Mullberry Whine

poured out before bed

Ode to the Scrub Machine

“Yeah, you need to wear them,” the chief says, pushing his scrub card toward me.  “I don’t care what your syllabus says, business casual is not appropriate for the night shift on the Peds GI team.”

I feel the hairs on the back of my neck shoot up in nerdy alarm.  Defy a clerkship syllabus?!  Break those rules set in black and white stone at orientation?!  This is not in my nature.  My palms start to sweat.

“Seriously Mullberry, go get changed.  If anyone says anything to you, please refer them to me; you can tell them I made you.  Because I am making you.”

I gulp, but change into the soft, teal duds the scrub machine ka-chunks out at me.  And later (but not much) that evening, as I walk from the ER, warm, acid vomit down my pants, and spy a colleague with matching fermented snot and spittle ground into his chest and shoulder, those pesky neck hairs return to neutral, my palms to powder dry freshness.

5 comments on “Ode to the Scrub Machine

  1. Amy
    March 25, 2012

    We actually have personal scrubs where I’m from. It would break my heart a little for something icky to get on them but…I know it’ll happen one day…I’ve been lucky, so far…

    • mullberrywhine
      March 26, 2012

      That’s a neat idea! But there have been so many times where I’ve ended up with blood or vomit or snot or urine from a loose-cannon foley on my pants that I can’t say I’m not glad we have scrub machines here. Oh, I hope your luck holds! Stay clean out there!

  2. astimegoesbuy
    July 14, 2012

    All those bodily function by-products are the only reason to wear scrubs. If you didn’t have to deal with them as a nurse there is no way I would wear them…unless I had some made that actually fit properly! My colleagues in ICU have been wearing them for a couple of years and the rest of the wards have just gone to them. I’m already tired of seeing “plumbers bum” from ill fitting scrubs.

    • mullberrywhine
      July 14, 2012

      Oh my gosh, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to find scrubs that fit in those wicked machines! And boy-O, there is an epidemic of plumber’s bum in these parts too! But it sure beats coming home with a bit more of your patients on board than fond thoughts and diagnostic/therapeutic quandaries! 😉 Never mind that my med school forbids the wearing of scrubs by students save in the OR – dress to impress, they say – most of our attendings and senior residents actually require we wear them on call to cut down on trainees going about soiled and bringing home muck….

      • astimegoesbuy
        July 14, 2012

        It does make sense from the reduced germ carrier way of thinking. Because of my role I was asked if I was going to wear a “uniform” and because I had the option I said “no”. I’m in Australia and they seem to love their uniforms…uniforms for school growing up and then every office has their look. I’m lucky that I can be an individual and as I manage patient flow, I don’t have to “manage patient flow” 😉

Keep it clean, keep it respectful, or keep away.

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This entry was posted on March 13, 2012 by in Long Nights, On Pediatrics, Taking Care and tagged , , , .

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Nothing under the table.
The views expressed on "Mullberry Whine" are NOT intended to diagnose or treat disease.
The med-ed related stories described here are based on real events. Details have been changed in accordance with HIPAA de-identification guidelines to protect confidentiality.
Mullberry Whine can be enjoyed daily; there is no unsafe quantity. Real wine, though, should be enjoyed in moderation. At-Risk Drinking for males under 65 is defined as >14 alcoholic beverages per week or >4/day, with >7 drinks a week or >3/day being the cut-off for females under 65 and for anyone, male or female, who has graced this planet for 65 years for more. Drink Mullberry Whine like there are no consequences. But drink alcohol responsibly. Your friends, your family, your health-care provider, and your liver - heck, ALL of the organs in your body - will thank you.
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