cartoondoc

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In the last six months, I've decided I hate wearing a white coat and I've abandoned mine.

It's always getting dirty (and shows every drop of dirt), the pockets always end up stuffed with crap, and as a female, where do you put it when you go to the bathroom?

Do you think it's inappropriate to work in a hospital and not wear a white coat, especially while in training?
 

typhoonegator

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Inappropriate? I don't think so. It's a fomite that doesn't get washed every day despite rubbing up against beds, patients, IV poles, etc. It also doesn't help promulgate authority or differentiate physicians from other allied health professionals. Everyone wears one now, from the phlebotomist to the CXR tech. In fact, one could argue that the person NOT wearing a white coat (or neon/printed untucked scrubs) at many institutions is most likely to be the doctor.

My institution requires short white coats for all residents. It made me look like the Good Humor man. I hated wearing it, so I didn't. In fact, during the last 2 years of my residency I don't think I wore it once. There were no mysterious fluid splatters on my clothes that made me wish I had an extra layer of protection, and no one got confused. I like to think I may have helped to prevent the spread of hospital-acquired infections.

Some hospitals differ in the social conventions of the white coat, and some residency programs have orders from the PD or chair about how their residents should look. I think as long as you satisfy these conditions, there is nothing sinister or inappropriate about ditching the white coat.
 

notinkansas

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The only use I ultimately had for my white coat was to carry snacks in the pockets. It got in the way a lot. Some rotations, it got in the way a lot (like trauma- hardly ever wore it while taking trauma call)

Currently I work a moonlighting type job in surgery. I wear scrubs and a cheap fleece to keep warm. Paid $12 for the fleece so it doesn't matter if I get any type of body fluid on it. It just doesn't make sense to me to wear anything else in an environment where I am at high risk of getting blood, vomit, pus from drains, and all other types of crap on me. People generally always assume I'm a nurse (or a PA) since I'm female, no matter whether I'm wearing this or starched white coat with nice street clothes, and "My Name, MD" embroidered on the coat. I no longer need to impress anybody, my role becomes clear when action is needed. I'd rather be ready to pop the chest tube in as quickly as possible when needed, get slimed, and not worry about it.
 

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In the last six months, I've decided I hate wearing a white coat and I've abandoned mine.

It's always getting dirty (and shows every drop of dirt), the pockets always end up stuffed with crap, and as a female, where do you put it when you go to the bathroom?

Do you think it's inappropriate to work in a hospital and not wear a white coat, especially while in training?
You could buy a couple white coats and wash them on a weekly basis. I can see how some attendings might see your not wearing a white coat as rocking the boat.
 

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It's always getting dirty
So are your underwear. You wash those, don't you?

The whole "fomite" thing goes out the window if you just wash them. Washing your hands is an even better idea.

the pockets always end up stuffed with crap
Whose fault is that? Certainly not the coat's.

as a female, where do you put it when you go to the bathroom?
The mens' rooms usually have hooks on the back of the stall doors. They don't have those in the ladies' room...?
 

EM2BE

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So are your underwear. You wash those, don't you?

The whole "fomite" thing goes out the window if you just wash them. Washing your hands is an even better idea.



Whose fault is that? Certainly not the coat's.



The mens' rooms usually have hooks on the back of the stall doors. They don't have those in the ladies' room...?
The hooks are usually broken off.
 

Winged Scapula

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I now only wear a white coat in the office when doing procedures, but WHY aren't you guys washing your white coats, if you're so worried about it being dirty? :confused:

My residency program provided me with 3 coats and I had 2 others; it was fairly easy to be wearing a clean white coat every day, or at least every other day (if I got backed up on laundry).
 
