New Dress Code Issued for Surgeons


The American College of Surgeons updated guidelines on appropriate surgeon attire in and out of the operating room.

According to the statement, they are as follows:

  • Soiled scrubs and/or hats should be changed as soon as feasible and certainly prior to speaking with family members after a surgical procedure.
  • Scrubs and hats worn during dirty or contaminated cases should be changed prior to subsequent cases even if not visibly soiled.
  • Masks should not be worn dangling at any time.
  • Operating room (OR) scrubs should not be worn in the hospital facility outside of the OR area without a clean lab coat or appropriate cover up over them.
  • OR scrubs should not be worn at any time outside of the hospital perimeter.
  • OR scrubs should be changed at least daily.
  • During invasive procedures, the mouth, nose, and hair (skull and face) should be covered to avoid potential wound contamination. Large sideburns and ponytails should be covered or contained.
  • Earrings and jewelry worn on the head or neck where they might fall into or contaminate the sterile field should all be removed or appropriately covered during procedures
  • The ACS encourages clean appropriate professional attire (not scrubs) to be worn during all patient encounters outside of the OR.
  • The skullcap can be worn when close to the totality of hair is covered by it and only a limited amount of hair on the nape of the neck or a modest sideburn remains uncovered. Religious beliefs regarding headwear should be respected without compromising patient safety.
  • The ACS strongly suggests that scrubs should not be worn outside the perimeter of the hospital by any healthcare provider.

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