When we think about surgeons, we tend to imagine dashing men and women wearing distinctive colored shirts, headwear, and gowns. Such is their typical attire while they perform intricate and life-saving surgeries. But they do not wear this uniform only to make a fashion statement. These ensure the safety of the surgeons and the patients! So, what do surgeons wear in the operating room? How critical are they for the success of each surgery? You will find out here.
Scrubs are the primary uniform of surgeons and operating room professionals. These are the v-neck shirt and the loose-fitting pants that characterize surgical team members even in pop media. This uniform’s name came from “scrubbing in,” when surgeons and personnel sterilize themselves and wear the attire.
Scrubs give harmful microorganisms fewer places to hide. It also protects wearers and surgical patients from infections and exposure to bodily fluids during procedures. Hospitals typically own these scrubs, and disposable scrubs are available as well. As mandated by the standards of the American College of Surgeons, wearers must change their contaminated scrubs before talking to family members after a procedure.
Moreover, scrubs used in the surgery must not be worn elsewhere in the facility without an apron or covering. However, personnel must never wear contaminated scrubs outside the hospital complex. Scrubs now come in different colors and styles depending on the country and the hospital’s policies.
Such color-coding can help people distinguish between different health professionals and what they do. For example, anesthesiologists in England and Wales wear maroon scrubs. However, there is a deeper, historical reason why most surgeons typically wear blue or green scrubs. As narrated by Board Vitals, surgeons used white scrubs in the early decades of the 20th century. But what seemed to be a typical uniform unconsciously harmed surgeons.
First, it is insanely difficult to scratch blood stains from white garments. The other reason is much more sinister: They found out that white scrubs can cause headaches and “blind” surgeons as they shift their sight from blood’s dark color to the white fabric.
It was even linked to headaches. Eventually, doctors chose to change the color of their surgical uniforms. But why did they choose green and blue? The answer lies in the color theory. In the color wheel, green and blue complement red. Such color choice helps surgeons focus on the patients’ organs and blood, helping them see the surgical area clearly and critically. It also avoids distracting spots of color that appear after staring at the color red for so long.
Why are scrubs worn in the operating room?
Infection control experts say that scrubs help prevent bacteria from spreading from one patient to another during surgery or other procedures. They also keep doctors from accidentally touching their hands to an area where germs might be present.
The loose fit allows doctors to easily clean their hands with or without gloves on before and after treating each patient, especially if they’re going between patients without washing hands in between.
Surgical gowns cover the scrubs, offering another layer of protection between the surgeons and the patients.
These are long-sleeved with elastic cuffs and synthetically made since they are discarded after each procedure immediately.
Surgical sleeves cover the lower arms, providing extra protection to the skin above the gloves and below the surgical gown.
Although these are not required, they help in extensive operations that involve so much blood and bodily fluids.
Though optional, waterproof aprons can be indispensable in surgical procedures. These are applicable when so much blood and bodily fluids spill from the patients’ bodies.
Such operations include Caesarian section delivery and surgeries that involve pus and “messy” treatments.
Also, as mentioned earlier, scrubs used during surgeries must be covered by a clean apron if the wearer wants to go elsewhere at the hospital.
Since the 1950s, scrub caps (also called surgical caps or skullcaps) have been a standard requirement in operating rooms.
Like in restaurants, headwear like this keeps pieces of hair from falling, protects the users’ hair from fluids, prevents contamination from microorganisms residing in the wearers’ heads. Many scrub caps are washable and reusable cotton.
The American College of Surgeons calls skullcaps the symbol of the surgical profession.
Hence, they must be cover all hair as much as possible, leaving only some sideburns or the nape of the neck.
Cloth skullcaps must be washed daily, while paper skull caps must be disposed of after use.
Hospitals are advised to respect religious headwear requirements without putting surgical patients in danger.
Surgical masks have served as required protective equipment since the Spanish Flu pandemic a hundred years ago.
They protect the surgeons’ mouth and nose from respiratory pathogens and contagious diseases.
