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Scrubs vs. business casual: shadowing?

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by aspirevet, May 16, 2014.

  1. aspirevet

    aspirevet 2+ Year Member

    May 18, 2013
    So I've shadowed quite a bit at one clinic and I'm starting to get more comfortable there now, and it's definitely less awkward with the staff now hahaha. Anyway I've always warn business casual when shadowing (I've never been asked to help with much besides grabbing something for a tech or something simple like that...even when I've asked to help out) but I was wondering if they'd ever let me/want me to wear scrubs?

    I'll be shadowing there basically all summer so I'm wondering if maybe they'll ask me to wear scrubs since I'll be there a lot more than usual. Have any of you been asked to wear scrubs after a while, or did you just stick with business casual?

    I just feel like wearing scrubs might let me be a little more involved?
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  3. TooLove

    TooLove 2+ Year Member

    Nov 5, 2012
    If you've been there quite frequently and you feel comfortable, why not just ask?

    Most places probably won't let you do much in terms of animal handling for insurance purposes but my favorite shadows are the ones who aren't afraid to get a little dirty...clean empty cages, throw in a load of laundry, etc. If you'd feel more comfortable in scrubs, I'd just ask how they feel about it. Some places also have policies in place regarding uniforms, so before you run out and buy anything (for example a clinic I work at had a no patterned top policy for a while, the other place I work at had techs in one color, assistants in another) it would be smart to check.
  4. Ashgirl

    Ashgirl Pokemon Academy c/o 2018! 2+ Year Member

    Aug 4, 2013
    Castle Oblivion
    I think your best bet would be to ask one of the vets that you are shadowing for, since every single clinic operates differently. Where you asked to wear business casual? If not, they probably won't care if you wear scrubs or even causal clothes. It wouldn't hurt to ask though.

    I'm not sure scrubs will automatically allow you to do "hands-on" things though. As TooLove mentioned, most clinics have certain policies and won't let volunteers help out much. That being said, you could always ask about it the next time you go in.
  5. ResoluteMike

    ResoluteMike Iowa State c/o 2021 Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    Aug 22, 2013
    Definitely ask about wearing scrubs. There is a definite difference in the opportunities to jump in and help. Just don't expect to be able to do too much if you aren't an employee or registered vet tech.

    It might not be a bad idea to check around at different places. The well staffed day practices are a lot more likely to have you on the sidelines. An e-clinic with a single vet and tech will be a lot more open to help when it gets busy.
  6. Squeaksmom

    Squeaksmom 2020 baby 2+ Year Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    Before I started at the small animal clinic where I used to shadow I had a conversation with the practice manager where she outlined rules, expectations etc. In that conversation, I asked what she would like me to wear, and mentioned that I have scrubs since my "day job" is in a (human) hospital. She said that would be perfect, so that's what I wore. I agree with the others who've said to ask, it's the only way you're going to find out for sure what they think about it.
  7. that redhead

    that redhead Veterinarian 7+ Year Member

    Feb 26, 2010
    I'd definitely ask. You might phrase it along the lines of wanting to be able to help the techs out by cleaning cages between appointments or cleaning rooms, for example. If you're really just shadowing though, I'd stick to business casual.
  8. LetItSnow

    LetItSnow Skipping the light fandango Veterinarian 7+ Year Member

    Jan 13, 2011
    Plymouth, MN, USA
    I'm going to make anyone that shadows with me wear a clown suit.
  9. catnips

    catnips 2+ Year Member

    May 9, 2013
    New York, NY
    I always wore business casual, and after a time the vet just gave me scrubs to wear. I think she was letting me watch surgery the first time and she just told me to wear it from there on. But that didn't mean I got to do anything. Unfortunately, I just shadowed still. Sigh. Are u going to watch surgery? I think if you get to, they may give you a scrubs then. (or tell you to bring scrubs) Scrubs definitely didn't mean more involvement for me though I felt cooler. :happy:
  10. WillowLeaf

    WillowLeaf 2+ Year Member

    Sep 10, 2013
    I'd say to ask. Personally I think it looks more professional to wear scrubs if you're shadowing the vet in exam rooms and other places the clients will see you, but different clinics might prefer different attire. It might not give you any more chances to get involved though, because that decision is likely based on insurance issues and/or laws that prohibit volunteers doing what a paid employee normally does.

    (The main reason I prefer wearing scrubs to shadow/volunteer is that it feels like getting to wear pajamas all day...:happy:)
  11. Minnerbelle

    Minnerbelle Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Apr 2, 2009
    If you feel awkward calling about it, you can always go in business casual and bring a pair of scrubs with you. Go in like 5 min (but not much more) early and ask the vet/practice manager if your attire is okay or if it would be more appropriate to wear scrubs. Shouldn't be a big deal really. I'm sure they would have told you if it were such a big deal
  12. SnowshoeDog143

    SnowshoeDog143 5+ Year Member

    Apr 24, 2012
    It varies by clinic, so asking the vet is usually the best idea. My first volunteer experience at a clinic I worked for a year and a half and wore business causal the entire time. The place I volunteer now gave me a scrub top because they didn't want my clothes being ruined. I only wears scrubs there now. If you ask when you get the position what you should wear it saves awkwardness, but if you have started already ask someone at the clinic if what your wearing is okay - they are usually very nice and will let you know.

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