, the durability achieved through these and other innovations yielded an unexpected benefit. Because these high quality medical scrubs last so much longer, on a cost per wearing basis, they were actually less expensive than the cheap scrubs they were replacing.