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this whole anti-white coat/anti-professional appearance attitude contributes to declining respect of the profession. now before somebody says something predictable like "it doesn't matter how u dress, all that matters is u get the job done"...save it. your appearance does matter. for men it's not too difficult to put on a clean white coat, buttoned shirt, tie, slacks, and clean dress shoes. but everybody has to be an "individual" and "express themselves" by not wearing a tie, or trying to get out of wearing the white coat, showing up with the "messy" hairstyle that they spent 15 minutes carefully messing up to give it that appearance, designer facial hair, and other displays of "individuality". guess what rockstar? real individuals don't jump through all the hoops like everyone else to get into and through med school. if you were a legit rebel you would have already been kicked out of med school/residency.
 

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this whole anti-white coat/anti-professional appearance attitude contributes to declining respect of the profession. now before somebody says something predictable like "it doesn't matter how u dress, all that matters is u get the job done"...save it. your appearance does matter. for men it's not too difficult to put on a clean white coat, buttoned shirt, tie, slacks, and clean dress shoes. but everybody has to be an "individual" and "express themselves" by not wearing a tie, or trying to get out of wearing the white coat, showing up with the "messy" hairstyle that they spent 15 minutes carefully messing up to give it that appearance, designer facial hair, and other displays of "individuality". guess what rockstar? real individuals don't jump through all the hoops like everyone else to get into and through med school. if you were a legit rebel you would have already been kicked out of med school/residency.
:thumbup:
 

cartoondoc

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Maybe you could draw a cartoon about it.
Perhaps I should.

I want to be clear though: I'm in no way a REBEL. I am very professional and actually pretty nerdy. I just feel like the white coat is a pain. Plus my residency gave me exactly ONE white coat, which I can't trade. Yes, one. (FYI, Blue Dog, I have at least a couple more pairs of underwear than that.) My coat is just about ready to disintegrate. And I must return it prior to graduation to get my last paycheck.
 

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my residency gave me exactly ONE white coat, which I can't trade. Yes, one. (FYI, Blue Dog, I have at least a couple more pairs of underwear than that.) My coat is just about ready to disintegrate. And I must return it prior to graduation to get my last paycheck.
You do know you can buy more of those yourself, right?

They make you turn in your white coat when you graduate...? Gross. What the hell are they gonna do with it? :confused:

My residency program gave us five new white coats every year. I still have most of them.
 

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You do know you can buy more of those yourself, right?

They make you turn in your white coat when you graduate...? Gross. What the hell are they gonna do with it? :confused:
Yeah, that's weird.

Maybe I was the exception, but my residency program gave us five new white coats every year. I still have most of them.
We got 3 new coats each year, I only kept the last year's since the others were a bit worn and torn.
 

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Some schools want their coats back because the school name and crest are embroidered on them (the coats are thrown out, they don't want pretenders wearing them).

One can buy 5 coats for a hundred bucks - wear four of them, and keep the other for photos and to put on when you get called into the PD's office.
 

sarcopenia

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1. Yes, the fomite thing is one possible reason, but the arguments made against this defence have been admittingly convincing.

2. I agree with the comments above that a white coat is "like a tie" in the sense of feeling "restrained" and uncomfortable. If I'm on-call for 24 - 30 hours, I should be as comfortable as possible, especially in situations where awkard postures and/or dexterity might be needed.

3. Part of me sneers at residents who carry ginormous books (e.g. Therapeutic Choices, 5th edition ... at least in my neck of the woods) in both pockets and then complain of neck / shoulder girdle pain afterwards. On the other hand, maybe those guys are more conscientious than me, or come up with longer / more inspired differentials and treatment plans. Meh...

4. When I'm on-call / sleep-deprived / dehydrated / stressed out, I'm ALWAYS overheated (no, I'm not fat, just one of those nerdy / twitchy / ectomorph types with a shrew-like metabolism). Wearing a white coat is torture in this setting (especially if I have to glove / mask / gown to examine patients on precautions, etc). Sometimes, I see specialists wearing a $3000 suit (thick looking), with a white coat on over top. I get warm just thinking about that.

