Iladelphia

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Aug 24, 2008
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Posting to get some thoughts from my fellow SDNers. As a background, I'm an established physician in private practice - multiple subspecialties.

I have three kids. Since COVID pandemic began and I've been working, my wife and I have come up with a system where as soon as I get home I take my work clothes off in the garage in a designated area, place them directly in the washing machine, and head straight to the shower. I do this I guess to theoretically decrease the chances of spreading virus to my family. I think many nurses and physicians have a similar system.

Problem is my "nice work clothes" are getting pretty beat up with this system. I've been thinking about transitioning to full-time scrub wear in the clinic and OR. Feel like this is more sanitary and then I don't really care if the scrubs get beat up due to the excessive washing. Thoughts? Unprofessional? Does anyone else do something similar? I guess I could step it up and buy "nicer scrubs", possibly with some embroidery.

Or should I just stick to the same old tired work clothes. A silly topic I know - but hey we all need a little silliness right now.

Hope everyone is hanging in there!
 
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linevasel

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Retina Fellow here,

My group made the transition in late March. In Pre-Covid era, we were wearing scrubs only to the OR (we have our own branded scrubs). But we felt it was safer for the parents and for families to simply wear scrubs in clinic. We change our white coats every day. (Reportedly, the chances of Covid transmission through contaminated objects is low....but still theoretically present). The scrubs we wear are pretty nice, (neatly starched etc etc).The patients haven't seemed to mind much and frankly, for some of the staff it is a step up in terms of both practicality and aesthetics ;).

Make the plunge.
 

clayito

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same here. Previously wore scrubs in OR only, but since mid-March have worn scrubs in clinic every day. Won’t go back to “clinic clothes“ anytime soon.
 
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Finally, no more "training"
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Likewise. Retina in academics. We have tailored scrubs for clinic use. Ditched the suit/tie in March, shower as soon as I get home. I have a young kid as well so even if the risk of transmission is small with clothes, I’d like it to be as close to zero as possible.

Until the pandemic is over, I don’t see myself returning to usual anytime soon.
 

wysdoc

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At my husband's practice the staff/techs wear polo shirts with the practice logo on them. Machine washable, easy care.
He has ditched the shirt and tie and joined them in wearing the logo polo shirt. Mask +/- face shield. Scrubs on surgery days.
Dang, those N-95s give a guy a headache.
 

Iladelphia

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Aug 24, 2008
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Thanks for your replies everyone. I think I will make the transition to wearing scrubs. Several patients actually commented on it when I wore scrubs in clinic. I gave them my reasons and they all said that that sounded like a great idea. Feel like men wearing ties will be a no go for a while.....

Also - nothing worse than operating with an N-95 on. No matter what I do my loupes and the scope STILL seem to fog - even with appropriate fit testing, taping the nose, etc. Plus, I'm just rebreathing CO2, my core body temperature feels elevated, and I get more easily frustrated with anything more than simple surgical maneuvers. I used to like the OR.....
 
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May 13, 2020
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Wait I don’t understand why you have to take off your clothes, if you get covid you’re in contact with your family and they are exposed so what’s the point of taking off clothes
 

MstaKing10

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Private practice retina. Have been wearing scrubs with no white coat and N95 since March. Patients like it. Zero complaints. Take off when I get home and stick strait into the washer. Most patients like to know that we are taking extra precautions for their safety and our own. Scrubs project this, thus, it is not irrational at all. Also if there is any chance fabric can carry virus then why not remove and wash immediately? Does this not perhaps reduce the chance of transmission?

I am not operating with an N95 as I do not see the need. Patient has drapes, I have surgical mask and all my cases are local, no general anesthesia. All patients are being tested prior to surgery and only have operated on negative patients. I don't believe a vitrectomy or buckle is a high risk procedure to create aerosolized particles, though have heard from others that the high rate of cutting my create vibration and thus be high risk. Who knows.
 

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Wait I don’t understand why you have to take off your clothes, if you get covid you’re in contact with your family and they are exposed so what’s the point of taking off clothes
To me it's a small inconvenience with no downside. It's really unlikely it will be on my clothing and hair since we have a mandatory mask policy with frequent hand sanitization, but there's always a very small, if improbable, chance that my scrubs could serve as source of fomitic spread. Since I have an infant (yeah I know they're low risk) it's a very small sacrifice to make.

I am not operating with an N95 as I do not see the need. Patient has drapes, I have surgical mask and all my cases are local, no general anesthesia. All patients are being tested prior to surgery and only have operated on negative patients. I don't believe a vitrectomy or buckle is a high risk procedure to create aerosolized particles, though have heard from others that the high rate of cutting my create vibration and thus be high risk. Who knows.
I'm operating with an N95 underneath my surgical mask based on what some committee members on the ASRS COVID-19 task force have said, but unless your cases are general, it's pretty low risk even without an N95 mask. I've gotten used to it but it was tough at first. Unfortunately we are not universally screening patients, so I don't want to take the risk. I've already have been in contact with asymptomatic carriers so I don't want to take any chances.
 
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To me it's a small inconvenience with no downside. It's really unlikely it will be on my clothing and hair since we have a mandatory mask policy with frequent hand sanitization, but there's always a very small, if improbable, chance that my scrubs could serve as source of fomitic spread. Since I have an infant (yeah I know they're low risk) it's a very small sacrifice to make.



I'm operating with an N95 underneath my surgical mask based on what some committee members on the ASRS COVID-19 task force have said, but unless your cases are general, it's pretty low risk even without an N95 mask. I've gotten used to it but it was tough at first. Unfortunately we are not universally screening patients, so I don't want to take the risk. I've already have been in contact with asymptomatic carriers so I don't want to take any chances.
I don’t actually understand how it would spread, let’s assume it’s on your scrubs, is your baby going to touch the scrubs? What’s the need to clean them everyday and be neurotic about it
 

Iladelphia

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Aug 24, 2008
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I don’t actually understand how it would spread, let’s assume it’s on your scrubs, is your baby going to touch the scrubs? What’s the need to clean them everyday and be neurotic about it
Ooy - this tangent was not the intention of this thread. I know a lot of healthcare workers who have a similar system as described in my original post. If it makes family and I more comfortable to change clothes before entering the house, shouldn't this reason alone suffice? If you are this bent out of shape about it, please start a similar thread and title it "Is there scientific merit in changing clothes prior to entering household after possible COVID exposure?"

To all those who addressed the original question, thanks so much for your responses.
 

hello lady!

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I don’t actually understand how it would spread, let’s assume it’s on your scrubs, is your baby going to touch the scrubs? What’s the need to clean them everyday and be neurotic about it
COVID fears or not, do you not wash your scrubs/clothes between each day's use?
 
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