See the current issue of Scrubs Magazine

Overloaded nurses – can scrubs designers keep up?

Photodisc | Thinkstock

These days, lightweight pagers that fit in a clip-on holster are becoming less common in hospital settings. Many nurses are carrying heftier technology such as a cell phone or smartphone for communication on the job. These are often too bulky to attach securely to a waistband—especially the elastic and drawstring varieties found on many scrubs. Then, there are all the other items nurses tend to carry around. Take a quick inventory of your scrubs pockets and see how many of these items you find:

  • Pens (usually several)
  • iPod or MP3 player
  • Marker and highlighter
  • Scissors
  • Calculator
  • PDA
  • Tape
  • Hemostats
  • Alcohol wipes
  • EKG calipers
  • Calculator
  • Tegaderms
  • Pen light
  • Angiocaths
  • Keys

With all that stuff to tote, many nurses can’t get by with just one or two pockets on a scrub top. They need more storage space—and they need it now. Currently, one of the most popular uniform pieces for these nurses is the cargo pant scrub. The more pockets the pants have, the better. Danielle Saxon sums it up with this endorsement: “Cargo pants rock!” Deldonna Porter responds, “I totally agree about cargo pockets. I carry as little as possible—too much weight on my shoulders kills my back.” Cargo pant scrubs allow nurses to shift heavier objects out of their scrub tops and relieve some of that back pain.

Pockets over Pockets with Pockets on Top
Layering is another very popular option for overloaded nurses. Sally Rawlings describes her typical outfit this way: “Cargo pocket pants, scrubs with two low front pockets and a warm-up type jacket for the pockets.” Lab coats are a common choice in settings where nurses are allowed (or required) to wear one. According to Jessica Rutledge, lab coats excel when it comes to spacious pocket design: “I have extra large pockets on my tops, and I wear a lab coat almost always. I can fit a liter bag of fluid in those oversize pockets, so I can carry A LOT of stuff!”

Nurses Want Smarter Designs
Some nursing professionals have very definite ideas about what they’d like to see from scrubs manufacturers. Here is Jeffrey Bodurka’s concept: “I would love to have scrub pants with an elastic waistband and elastic around the ankles that had cargo-style pockets. It could maybe Velcro close and have pen and light holder slots, and be just big enough (and snug enough) to hold, say, a cell, iPod, calculator or whatever without being too baggy so that it would fall out.” Adding Velcro and pocket flaps to keep stuff from falling out are top suggestions. Some nurses even modify their own scrubs with Velcro and add various clips to hold scissors and other items securely.

Scrubs Suppliers Have What It Takes
Fortunately, many companies are catching on to the fact that nurses need scrubs that fit their modern work style. One industry contact revealed plans for increasing the functionality of future scrubs designs: “We are designing additional pockets (exterior and interior), multisectional instrument/accessory holder, added security snap pocket, buttoned pocket, etc.” Unisex cargo pant scrubs are already available with either Velcro or flap pockets from manufacturers like Cherokee. The company also carries a lovely pink blush pant with three cargo pockets, a scissor pocket, a D-ring and five belt loops. One brand-new “Flex-i-bles” style includes technology-specific adaptations such as a cell phone pocket. A wide spandex waistband helps hold these pants securely in place no matter how much you weigh them down. Any of these bottoms can be paired with a trendy printed scrub top (like the colorful “Take Leave” design from the Serenity collection) and layered with a flared lab coat for additional storage space.

SEE MORE IN:
, , ,

Want scrubs like these? Find a retailer near you!

Scrubs

The Scrubs Staff would love to hear your ideas for stories! Please submit your articles or story ideas to us here.
By

Post a Comment

You must or register to post a comment.

11 Responses to Overloaded nurses – can scrubs designers keep up?

  1. Barbara Richard

    I take my hemostats and put my tape rolls on it and clip it to the hem of my scrub top and place my scissors thru the tape. that unloads my pockets of a lot. I also put flushes and alchol wipes in my back pocket of my pants that frees up my scrub top pockets for my info paper and place my phone / beeper in the other. Just an idea!

