Scent and Medical Uniforms

By: Sarah Carlye

A hospital often smells like a hospital, sterile and clean. Disinfectant can be recognized in the air. You would think a breath of fresh air or even a soft scent would be welcome, but it is not. Medical staff, like nurses, do not wear perfume, because it is well documented it can cause allergic reactions and trigger asthma attacks.

When people go to the hospital it is because they are ill or because they are injured. It puts them at higher risk of problems because of their illness and also because of the stress that is usually associated with going to the hospital. So someone who may normally love your perfume may become ill at the first whiff of it in a hospital or other medical setting. Nurses and other medical staff refrain from wearing the following so they don’t add to the patient’s health problems:

• Perfumes and colognes
• Lotions, creams, etc with a heavy scent
• After shave
• Scented shaving cream (for face or legs)

Some healthcare professionals may take many precautions with the above and still find that they trigger allergic reactions or asthma attacks that may put sensitive patients at risk.

If you wear a nursing uniform and you work with a few patients with minimal health risks, it might not be as important how you wash your nursing uniform. When working with a higher number of patients with known and unknown sensitivities to perfumes and other scents, how you wash your uniform will be more important. Chances are you don’t notice the scents (because you smell it regularly) from the laundry soap, liquid fabric softener, or fabric softener dryer sheets that you use to wash nurses uniforms, but your patients do.

When washing nursing uniforms follow the following suggestions to minimize and eliminate scents and odors on nursing uniforms:

• Use unscented laundry products when washing nurse uniforms
• After washing nurse uniforms, rinse a second time (with no fabric softener)
• Use laundry products made specifically for people with allergies
• Line dry nurse uniforms
• When treating stains on a nurse uniform, rinse stain remover thoroughly
• Remove all odor from stains or other material that comes in contact with nurse uniforms
• Wash a second time with laundry detergent if there is a bad odor or strong scent on the uniform after the first washing
• When there may be a hard to detect lingering scent on a uniform, wash the uniform a second time with plain water and without using any laundry products

Washing nurse uniforms by themselves will cut back on the expense of special laundry products and second washings. Remember undergarments can be the cause of scents that could trigger asthma attacks or allergic reactions when working with sensitive patients. Have a set of undergarments used just for work and wash them with nurse uniforms to remove all scent from them also.

To buy high quality nurse uniforms that can withstand the frequent washings needed, go to and see their full line of nurse uniforms. All Uniform Wear also has medical equipment for nurses.

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Read More about Scent and Medical Uniforms. If it not convenient to get online or you would like to look over the uniforms available from the comfort of your couch, request a catalog from Medical Uniforms.

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