5. Where I went to medical school (but not where I am doing residency), family medicine residents were DISCOURAGED from wearing white coats because ... apparently there was some study in which patients expressed a wish for their doctors to "look like real people" instead of super-starched automatons.

***

Having said all of the above, if I'm doing an internal medicine rotation with some old school / crusty dude, or I'm in a preceptor's clinic ... and if I can sense that they'd want me to wear a white coat while directly working with them, or while "in their house," I will do so out of respect.
 

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I hate wearing a white coat about as much as I hate to wear a tie....

I would really like to get the dude that came up with the "tie"....:smuggrin:
This. As I always say, I spent the first 18 years of my life being told not to tie things around my neck. What changed?
 

cartoondoc

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You do know you can buy more of those yourself, right?

They make you turn in your white coat when you graduate...? Gross. What the hell are they gonna do with it? :confused:

My residency program gave us five new white coats every year. I still have most of them.
We have to turn them in because the coats have university crests and they don't want us going around impersonating doctors from the hospital after graduation. That's also the reason why I can't easily buy more, except perhaps on some kind of white coat black market.
 

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notinkansas

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I'm always cold, so the white coat alone isn't usually enough to keep me warm, unless i'm wearing a sweater under it.

Several things annoyed me about the white coat. The longer length, as worn by most residents, frequently gets hung up in the wheels of chairs with wheels. Also, when I sit with it the length is long enough that it changes the angle of the pockets so that stuff is much more likely to fall out. (the shorter coat that most medical students wear doesn't have these problems. Looks dorkier, though)

In the surgical world, it can get cumbersome in situations where you are rolling a pt from ED to OR urgently. If you've taken the coat off in the ED it winds up getting left there. If not, you have to take it off as you arrive in the OR.

I also don't understand the reason that some surgical programs insist you wear street clothes for rounding. (in clinic, obviously street clothes are the only way to go) The white coat is not enough of a barrier from many of the fluids that surgical patients emit. Scrubs are much more appropriate- and I don't see them as unprofessional. You are much better prepared to drop an NG tube, take down dressings, and deal with the tubes and drains that haven't been working overnight.
 

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We have to turn them in because the coats have university crests and they don't want us going around impersonating doctors from the hospital after graduation. That's also the reason why I can't easily buy more, except perhaps on some kind of white coat black market.
If you have the option not to wear one at all, I imagine you also have the option to wear one without a university crest.
 

cartoondoc

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If you have the option not to wear one at all, I imagine you also have the option to wear one without a university crest.
Not necessarily. Wearing something that's not labeled correctly may be worse than not wearing that thing at all.

You've given a lot of "clever" refutations to arguments not to wear a white coat, but you haven't given even one argument for wearing one. You should try to come up with at least one, so I can mock it. Thx.
 

Blue Dog

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You've given a lot of "clever" refutations to arguments not to wear a white coat, but you haven't given even one argument for wearing one. You should try to come up with at least one, so I can mock it. Thx.
It's a symbol of the medical profession, even if it's been co-opted by pretty much everyone else in the hospital.

It's an important part of looking professional. Men who wear dress shirts and ties without a jacket look like Best Buy managers. Those who wear a dress shirt without a tie look like tech support. Doctors who wear suits or sportcoats at work look like businessmen.

Patients prefer it (lots of studies support this...Google it yourself).

I like to keep my stethoscope in my lab coat pocket rather than around my neck. I'm not into the "flea" look.

I prefer to carry my PDA in my lab coat pocket rather than my pants pocket. It's faster and less awkward to extract it, particularly when sitting down.

I carry a pen in the breast pocket, and prefer that the occasional errant ink marks end up on my coat rather than my dress shirt.

It keeps my tie where it belongs (I always wear the coat buttoned).

Mock away.



 
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Winged Scapula

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Some schools want their coats back because the school name and crest are embroidered on them (the coats are thrown out, they don't want pretenders wearing them).
Ours did as well, and had our names and department embroidered on them, which is why I cannot imagine giving them back. I guess I assumed all coats given to residents had that. I understand not wanting imposters wearing them if they aren't personalized.

