Weekly poll: Laundering scrubs

By: March 29th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

The issue of where to wash scrubs has been debated among health experts for some time. Some believe the facility should be responsible in order to avoid the transmission of infections and bloodborne pathogens. Others don’t think there is a risk involved. AORN recommends laundering scrubs at a designated laundry facility rather than having employees wash scrubs at home.

Most facilities have their own policy on the issue. What does your facility do?

Quizzes by Quibblo.com


I realize that this seems to be talking about facilities, but once this type of rule is made it is often carried over to Home Care. How would this apply to Home Healthcare? How would an agency be able to guarantee how an employee launders or takes care of their work clothes? An agency could not afford to provide uniforms for its employees.

By Betty Kuschel-Rapaski RN on March 31st, 2010 at 8:58 am

I think there needs to be more information on who launders the scrubs. I agree the facility needs to launder scrubs for an OR or if an associate’s scrubs becomes soiled with blood/body fluids. Would this apply for a long term care facility? Would this apply for all associates that wear scrubs? Would the facility purchase the scrubs? There are many questions that need to be answered.
Thank you
Betty Kuschel-Rapaski RN

By Carol Hale on March 31st, 2010 at 4:48 pm

I would think the OR staff is LESS at risk for soiling scrubs because of all the sterile outerware used for surgery. The actual exposure to infectious & bloodborne pathogens is considerably greater to Med-Surg and Home Care staff who are starting IVs, managing bodily fluids, cleaning bedpans/BSC buckets, coughs, sneezes, wound care, etc. AORN is the voice of the surgical world, but let’s not forget the frontline folks when considering high risk for exposure to family & loved ones.


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