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Examples of appropriate scrub suit and PPE wear

Yale New Haven Hospital recently launched an initiative to remind employees working in surgical suites and other designated procedure areas about appropriately wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and hospital-issued scrubs. Hospital-issued surgical and procedure area scrubs are misty green or forest green. PPE consists of masks, surgical caps and bouffants, gloves and shoe covers.

"There have been an increasing number of instances in which staff wear personal protective equipment outside the surgical and other procedural areas," said Richard Martinello, MD, medical director, Infection Prevention. "For the health of our patients as well as our staff, PPE should be disposed of when leaving these areas."

Procedural attire reminders:

  1. Surgical and procedure area scrubs (misty green and forest green) must not be worn outside the hospital or taken home. YNHH-issued scrubs also cannot be worn on campus shuttles or when visiting the food carts.
  2. Personal clothing must be contained completely within, or covered by, surgical scrub attire.
  3. All head and facial hair, including sideburns and hair at the nape of the neck, must be covered when in the semi-restricted and restricted areas of the surgical suites.
  4. Disposable masks are for single-use only and must cover the mouth and nose. Do not save the mask by wearing it around the neck or putting it in pockets.
  5. Shoes must cover the foot (i.e., no open toes or heels); shoe covers are provided but not required. Use of dedicated shoes is recommended in surgical/procedure areas.
  6. PPE is supplied in all areas within Perioperative Services and must be used appropriately.

The policy applies to everyone in surgical or procedural areas at the York Street and Saint Raphael campuses and Temple Surgical Center, all operating rooms, Central Sterile Supply, Heart and Vascular Center procedural areas and Labor and Birth. YNHH staff entering Labor and Birth ORs on the YSC wear forest green, hospital-issued scrubs. Before leaving surgical areas, staff should place used PPE in appropriate trash receptacles.

"These policies are intended to improve our ability to provide safer, more efficient and better care. They are based on evidence from the medical literature, recommendations from national professional organizations and standards set by Yale New Haven Hospital and Yale School of Medicine leadership," said Keith Churchwell, MD, senior vice president, Operations and executive director, Heart and Vascular and Transplantation. "It is imperative that our staff understand and comply with these guidelines to help prevent the spread of infections."

For more information, refer to the Scrubs Suits and Surgical Attire policy in the Clinical Practice Manual on the employee intranet.