Monday, January 07, 2008

Scrub hierarchy

There is a scrub hierarchy that only those in medicine knows. Furthermore, I'm not sure that non-doctors fully understand all of the class connotations of the scrub pyramid.

Lowest on the pyramid are the sales reps. These dudes try to mimic doctor scrubs, but always get the color wrong. Furthermore, their scrubs always fit too well, which is an immediate give-away.

Next are the orderlies, also known as PCAs. PCA stands for patient care associate. They basically take vital signs, clean up the messes, weigh poopy diapers and do other unpleasant tasks. Identifiable by their store bought scrubs and lack of stethoscopes, these poor folks are the bottom of the medical staffing structure.

I'm going to skip over respiratory techs and radiology techs. Their uniform is a lot like the PCA outfit, with slightly more medical knowledge. Which, of course, makes them more dangerous.

Nurses are the easiest creature to identify in the medical world. They always buy cutsy futsy scrubs. Frequently, their scrubs have been pressed. Never, every are their scrubs hospital green. Never, ever are their scrubs stained. Frequently, their scrubs have extra pockets, especially in the pants. Sometimes, those nurses even spring for elastic waistbands.

Just for contrast, MDs never buy their scrubs. We feel that we've paid the hospital enough in time and sweat that free scrub tops and bottoms are the least it owes us. Extra pockets? Who needs them! We've got the white coat. Elastic waistbands are for wussies, and cutsie pattern would make us look like nurses.

Basically, no culturally literate, self respecting doctor will ever find him or herself in store bought scrubs. If it ain't hospital style stolen, it ain't worth it!


Me said...

I've seen docs take notes *on* their scrubs for later charting. And hey, just toss 'em- no need to worry about wasting your money on store-bought

doctawife said...

Dude, I so totally do that.

Me said...

Somehow that doesn't surprise me in the least. ;)