Unlike sarcopenia, I was always *cold* in the hospital, especially while on call and post-call, so wearing a coat, especially the thicker ones (the ones with the frog closures) kept me much warmer than scrubs. There's a place for my pens, patient list, badge and some money (for females, putting things into the top scrub pocket tends to fall out).
 
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Blue Dog

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this whole anti-white coat/anti-professional appearance attitude contributes to declining respect of the profession. now before somebody says something predictable like "it doesn't matter how u dress, all that matters is u get the job done"...save it. your appearance does matter. for men it's not too difficult to put on a clean white coat, buttoned shirt, tie, slacks, and clean dress shoes. but everybody has to be an "individual" and "express themselves" by not wearing a tie, or trying to get out of wearing the white coat, showing up with the "messy" hairstyle that they spent 15 minutes carefully messing up to give it that appearance, designer facial hair, and other displays of "individuality". guess what rockstar? real individuals don't jump through all the hoops like everyone else to get into and through med school. if you were a legit rebel you would have already been kicked out of med school/residency.
:laugh:
 

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It's a symbol of the medical profession, even if it's been co-opted by pretty much everyone else in the hospital.

It's an important part of looking professional. Men who wear dress shirts and ties without a jacket look like Best Buy managers. Those who wear a dress shirt without a tie look like tech support. Doctors who wear suits or sportcoats at work look like businessmen.

Patients prefer it (lots of studies support this...Google it yourself).

I like to keep my stethoscope in my lab coat pocket rather than around my neck. I'm not into the "flea" look.

I prefer to carry my PDA in my lab coat pocket rather than my pants pocket. It's faster and less awkward to extract it, particularly when sitting down.

I carry a pen in the breast pocket, and prefer that the occasional errant ink marks end up on my coat rather than my dress shirt.

It keeps my tie where it belongs (I always wear the coat buttoned).

Mock away.
This. Not to mention I always feel like I'm self sterilizing when I put it in my pants pocket..
 

cartoondoc

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It's a symbol of the medical profession, even if it's been co-opted by pretty much everyone else in the hospital.

It's an important part of looking professional. Men who wear dress shirts and ties without a jacket look like Best Buy managers. Those who wear a dress shirt without a tie look like tech support. Doctors who wear suits or sportcoats at work look like businessmen.

Patients prefer it (lots of studies support this...Google it yourself).

I like to keep my stethoscope in my lab coat pocket rather than around my neck. I'm not into the "flea" look.

I prefer to carry my PDA in my lab coat pocket rather than my pants pocket. It's faster and less awkward to extract it, particularly when sitting down.

I carry a pen in the breast pocket, and prefer that the occasional errant ink marks end up on my coat rather than my dress shirt.

It keeps my tie where it belongs (I always wear the coat buttoned).

Mock away.
So basically, you wear a white coat because you want to have the MRSA on your coat rather than your tie, you walk around with visible ink stains on your coat, and you don't like it when patients apparently try to buy computers from you.

White coats are not hygienic and as you pointed out, the coats have been co-opted by everyone else in the hospital.
 

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So basically, you wear a white coat because you want to have the MRSA on your coat rather than your tie, you walk around with visible ink stains on your coat, and you don't like it when patients apparently try to buy computers from you.
That's the best you can do?

Don't quit your day job.

Incidentally, I don't walk around with any kind of stains on my coat. It's easier to change my coat than my shirt.
 

cartoondoc

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That's the best you can do?

Don't quit your day job.
I know. I'm really devastated that I'm not as witty as you are.

All right, enough of this. Sheesh, why are some people on SDN so bitchy? Do you think they're like this in real life or does being online just bring out the worst in people? I mean, you ask an earnest question and then out of nowhere, people (doctors! attendings!) are like, "The answer is because you suck." It's kind of disturbing.
 

smq123

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Who knew that white coats could create such animosity?

