Clinicians of all levels and specialties need their tools of the trade to be as highly functional as possible – lab coats and scrubs included. And in those high pressure situations where you must be as streamlined as possible, the ergonomic fit of a lab coat can really make a difference in your level of efficacy while performing a task.
Renowned for their tailored and ergonomically designed lab coats, Medelita has taken the functionality of their high performance lab coats one step further with their two latest styles: the Rosalyn slim fit lab coat for women and the Bernard slim fit lab coat for men.
The main feature that these coats share in common is their foldable sleeves and back pleat for full range of movement in your shoulders. The Bernard has elevated this feature even further by adding custom buttons to the foldable slits in the sleeves.
We love this new feature of the lab coats. What functional features would you add if you could design a lab coat of your own?
Lately there has been much discussion over medical uniforms and how they serve the purpose of differentiating medical staff members’ roles. Most medical professionals, regardless of level or specialty, wear scrubs.
But what about lab coats? Should lab coats only be worn by doctors, or is there something to be said for this nursing lab coats trend?
The main argument against nursing lab coats is that it is confusing for patients when lab coats are worn by both doctors and nurses. This is fair, and confusion should definitely be avoided as much as possible. However, there is an easy solution for this if you just get your lab coat with custom embroidery, where you can prominently display your title in a place that’s easy to read. With name & title embroidery on your lab coat, it’s still very easy for patients to tell who is a doctor and who is a nurse: they can just look at your lab coat!
We vote that if your white lab coat makes you feel more professional and helps you do your job better, and if there are no hospital rules preventing nurses from wearing lab coats just as doctors, go for it!
The Medelita White Coat Collection is well-known as the best in class for medical professionals seeking a tailored, fitted lab coat. They have numerous designs in gender-specific styles, ensuring that there is a style for everyone.
But the price tag is steep – compare their H.W. Cushing lab coat, which costs $154, to a cheaper Landau lab coat at $30.58.
H.W. Cushing Slim Fit Lab Coat
Why is the Medelita lab coat so much more expensive?
The simple answer is, you get what you pay for. Quality starts with the raw materials, and the cost of the high-quality raw materials sourced by Medelita for their fabric and buttons actually costs more than the retail price of that Landau coat. The difference in the quality of the fabric is the first thing you’ll notice that makes the Medelita version worth the extra money.
You also need to take into account the fact that Medelita lab coats are designed more or less like blazers or nice suit jackets. If you made them about half a foot shorter and in a khaki color or dark neutral, you would basically have something similar to a Brooks Brothers jacket, which is $648. So when you think about it, it’s actually a pretty darn good deal.
Medelita Lab Coat Features
- Performance fabric is bright white, resists stains, wicks sweat away, easy to care for
- Highly durable, double seams, darting, pleating and other small quality indicators
- Flattering styles for men and women that are fitted and allow full range of movement
Physician burnout rates are on the rise, and integrated health systems across the country are trying to find ways to keep their physicians, and therefore their patients, happy. One of the easiest ways a hospital can keep their staff more satisfied with their job is by offering an on-the-job perk such as a new uniform program.
Investing in the professional appearance of your physicians tells them that you have confidence in their skills. A sharp and polished appearance also gives patients more trust in their physicians. This ultimately does translate to more satisfied patients, happier doctors, and better health outcomes.
The two main considerations for a new uniform program for your brand or hospital are appearance and function.
According to Brandtwist.com, “Employees care about how they look. An attractive uniform can greatly enhance self-esteem, which in turn improves attitude. One extremely important detail is the fit. Baggy or tight garments can make employees feel self-conscious and less confident in interacting with customers. Other important details include color, fabric, and style, which should reflect the company brand.”
This consideration is especially important in a highly demanding role of a physician. Lab coats and scrubs must be able to stand up to wear and tear, and they must satisfy the demands of the job. This includes being made with highly functional performance fabrics, having plenty of pockets for storage, and a design that doesn’t limit movement.
A lab coat to a physician is what a suit is to a business person. That’s why you really shouldn’t cut corners when it comes to picking out a lab coat – if you picked out a cheap, shoddy lab coat what does that say about you? Believe me, your patients and colleagues will notice if you have been thrifty (or stingy, depending on how you look at it) with your uniform shopping, and one of the biggest reasons for that is that cheap lab coats are made with cheap fabric.
On the other hand, a nicer quality lab coat will really show. Quality is apparent in the cut, style and details of your coat, and a professional appearance for a doctor also depends on that coat being impeccably bright white.
So the biggest factor of choosing a lab coat…is the ability of that lab coat to release stains.
You don’t need me to tell you that during your shifts there is a large chance you’ll get some sort of bodily fluid on your clothes, or spill your coffee, or have a pen explode in your pocket. Once a coat is stained, you really can’t wear it again, so to make your lab coat last you as long as possible, you should find a high quality white lab coat made with a performance fabric.
