This blog isn't about what Clinton and Stacey of the show "What Not To Wear" would suggest as to business attire vs. business casual while at work in the hospital. It's about the recommendations from the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA). I read an article this AM as to SHEA's focus, which is the spread of infection by health care workers, clinicians, advanced practice professionals, RNs and physicians and pretty much anyone who comes in contact with the patient through their clothes, jewelry, shoes and accessories.
SHEA's recommendations would include:
- Bare Below the Elbows: wearing short sleeves, no wristbands, no wristwatches, no rings and no jewelry of any kind. No long sleeves in the clinical setting to minimize the transfer of bacteria.
- White Lab Coats: Although the lab coat denotes professionalism and is a patient satisfier, if you don't have several and have them laundered frequently, they can also be a source of bacteria. Clinicians are also encouraged to place them on a hook before they enter the patient's room and not wear them around the patient.
- Neckties: They too denote professionalism and can be worn but need to be secured by a tie tack or tie bar or preferably tucked in the shirt between buttons to keep them from being in contact with the patient.
- Shoes: They should be clean, closed toe, low heel and non skid. Soiled shoes should not be worn in patient care areas at anytime.
- Stethoscopes: They should be cleaned and disinfected between patients as they are a great source of bacteria if not cared for properly.
- Accessories: ID badges, ASCOM phones and smart phones can be brought into the patient care area but must be disinfected with great frequency.
I thought that this article was interesting and worth sharing; I hope that it helps.