Laundry Day: Scrubs Safety
In a recent study of hospital attire published by the American Journal of Infection Control, over 60 percent of the healthcare employee uniforms sampled tested positive for pathogens. Half of the samples tested positive for one or more different pathogens, with 11 percent of the discovered bugs being resistant to multiple front-line antibiotics.
While these aren’t shocking statistics given the nature of the job, these results do suggest a need for a closer look at how scrubs, and similar garments, are handled by healthcare workers.
Where to Wear
Unfortunately, scrubs are often worn in many places where they shouldn’t be. From trips out to lunch to running errands on the way home from work, healthcare workers often wear scrubs outside of the workplace and could potentially be opening the general public up to a day’s worth of pathogen buildup.
While it may seem like an added hassle, it’s important that you change in and out of your scrubs at work. Even if you may just be going out to lunch or running a quick errand on your break, there’s no need to take the unnecessary risk. Never leave the building with your scrubs on.
Researchers found that contamination increased the longer uniforms were worn. Changing scrubs daily, instead of every two days, cut down contamination from 29 to 8 percent. Even if scrubs appear clean, they could still be host to lingering bacteria.
Don’t Forget Your Hands
When analyzing the results, experts suggested that bacteria buildup on garments could in part be caused by employee neglect of proper hand-washing practices. It’s important that along with proper uniform care you vigorously adhere to hand-washing standards to keep from transmitting potentially harmful pathogens from one area to another.
For other tips on keeping your employees safe while in the workplace, check out our Assurance University Replay webinar.
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