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To add some historical perspective to this, at the time this was being discussed (mid 1970's) the physicians (male) were said to be against women wearing pants in the OR because they liked to look at the nurse's (female, of course) legs.  So it was a bit of a campaign to reduce the entrenched sexism of the OR so women employees could wear pants, and the infection control study nailed it. Just something for any employee who wants to be modestly attired to think about.


Susan Shelly BSN, MLS, Librarian
John C. Lincoln Health Network
602.870.6328


-----Original Message-----
From: Medical Libraries Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Susan Shelly
Sent: Friday, September 06, 2013 8:20 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: ? - skirts in the O.R.

Back in the olden days when I was a nurse I was told that studies were done showing that when employees wore skirts/dresses in the OR there was appreciable bacterial fallout from the...um...nether regions which led to everyone wearing pants for infection prevention reasons.  If this reasoning still holds I don't see how these employees could argue against it.     

  
Susan Shelly BSN, MLS, Librarian
John C. Lincoln Health Network
602.870.6328

-----Original Message-----
From: Medical Libraries Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Nancy Crossfield
Sent: Thursday, September 05, 2013 4:48 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: ? - skirts in the O.R.

Greetings, colleagues.
   I'm stumped.  Our hospital now has two staff members who want to wear skirts or dresses in the O.R. for religious reasons. One is an environmental assistant sometimes present during surgery, and the other a physician's surgical assistant.  Current policies state that scrubs shall be worn AND that they must be laundered on site rather than at home.  We have checked AORN standards (nothing specific found), our surgical educator has spoken to someone at AORN, and I've also checked CINAHL and (with wild but ultimately unproductive results) Google.  Nothing found on staff wearing dresses or skirts.  
   Has anyone run across this before or know of a hospital policy that covers this?  The ladies here are Mennonite, but the issue probably isn't specific to one religion.  We're being asked, "If skirts and dresses in the OR are not an issue - prove it with documentation!"  So, two issues - first, what about that garb?  Second, what about hospital vs home laundering if a hospital permits skirts?
   Thanks for any new ideas or samples of policies you can provide!
 
Nancy Crossfield
Owen Medical Library
Saint Agnes Medical Ctr
Fresno, CA