I wear one...largely because it's become my traveling office. Since I'm in the outpatient office at least once a week, and since that office is 20 minutes away from the hospital, it's easier just to keep everything I need in the white coat than carry around a purse, a bookbag, or <shudder> a fanny pack.

Plus, since the nurses have taken to squirreling stuff away (i.e. prescriptions pads in the pyxis), I've taken to hoarding these things in my pockets. More pockets, more hoarding potential! :D

When I go to the bathroom, I hand it up on the paper towel dispenser. I just reach under it for a paper towel when I wash my hands.

I also live in an area with some really really crappy drivers (I mean, people who take stop signs and red lights as suggestions, and whoever has the better car has the right of way), but I've noticed that they still have some respect for the long white coat. People seem less eager to run me over and actually slow down when I'm crossing the road when I'm wearing the white coat. Compare that to when I'm wearing street clothes, and the drivers seem like they're turning it into a game of "chicken."
 

cartoondoc

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I also live in an area with some really really crappy drivers (I mean, people who take stop signs and red lights as suggestions, and whoever has the better car has the right of way), but I've noticed that they still have some respect for the long white coat. People seem less eager to run me over and actually slow down when I'm crossing the road when I'm wearing the white coat. Compare that to when I'm wearing street clothes, and the drivers seem like they're turning it into a game of "chicken."
Actually, I always worried that if I got into a car accident while driving with my white coat on, that the other driver would take it as a cue to try to take me for all I'm worth.

White coats are the most neutral topic ever. I think if people want to be jerks, they can be jerks about whatever. It's a waste of energy. Good thing we're not talking about the health care bill. :p
 

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Actually, I always worried that if I got into a car accident while driving with my white coat on, that the other driver would take it as a cue to try to take me for all I'm worth.
Well, that's a good point, and I do try not to wear it while driving....again, since most of the people around here are such bad drivers, I spend a lot of time yelling "WTF?!?" and flipping people off. :oops: It looks a little...odd...to see a physician doing that so angrily.
 

LukeWhite

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so where's the study that shows this is a problem that actually leads to detectable nosocomial infections?
That, my friend, would require a coat-less cohort.

Which we have, as luck would have it, in operating rooms.

Confounders! you reply. Unfortunately, yes. It's going to be hard to find an institution that abandons the white coat without also sporting a raft of other reasonable innovations. Common sense in hospitals is usually a cultural thing. This is why Peter Pronovost refuses to participate in quality improvement projects that don't simultaneously identify and break down traditional hierarchies. They are, more often than not, provably silly.

Many of us will when thus faced with so many confounders throw our sleeveless arms up and say, "You know, it just makes sense to minimize the amount of MRSA-colonized untucked cloth on our person."

It's an important part of looking professional. Men who wear dress shirts and ties without a jacket look like Best Buy managers. Those who wear a dress shirt without a tie look like tech support. Doctors who wear suits or sportcoats at work look like businessmen.
Even hospitals that go to the extreme in professional dress disagree:
http://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/3380.html

Though I'll add that I have absolutely no opposition to the white coat in vitro. If it turns out that it's truly important for patients and lack thereof harms their well-being, we should supply white coats for every admission--We can put them on when entering the patient's room and take them off when we leave.

There are plenty professions in which the completeness of one's costume is directly related to one's professionalism. Clowns come to mind. Medicine shouldn't.
 
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Hernandez

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That, my friend, would require a coat-less cohort.

Which we have, as luck would have it, in operating rooms.

Confounders! you reply. Unfortunately, yes. It's going to be hard to find an institution that abandons the white coat without also sporting a raft of other reasonable innovations. Common sense in hospitals is usually a cultural thing. This is why Peter Pronovost refuses to participate in quality improvement projects that don't simultaneously identify and break down traditional hierarchies. They are, more often than not, provably silly.

