Lab coats are worn by many health care professionals such as registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, doctors, and nurse practitioners. Traditionally lab coats are usually white, long sleeved, and are long enough to come to your thigh. However, newer lab coats are less traditional.
You can now find them in many colors such as blue, red, teal, yellow, pink and so on. The newer styles are still long sleeved or wrist length but you can now find lab coats that come to your waist which is much better for us nurses.
Lab coats are worn by nurses for several different reasons which will be discussed in this article. So are lab coats required for nurses to wear? Why do nurse wear lab coats? What does a lab coat look like? Where can I buy a lab coat? How much are lab coats?
As stated above, most lab coats are white. Here is a nurse wearing a white lab coat. So are nurses required to wear lab coats at their job? The answer to that question really depends on where you work. Traditionally, when most people think of a white lab coat they think of a medical doctor. Even today when a person or patient sees a person wearing a lab coat they automatically associate it with a doctor. However, not only are doctors wearing lab coats but nurses are too.
At my job, it is optional to wear a lab coat. However, some employers require their nurses to wear lab coats over their scrubs. This practice is usually not seen at hospitals but mainly doctor offices or clinic settings.
So really nurses are not required to wear lab coats. Now as a nursing student it is a little bit different. Most nursing schools required nursing students to wear white lab coats with their nursing schools emblem attached to their lab coat. But once again it depends on wear you go to nursing school.
Best Place to Buy a Lab Coat and How much do Lab Coats Cost?
Where can you buy a lab coat and how much are they? Lab coats can be purchased at your local nursing supplies store or online. For the best deal, I would check out online deals. Amazon.com has great deals on them.
*See disclosure at the end of this post.
They carry different sizes, colors, and designs and usually have free shipping which is a plus. Depending on the brand of lab coat you buy, you can look to spend anywhere from $15-$30 if buying a lab coat online which is really an awesome deal. However, if you buy at your local supplies store you can bet on paying a little more.
Why do Nurses Wear Lab Coats?
Why do nurses wear lab coats if it isn’t required? Here are three reasons why nurses wear lab coats. Number one, more carrying space for carrying items we need while working. Lab coats are made to have deep pockets on both sides of the jacket. A nurse can never have enough pocket room….trust me.
Even though nursing scrubs are roomy with pockets they don’t seem to provide enough pocket space. As a nurse, I use my pockets to carry my report sheets, alcohol preps, nursing dressing scissors, EKG pads, and pens. Lab coats provide a lot more room than just wearing scrubs with pockets.
Number two, lab coats provide warmth. I know this may not be a good reason for a nurse to wear a lab coat but it is the truth. Sometimes it is cold on the nursing unit and a lab coat helps provide the right amount of warmth.
However, within 1 hour the lab coat will probably be removed because you get warm pretty fast, especially if you are having to run up and down the hallways. Lab coats are usually comfortable and soft which helps prevent chill.
Number three, lab coats protect you and your scrubs from splashes and other gross contamination. Because the coat is usually long sleeved in arm and body length it helps protect your body from contamination.
Lab coats are made out of cotton and this makes it easier to clean. Think about the wonderful things that your scrubs come into contact with that a lab coat protects you from……..stool, urine, emesis, sputum, blood, and wonderful bacteria such as MRSA, VRE, Pseudomonas (drug resistant bacterias) etc. So lab coats provide a extra layer of protection from germs.
Overall, lab coats are worn by nurses for three main reasons: convenience, warmth, and for protection. Most lab coats are white but now you can buy colored lab coats with different types of designs. The best place to buy a lab is online….at Amazon.com. Also, look to spend about $15-$30 on a lab coat.
*Disclosure: The items recommended in this article are recommendations based on our own honest personal opinion and experience. We are an affiliate with Amazon.com, and when you buy the products recommended by us, you help support this site. –