Hospitals, family clinics, dentist offices all share one thing – they’re cold. Nobody knows this more than the people who work there and have to wear those oh-so-thin scrubs uniforms. They’re just flimsy cotton or maybe a synthetic blend.
No, you can’t touch the thermostat and you can’t wear a parka while you’re making your rounds. So what can you do? Freeze? Carry a cup of hot coffee around with you everywhere?
No, you don’t have to suffer from chattering teeth and icicles for fingers. We’re going to show you some easy ways you can stay toasty on shift while still adhering to most uniform policies. But first – why are they making us suffer?
Why Are Hospitals And Clinics Kept So Cold?
Are they just trying to torture us? Who is it that keeps turning the thermostat down to the Arctic setting? No, no one has an evil plan to freeze out all the nurses and hospital staff. There’s one major reason why hospitals are kept at crisp, cool temperatures: to fight bacteria.
Nurses don’t have to be reminded of the constant danger bacteria like MRSA and others pose to patients and healthcare professionals. Keeping the hospital environment colder robs bacteria of two things they need to grow: warmth and water.
Bacteria thrive in warmer conditions. While it’s impossible to keep the temperature below the 40-degree threshold for bacteria, keeping the surroundings cooler dramatically slows bacterial growth.
The second thing bacteria need to reproduce is a growth medium – like water. In a colder environment, there’s less condensation. Less condensation means less water laying around and fewer places those pesky bacteria can grow. It also prevents water from forming on sterilized medical tools, electronic equipment, or open wounds.
So the cold temperatures are helping to maintain the health and safety of everyone in the hospital. That’s great – it’s always going to be cold and I’m wearing thin scrubs.
Well, depending on your uniform policy, you might just be able to throw in a jacket. But even if your dress code is a bit more strict, we’ve got some great ideas on how you can stay warm even in the chilliest healthcare settings.
Tips To Staying Warm In Scrubs
There are reasons why scrubs are made from thin durable fabrics like cotton and synthetic blends. They have to help protect from spills and splashes from all the awesome liquids that nurses can come into contact with. That thin fabric is also easier to clean and disinfect.
While there are lined scrubs, a lining can soak up and retain any liquid spilled on it. There are a couple of brands that offer lined scrubs, but we’re not including them here in favor of ways to keep you warm in any standard scrub set.
So what is a chilly nurse to do? We’ve got three recommendations to help warm you up:
Layering is your friend and wearing underclothes that fit snugly helps you retain body heat. It’s the easiest way to warm you up while still staying within uniform guidelines. Sure, there are some situations (like the OR) where you can’t wear anything under your scrubs, but if you can, layering is the best option.
Here are some layering ideas:
LAPASA Men’s Fleece Thermal Underwear Set
This two-piece set isn’t just warm – it’s made with a stretchy and breathable spandex blend for comfort and performance. They come in lots of neutral colors perfect for keeping within uniform codes.
- Stretchy, spandex blend
- Warm, fleece-lined
- Shrink resistant
Sure there’s nothing better than your favorite sweater or cardigan. But when you’ve got to stay within your uniform code, the best way to go is a scrubs jacket. Here are some options to choose from:
Cherokee Workwear Snap Front Jacket
- 63% Polyester, 34% Cotton, 3% Spandex
- Back Length: 30″
- Patch Pockets, No Chest Pocket, Interior Pocket, Cell Phone Pocket
Dickies Dynamix Zip-Up Scrub Jacket
- 91% Polyester, 9% Spandex
- Men’s Mock Turtleneck, Long Sleeve
- Back Length: 27″
- Chest Pocket, In-seam Pockets
If you’re looking for scrubs for men, we have curated a list for you.
If you are one to plan ahead and thinking of Summer as well, you should check out what are the best scrubs for hot weather. Of course, you need to stay within your facility’s uniform guidelines, so see what you’re allowed. But if you get some layers, a scrub jacket, and wool compression socks – you’ll never have to shiver again.
But wait – exactly how many types of scrubs are there? Want to find out? – look here.