Furthermore, they block the droplets from the wearer, keeping the operating room sterile and safe for vulnerable surgical patients.
Surgical theater boots and shoe covers
Protective footwear and covers also prevent surgeons and personnel from exposure to microorganisms, bodily fluids, and chemicals.
Shoe covers are composed of lightweight and disposal materials.
Face shields and safety goggles
During operations, blood, chemicals, and fluids might accidentally spill in the room. Therefore, the eyes need to be protected as well.
Face shields and safety goggles keep the eyes from exposure and injuries from such splashes. These are also used in laser procedures.
Surgeons do not touch anything in the operating room with their bare hands. Since such an environment is delicately sterile, personnel wear gloves that protect equipment and patients from contamination. They also help wearers from exposure to blood and other liquids. However, this sterility has a price: some surgeons complain that gloves can hinder them from making precise surgical techniques.
Latex gloves also cause allergies to some wearers. Because of this, manufacturers continue to innovate and improve this protective equipment. Most importantly, despite these inconveniences, sterile gloves are required for all surgical treatments. Surgeons strictly follow protocols regarding gloves, which they use whenever they examine or touch a patient. They never reuse gloves, and they wash their hands before and after removing the gloves they used. Surgeons also immediately throw away used gloves in bins for contaminated medical waste.
Other attire recommendations in the operating room
In addition to their surgical gown, surgeons wear surgical gloves, sterile mask and face shield. The mask is placed over their nose and mouth and covers their hair so that no hairs are transferred to the patient during surgery.
The face shield protects them from blood splatter and other fluids that may come into contact with their eyes. It also prevents them from seeing anything but the patient’s body parts they are working on, which helps prevent distraction.
Operating room nurses wear scrubs and sometimes a surgical hat as well as masks and gloves while they are assisting with surgeries.
After researching the question, “What do surgeons wear in the operating room?” it is evident that there are many different types of clothing that surgeons can wear while performing surgery. The most common type of clothing worn by surgeons is scrubs, which are loose-fitting shirts and pants that are easy to clean and allow for a full range of motion. However, some surgeons also wear gowns, gloves, and masks to protect themselves and their patients from infection.
It is important for surgeons to be comfortable while performing surgery, as they need to be able to focus on the task at hand. Scrubs are typically made from a comfortable cotton material, and they are available in a variety of colors and styles. While some surgeons prefer to wear traditional white scrubs, others prefer to wear scrubs in brighter colors or patterns.
No matter what type of clothing surgeons wear in the operating room, it is important that they are clean and sterile. Surgeons must take care to remove all jewelry and watches before entering the operating room, as these can harbor bacteria. They should also make sure that their hands and nails are clean and free of dirt and debris.
In conclusion, surgeons have a variety of clothing options that they can wear while performing surgery. The most common type of clothing worn by surgeons is scrubs, but some surgeons also wear gowns, gloves, and masks. It is important for surgeons to be clean and sterile while performing surgery, as this will help to protect their patients from infection.
- What do surgeons wear in the operating room?
Most surgeons wear scrubs while in the operating room. Scrubs are a type of loose-fitting medical clothing that helps keep surgeons clean and comfortable while they work. Surgeons may also wear a gown over their scrubs to help keep their clothes clean.
- How often do surgeons change their clothes?
Surgeons typically change their clothes before each surgery. This helps ensure that they are clean and comfortable while they work.
- What type of clothing do surgeons wear in the operating room?
As mentioned above, most surgeons wear scrubs while in the operating room. Scrubs are a type of loose-fitting medical clothing that helps keep surgeons clean and comfortable while they work. Surgeons may also wear a gown over their scrubs to help keep their clothes clean.
- How do surgeons keep their clothing clean?
Surgeons typically change their clothes before each surgery. This helps ensure that they are clean and comfortable while they work. In addition, surgeons may wear a gown over their scrubs to help keep their clothes clean.
- What are the benefits of wearing clean clothes in the operating room?
Wearing clean clothes in the operating room helps keep surgeons clean and comfortable while they work. This can help them focus on their surgery and provide the best possible care for their patients.