Most performance fabrics are made with the wearer in mind. In the case of performance lab coats, this means that the lab coat should easily release stains in the wash. That way you can wear your coat again and again without having to throw it out once it gets a stain!
What a doctor needs from their uniform changes as technology and medical tools continue to evolve. Five years ago there weren’t all that many iPads and tablets around; today they are nearly ubiquitous in the medical setting. They are incredibly handy tools that can be used for quick references, educating patients, and more.
So what today’s modern doctor needs is a lab coat that has pockets roomy enough to hold their tablet or iPad. Having larger pockets frees up your hands so that you can carry your tablet with you during your rotations or consultations, without having to carry yet another thing along with you.
But lab coats with iPad pockets are also useful even if you don’t have a tablet. The large pockets can hold anything you might need to carry around with you.
There are many lab coats today for women in medicine – a big change from the scant options available 8 years ago. It’s great for female healthcare professionals to have the option to choose a professional white lab coat that is figure-flattering and shows off your personal style.
There are classic options for women in medicine who prefer the more traditional look of a lab coat – no frills, just a high quality professional white coat, but for women. However I personally prefer a more modern style: the Vera G. lab coat from Medelita.
The Vera G. has a modern style and is still professional.
Named for the first female surgeon in Russia, Vera Gedroiz, the Vera G. lab coat is exceptionally flattering for women with a lean, athletic figure. It is a slim-cut lab coat; the slim fit is great because it skims over your body without being clingy, tight, or uncomfortable. It’s just incredibly flattering and gives you more confidence while making your rounds, consulting with patients, or even just interacting with your colleagues at an event or medical conference.
What I love most about the Vera G. is the sleek construction. It features a beautiful envelope collar, a super professional and modern looking detail which I’ve hardly found on a blazer or suit jacket, much less a medical lab coat.
Envelope Collar on Lab Coat
The image of the crisp white lab coat immediately conjures the idea of a medical doctor or healthcare professional. But the use of the lab coat isn’t limited to healthcare settings!
Here are a few more places or people that you might run into while they wear a white coat:
- Halloween costumes
- Preschool children while fingerpainting
- Makeup artists
- Themed costume parties
- Biology and chemistry students
I probably missed a few, but my point is that lab coats are ubiquitous and can serve a multitude of purposes. So rock the white coat whenever you can!
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the easiest way to truly individualize your white lab coat is with personal embroidery. And no one does a better embroidery job than Medelita, because they actually have an entire team of embroiderers who work in-house to make sure that everything is impeccable and professional-looking.
That being said, lab coats with custom embroidery cannot be returned, for instance if the coat does not fit as you expected, because once it has been embroidered there is no way to remove it.
So if you’re feeling a little hesitant about adding name and title embroidery to your lab coat, here are some quick tips to ensure you get it right!
- Check the character count. If a line of text is too long, it may be partially covered by the lapel of the coat. And each lab coat has a different lapel, so make sure to check that you aren’t exceeding the character count. This most often happens when a title is extra long, or if you hold many degrees that come after your name (ie: MD, FAAP, MBA, DO). An easy way to limit this is to eliminate any punctuation that isn’t absolutely necessary.
- Don’t be afraid of using color, but make sure you choose a versatile and appropriate color. If you’re feeling wary or indecisive, it’s easy to just go with black thread as the default choice. This still looks good, but I have to say that choosing embroidery with an actual color will make it feel even more unique to yourself and your personal style. There are a number of muted and versatile colors that are appropriate in just about every setting – some of the most popular ones are slate blue for men, and plum for women. They are both beautiful, rich color tones, but aren’t quite as bold as, say, scarlet or royal blue, which are also beautiful but a bit more bold.
- Anything goes for font style! Most lab coat embroidery offers three font options: script, serif block, and rounded block. All of these are easy to read and convey professionalism, so it’s really up to you to decide which style you like best.
Having your name and title embroidered on your lab coat is as close as you can get to wearing your diploma, and you should wear it with pride! Have fun with your embroidery, and don’t overthink it.
Doctors work long and hard to earn their white coats. When patients see a person wearing a lab coat, their trust increases in that person. That’s because the white lab coat signifies that person is a scientific healer.
“As opposed to what other kind of healer?”, you may be asking. But historically, the realm of medicine actually had very little to do with science and everything to do with home remedies, folklore, and quackery.
As a matter of fact, the field of medicine was not considered a well-respected branch of science until the 1900’s, when many strides were being made in the medical field. Scientists quickly realized the medicinal applications of their new discoveries, including antiseptics and anesthesia. Before then, doctors were essentially glorified barbers with little to no formal training, unless they were quacks who took advantage of others’ suffering and desperation for their own financial gain.
But as medicine began to grow into a more well-respected field, true doctors – the scientific healers – began distinguishing themselves with a long lab coat. At first the coats were beige out of practicality, but they eventually turned to white as it symbolized purity and sterility.
What do you think of these modernized versions of the white lab coat?