Scrubs that make a statement

Colorful scrubs with animal-themed designs are more than just a fashion trend. They help put clients at ease and subsequently enhance patient care.

When a client step into your clinic with her pet, the surroundings will have a profound effect on how comfortable she feels. Color schemes, lighting, even the quality of the chairs in the waiting room all work together to enhance – or detract from – her levels of ease. The scrubs you wear also play a role in creating a welcoming ambience. While there’s nothing wrong with the traditional white coat, many veterinarians, vet techs and their staff are turning to colorful animal-themed scrubs. These fun patterns can help “break the ice”, put a smile on people’s faces, and consequently encourage them to relax a little more. A relaxed client will communicate more effectively and that in turn will help you do the best for his or her pet.

Helping clients relax fosters trust

Michelle Rivera, MT, VDT, agrees. “In my office, we like to ‘honor’ all the types of animals we see, such as dogs, cats, horses, reptiles and birds,” she says. “I have found the colors on the scrubs really influences other staff members in their attitudes toward their jobs, and they definitely affect the clients. When we wear very bright and cheerful colors, I find the clients seem to feel more at ease around us, making their anxiety wane, and they are more trusting of us and our suggestions. I have always felt that when you wear solid colored scrubs, it makes us feel as if the treatments, environment, and attitudes of the medical professionals are very ‘sterile’ and almost ominous and frightening.”

Thanks to the wide variety of scrub colors and patterns available nowadays, there’s something to suit every taste. You can choose from cheery dog and cat designs to bright tropical birds, zebra stripes or other animal prints, safari patterns, cartoons, or cool, calm oceanic scenes. Some are cute and amusing, while others are classy and stylized. “In my personal practice, I have found that if our intention, as the medical practitioner, is pure, the animals will respond positively to us no matter what we wear,” says Michelle. “It is the client we must put at ease and make happy, because if we can make a client trusting, calm and receptive to us and our treatments, it will in turn allow their pets to follow their lead. How many times have we seen anxious owners and equally anxious pets? By the colors we choose in our facilities to the scents we have lingering about, to the choice of scrubs we wear, all these factors influence the client which in turn will influence the pets and ultimately lead to a very positive experience for all.”

Consider quality too When ordering scrubs, adds Michelle, it’s important not to overlook quality in favor of colors and patterns. She says she most often uses and VAC (Veterinary Apparel Company). “I have, on occasion, gone on the internet, looked up an animal of my choice and purchased from an unknown company, but I found that doing this sometimes does not ensure that the sizes are consistent with the tag. They tend to generally run smaller. I have also sometimes found the material used to be inferior, which truly cuts the life of the garment considerably. As in all uniforms (team, medical and workout) we want them to last with frequent washings and to hold their shape and color. Throughout the years, we also tend to stay clear of the light or white background scrubs, for obvious reasons. Ours is not always the cleanest of jobs!”



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Ann Brightman is Managing Editor for Animal Wellness Magazine and Integrative Veterinary Care Journal. A lifelong animal lover, she has also been a writer and editor for over 25 years. Ann is a member of the Professional Writers Association of Canada and is also a Tai Chi instructor.