Why Do Healthcare Workers Wear Scrubs And Can You Make Your Own?

Surgical scrubs are what separate medical personnel, such as nurses and doctors, from patients and other medical staff working in medical facilities. Healthcare workers wear surgical scrubs before going on duty and take these off before leaving the hospital. 

These days, amid the rising cases of deaths from coronavirus, especially in the American and European continents, medical workers should wear personal protective equipment (PPE), which is comprised of a surgical gown, gloves, respiratory protection, or eye protection or a face shield. 

Ever wondered why healthcare workers wear surgical scrubs and if you can make your own? Read on to find the answers.

6 Reasons Health Workers Wear Scrubs

  • Scrubs make it easier to identify medical professionals

Medical facilities are some of the busiest places in the world. In a fast-paced environment, where the medical staff are often running up and about, patients and their families should be able to identify who to talk to or approach for any of their concerns. It’s also reassuring for them to know that the person administering medicines and medical procedures is, indeed, a health professional.  

Some hospitals require color-coded surgical scrubs, while some provide greater flexibility. No matter in which medical facility you work, you can always rely on reputable sites like keswi.com for ultra-comfortable and stylish scrubs.   

  • Scrubs help maintain a sterile environment  

Medical scrubs are made especially for healthcare workers, and can withstand various substances that can carry diseases. Scrubs are made from high-quality fabrics that can withstand frequent washes using strong chemicals with antimicrobial properties and disinfectants. Often, high temperatures are needed to wash these scrubs in order to properly remove stains caused by blood and other bodily fluids.  

By wearing medical scrubs, healthcare workers keep diseases from spreading, allowing patients

to recover as quickly as possible.   

  • Scrubs protect healthcare workers

A surgical scrub not only protects patients, but it protects its wearer, too. One of the main functions of surgical scrubs is to protect nurses and doctors from harmful substances, such as blood, vomit, and other bodily fluids that may potentially transmit diseases.   

Unlike regular clothes, scrubs can have additional features, such as bungee loops, antimicrobial properties, as well as moisture-wicking and quick-drying technologies. 

  • Scrubs make health workers’ lives convenient 

Surgical scrubs often come with features that facilitate easy access to pockets where nurses and other medical professionals can put their important tools, such as pens, bandages, penlights, IV caps, notepads, swabs, scissors, gloves, and other medical instruments. 

Aside from making it easy for healthcare workers to fulfill their tasks, scrubs are also very comfortable to be in. Imagine how you’ll feel wearing jeans and skirt while going around the hospital and performing medical tasks for at least eight hours?      

  • Scrubs are cheaper 

Even with its various features, scrubs are still cheaper than your regular clothing. They’re also typically made to withstand harsh cleaning chemicals, making them last longer than your typical work clothes. Some scrubs are also disposable, so in the unlikely event that they get ruined, it costs cheaper to replace them.    

  • Scrubs give healthcare workers a professional look

Have you ever imagined yourself as a patient being cared for by a person wearing shorts, a plain shirt, and flip flops?  It may sound scary, having your life depend on someone who can come across as a surfer dude or a regular guy who’s got zero medical skills. 

Besides being used for the identification of medical workers, surgical scrubs give out that professional vibe. They give patients peace of mind, knowing that they’re being cared for by experts.      

Ideally, medical workers should wear scrubs only within the premises of a medical facility. Doctors typically wear scrubs upon arrival to the medical facility and before performing a surgery. They then have to take them off before leaving the hospital. Healthcare workers aren’t allowed to wear scrubs in public, although there’s no law preventing them from doing so.  It’s quite common to see nurses wearing scrubs while shopping at the grocery store or doing errands before and after work.  

Take note that not all health workers are mandated to wear scrubs. Those who are not administering direct patient care are not obliged to don a uniform. In a hospital setting, for instance, a nurse coordinator or manager can slip inside a business or professional attire when working.   

Can You Make Your Own Scrubs?

If you’ve got dressmaking and designing skills, nothing can stop you from making your own customized scrubs, except, perhaps, for the policies and guidelines stipulated by your medical facility. 

Some medical facilities require their staff to wear specific-colored scrubs, typically blue or green, while some are more flexible, allowing healthcare workers to wear scrubs in purple or yellow. Some hospitals aren’t too particular with the materials used to make scrubs, either. Cotton is the most commonly used fabric for surgical scrubs, although some use polyester, spandex, or rayon, or other quick-drying and moisture-absorbent fabrics.   

There’s a huge number of companies making scrubs and other medical supplies with various features. If you’re interested in making one for yourself, think about what’s essential to you: comfort, functionality, cut, fit, style, or all of these combined. Based on these preferences, you can look for the right fabric and study the right cut and other features before making one.   

Here are other important reminders in making your own scrubs:

  • A mix of polyester and cotton is the most ideal fabric as it can withstand the heat while being washed, and is lightweight, remaining comfortable even if worn under a PPE.
  • Seams should be finished with overlock stitching to make the scrubs more durable.
  • Don’t use elastic bands in making the trouser as these could shrink and get damaged in high temperatures. To ensure that the pants fit most sizes, insert a drawstring instead.        

If you’re planning to open a product line for scrubs, be ready to compete with other bigger and more established companies. In fact, these days, some fashion brands are making masks and surgical scrubs, too, in order to help address the severe lack of medical supplies all over the world. 


Before deciding to break through this competitive market, and prior to distributing your creations commercially, you need to comply with state-mandated licenses and permits, such as the ones coming from American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  


Like other career uniforms, such as those used by policemen, medical scrubs are made specially to address the needs of healthcare workers. Scrubs provide healthcare workers with protection and identification, as well as convenience.   

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Alexandr Ivanov earned his Licentiate Engineer in Systems and Computer Engineering from the Free International University of Moldova. Since 2013, Alexandr has been working as a freelance web programmer.
Function: Web Developer and Editor
Alexandr Ivanov

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