Many of us will when thus faced with so many confounders throw our sleeveless arms up and say, "You know, it just makes sense to minimize the amount of MRSA-colonized untucked cloth on our person."
:laugh: It's funny this comes up, there was a letter in CID not long ago that somewhat addressed this. If you actually read the "evidence base" (and I use that term loosely) for Englands bare below the elbows policy, it really boils down to "well.....we can't prove it but since we have the very expensive public survey that shows that the public thinks it causes infection, we're going to implement that policy." The policy has been in effect for over 2 years, and I've yet to see any data which shows that this made any difference in their nosocomial infection rates.

I also take issue with your using surgical data as any type of evidence that applies in the ward setting. Clearly full barrier sterile precautions have fantastic data behind them, even for central line placement and some for c diff and for VRE, but beyond that, there is damn near no clinical data which shows that any proposed fomite can be cleaned/removed/modified in a way to prevent nosocomial infections. Go ahead, show me data that proves me wrong.

Silly or not, I'd still tell Peter Pronovost to suck it if he tried to walk in and with a straight face push for a bare below the elbows policy with the current state of evidence on the topic. I'm actually pretty well versed in the white coat data as I had this very project IRB approved in my MICU as a resident, but was forced to scrap it when it became clear my faculty participation rate was far too low to be able to publish the data with any amount of honestly. I'll actually be looking into attempting it again shortly since I'll be starting my fellowship soon. I actually do agree that the potential is there, but is it one that is measurable and modifiable? For all you know we'd be creating a whole new class of fomites by taking these steps

Kinda off topic, but these things actually annoy the hell out of me, just recently my surgical friends any myself got into a rather heated debate with an infection control nurse about the new CLABSI push in our hospital as they want us to use these crap ass sticky locks to "secure" central lines. And our consensuses was not only no, but hell no, as they can not show data which shows that suturing central lines is a source of infection, especially when done in sterile fashion as is currently done. Our institution has been using these devices on PICC lines for a year and they do not secure the line and I can't count how many I've seen dislodged.
 

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Perhaps you can also get IRB approval to run a comparison between TLC placement with full barrier precautions and with white coats? Since there's no great study to directly show our MRSA-laden coats transmit infections, I'm sure they'll have no reason to refuse.
 

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Perhaps you can also get IRB approval to run a comparison between TLC placement with full barrier precautions and with white coats? Since there's no great study to directly show our MRSA-laden coats transmit infections, I'm sure they'll have no reason to refuse.
completely ****** as there is already a plethra of data which shows that full barrier sterile precautions reduce infection rates while placing central lines. Examining a pt isn't invasive as shoving a large ass needle into their central veins, and if you can't see that basic and key difference, then I can't help you understand. And considering the high rate of MRSA colonization in patients that we're seeing at my institution, I really don't see why removing "MRSA covered white coats" is such an issue when treating Staph colonization has only been shown to reduce surgical site infections. So why would a non-surgical, Staph colonizied pt be at further risk of infection from staph simply from white coats if decolonizing their own staph (which if you read the literature is a risk factor for staph infection) does not show a measurable decrease in staph infections that might be considered nosocomial?
 

JeffLebowski

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completely ****** as there is already a plethra of data which shows that full barrier sterile precautions reduce infection rates while placing central lines. Examining a pt isn't invasive as shoving a large ass needle into their central veins, and if you can't see that basic and key difference, then I can't help you understand. And considering the high rate of MRSA colonization in patients that we're seeing at my institution, I really don't see why removing "MRSA covered white coats" is such an issue when treating Staph colonization has only been shown to reduce surgical site infections. So why would a non-surgical, Staph colonizied pt be at further risk of infection from staph simply from white coats if decolonizing their own staph (which if you read the literature is a risk factor for staph infection) does not show a measurable decrease in staph infections that might be considered nosocomial?
Just wanted to say thank you for fighting this battle, I get really annoyed by people who throw around jargon like "fomites" and "MRSA-laden" and try to cast away a time honored, important, and patient-beloved part of our uniform. In my experience, it's usually accompanied by some comment about how they think they're uncomfortable and stupid and anyone who prefers them is elitist and doesn't care about their patients.