  2. Stephan RN

    I have my hemostat and scissors and a small roll of tape attached to a carabiner, I clip this carabiner to the waistband of my scrubs pant, so I can access it quickly

    My right pocket is my “office” where I put all my pens and markers, the left pocket is the “medical” pocket where my other rolls of tape, medications (I know, ICU nurse habits) and utilities.

    Cellphone and Key are in my scrub pant pockets.

  3. Multiple pockets make for a handy way to organize necessary stuff, medical uniforms manufacturers see that. Actually, Dickies created 9 and 11-pocket scrub pants under Gen Flex collection.

  4. Mary

    The more pockets, the better. That said, I’d like to see a return to more feminine tops. Years ago, I had a pink linen like textured tunic top with a tasteful edge-stitched textured white cotton ruffle extending down several inches along front placket of uniform–don’t remember manufacturer. Barco used to make some pretty pleated front uniform blouses.

  5. I’m sure you’re right about the pockets; the more the merrier. But I would say point out that several items in your inventory above can easily be wrapped into a single package: a smartphone or, to some degree, a regular cellphone.

    A smartphone should be able to give you all the reference materials you are used to finding on your PDA, it is an mp3 player, will have a calculator, and many of them these days have quite good flashlight apps.

    A regular cellphone won’t give you the reference materials of your PDA and probably doesn’t make a great flashlight. But, depending on how yours is equipped, it may be an adequate mp3 player and probably has a simple caculator.

    Investing a few minutes in getting to know your way around your phone may same you some space in those pockets.

  6. Alan

    Jeffrey Bodurka’s idea of elastic waists and ankles makes me cringe. The last thing I want is an elastic waistband when I am carrying all my “gear”. I take 3 steps and have my pants fall around my ankles. And elastic around the ankles? Why? Men’s scrub pants already have overly narrow leg openings. I don’t understand why men’s scrubs don’t come with boot cut or flare leg openings, like our regular pants.

  7. Alan

    Jeffrey Bodurka’s idea of elastic waists and ankles makes me cringe. The last thing I want is an elastic waistband when I am carrying all my “gear”. I take 3 steps and have my pants fall around my ankles. And elastic around the ankles? Why? Men’s scrub pants already have overly narrow leg openings. I don’t understand why men’s scrubs don’t come with boot cut or flare leg openings, like our regular pants.

  8. Alan

    Jeffrey Bodurka’s idea of elastic waists and ankles makes me cringe. The last thing I want is an elastic waistband when I am carrying all my “gear”. I take 3 steps and have my pants fall around my ankles. And elastic around the ankles? Why? Men’s scrub pants already have overly narrow leg openings. I don’t understand why men’s scrubs don’t come with boot cut or flare leg openings, like our regular pants. And while i’m crabbing about it, why can’t we get some more colors besides the usual, black, brown grey navy and hunter green?

  9. Alan

    Jeffrey Bodurka’s idea of elastic waists and ankles makes me cringe. The last thing I want is an elastic waistband when I am carrying all my “gear”. I take 3 steps and have my pants fall around my ankles. And elastic around the ankles? Why? Men’s scrub pants already have overly narrow leg openings. I don’t understand why men’s scrubs don’t come with boot cut or flare leg openings, like our regular pants. And while i’m crabbing about it, why can’t we get some more decent colors besides the usual, black, brown, grey navy, and hunter green?

  10. Susan

    I enjoy this website and your magazine, but it is definitely geared toward young nurses.
    I am in my 50’s and have been nursing for many years. I’ll be nursing for many more.
    I am still looking for the scrub top that fits properly. One that does not gape open when I bend over and that fits over my hips.
    I look forward to seeing some articles and fashions for nurses my age.

  11. mamajo RN

    Why would any nurse who is working need a Ipod or MP3 player….????

shares