One of the top reasons many people watch the Golden Globes, Academy Awards, and other award shows that feature popular icons is to see the newest fashions they are sporting. Sometimes it’s controversial, which can make it more entertaining to watch.
Fashion controversy has always been present in popular society. From Madonna in the 80s to Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus in recent years. There seems to be something every year that has the majority of people talking.
You probably even wore something in high school that was a trend at the time that you might consider to be embarrassing if you wore it today. Or if enough time has passed, it may have come back in style.
When I was in high school, flannels became popular with the grunge music movement. I noticed in recent years it has made a comeback among youth fashion. However, one of the advantages of living in Michigan is that flannels never go out style due to our cold winters.
Rules have changed over the years and some things that were allowed in the past might be viewed as too controversial today.
You don’t need to go back to high school or walk the red carpet to get caught up in controversy, you may even experience it in your job every day. In fact, in the healthcare field, it seems to be ongoing.
There has been much controversy surrounding the use of reusable scrub hats in surgery. AORN Guidelines recommend that scrub hats cover the head, ears, and the nape of the neck.
Further, all attire worn in the OR should be controlled by the healthcare facility, including laundering of reusable attire. This includes scrub hats, although many professionals enjoy their own customized version of the headwear. Therefore, owners of scrub hats (often surgeons) have fought this policy. They don’t want to be limited to disposable bouffant hats, but no other option will allow for a customized style to their preference.
According to ASC Becker, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) also has its own updates on what to wear in the OR based on “professionalism, common sense, decorum, and the available evidence.”
“The skullcap is symbolic of the surgical profession,” ACS stated in its new guidelines. The specific updates pertaining to hats were as follows:
- During invasive procedures, the mouth, nose, and hair (skull and face) should be covered to avoid potential wound contamination. Large sideburns and ponytails should be covered or contained. There is no evidence that leaving ears, a limited amount of hair on the nape of the neck or a modest sideburn uncovered contributes to wound infections.
- Soiled scrubs and/or hats should be changed as soon as feasible and certainly prior to speaking with family members after a surgical procedure.
- Scrubs and hats worn during dirty or contaminated cases should be changed prior to subsequent cases even if not visibly soiled.
Furthermore, the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) guideline recommend against the use of surgeons (skull) caps/headcovers. They determined that the surgeons scrub hats do not completely cover the hair, exposing the patient to the possibility of acquiring a surgical site infection (SSI).
Another issue is that, if the material is reusable, it not only needs to be laundered daily, but once contaminated with blood or bloody fluids, it should be immediately removed and laundered.
Safety concerns are not just for patients and healthcare workers, but also the families of healthcare workers.
Washers and dryers intended for use by consumers at home are not capable of generating the conditions necessary to effectively and reliably clean and disinfect clothing contaminated with infectious agents found in healthcare facilities. As a result, washing those clothes at home puts not just the healthcare worker at risk, but their entire family. The contamination brought home on one item of clothing can infect an entire load of wash.
Many people may feel that they have a personal attachment to their headwear or that the design represents something particularly special to them. It might be a cause or an organization they believe in that they want to proudly display. For them, they feel they lose this sense of identity when they are using single-use headwear.
What options are available for healthcare professionals who want to wear individual custom scrub hats? What about the self-expression which can help with employee morale, and may also help raise the spirits of patients during a stressful time? What can provide healthcare professionals style and comfort while delivering patient care?
As rules and regulations continue to change, the way scrub hats and attire are worn will change as well.
The next growing trend will likely be moving to single-use custom headwear in order to put an end to the controversy. By switching to truly custom printed, single-use scrub hats that cover the head, ears, and the nape of the neck, it helps to promote team unity and employee satisfaction within procedure departments.
Some teams have chosen to support and bring attention to causes such as Breast Cancer Awareness. Others appreciate the ability to choose unique creative designs to their own preference. Technological advances have allowed for sophistication and style while staying within industry guidelines.
Even people that don’t like the feel of disposable bouffant hats are moving toward materials like spunlace non-woven rayon disposable scrub caps that are very comfortable to wear.
Another reason why scrub caps will move increasingly toward single-use is that many facilities are requiring the staff attire to be washed in-house or by a third party health care accredited laundry service contracted by the facility. It is even recommended not to wear certain attire from one facility to another.
Guidelines can be strict, making it difficult to wear reusable scrubs. Individuals that have been inconvenienced with getting scrub hats and other attire switched or not returned will find it easier to have a disposable option instead.