Bottom line seems to be: patients prefer them, there's no evidence that they harm anyone, and they are part of the culture and accepted uniform of a physician.
 

LukeWhite

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In debates over infection control and sartorial style, sense of irony is the first casualty.

But if we're going to get into a pubmed war, there's plenty of good data to suggest that S aureus colonization is an independent risk factor for developing clinical staph infection, at least in the ICU. Here's one of many:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19327313

Can you predict with specificity who on the floor is going to end up in the ICU? Can you say which MRSA-colonized source was the agent of transmission? I can't.
 

Hernandez

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In debates over infection control and sartorial style, sense of irony is the first casualty.

But if we're going to get into a pubmed war, there's plenty of good data to suggest that S aureus colonization is an independent risk factor for developing clinical staph infection, at least in the ICU. Here's one of many:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19327313

Can you predict with specificity who on the floor is going to end up in the ICU? Can you say which MRSA-colonized source was the agent of transmission? I can't.
If you read my last post you will see that I referenced that staph colonization is a risk factor for staph infection to begin with, however, to date the only study looking at treating staph colonization shows that the only benefit is in surgical pts. So to word this differently, if treating a KNOWN risk for developing a staph infection is only shown beneficial in surgical pts, why should we expand the cost of treatment to everyone or extrapolate this further that white coats are bad?

I'm curious, do you know how much it costs an ICU to run the rapid MRSA nasal swabs on pts to detect if they're carriers?
 

Substance

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The white coat is useless unless we as physicians force administration to set rules that state that only doctors, residents, and medical students are allowed to wear the white coat. All other professions can stick to their own attire.

When I see the diabetic-educator nurse and the phlebotomy tech wearing white coats, I'm annoyed. Patients cannot tell these professionals apart from physicians now. If there was a disaster situation, rallying doctors would be more difficult because nobody would be able to identify them from their attire. This was a big issue in a disaster-management exercise I attended a few years ago.

In short, we as a profession must reclaim the white coat as our own. It will send a message to the ancillary services that their jobs and multiple nursing degrees are not of the same caliber as that of physicians, and it will also give patients the respect they deserve and the image they expect from physicians.
 

cartoondoc

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The white coat is useless unless we as physicians force administration to set rules that state that only doctors, residents, and medical students are allowed to wear the white coat. All other professions can stick to their own attire.
Actually, I'm surprised that so many doctors higher up on the hierarchy are arguing for white coats because it's been my experience that of all the people in the hospital, attending physicians are the least likely to be wearing white coats. Most of my attendings don't wear white coats. When I see someone wearing a white coat, I automatically think that they're probably NOT an attending physician.

And pediatricians almost never wear them in my experience, since they scare the **** out of kids.
 
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The white coat is useless unless we as physicians force administration to set rules that state that only doctors, residents, and medical students are allowed to wear the white coat. All other professions can stick to their own attire.

...In short, we as a profession must reclaim the white coat as our own. It will send a message to the ancillary services that their jobs and multiple nursing degrees are not of the same caliber as that of physicians, and it will also give patients the respect they deserve and the image they expect from physicians.
:thumbup: one reason ancillary staff has been able to get away with wearing the physician white coat is because of the flippant attitudes about white coats as displayed on this thread and others. they realize we don't care so they keep doing it. think of it kind of like what has happened to FM/primary care...a lot of med students/doctors don't respect or appreciate it as much as they do other specialties, so ancillary staff think they can do it too as if they're equivalent to primary care doctors. i know people are going to say that's a stretch comparing the two but it is the same kind of attitude that allows for it. it's a respect thing. if we don't respect it and hold it as something that's "ours" then others will happily encroach on it.
 
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