Schools Training

Medical Support Worker Clothing Choices

15 MAR 2013
Career Path : Medical Office Assistant

Choosing what to wear as a medical support worker is a mix between expressing your individuality and conforming to the needs of the job. Both medical office Assistant courses and personal support worker courses prepare you for a career as a respected medical professional. Personal Support Workers are actually practicing nursing, though of the unlicensed or unregistered variety and are a crucial part of providing care to the disabled and elderly, while a Medical Office Assistant handles the necessary administrative work that lets hospitals and clinics function.


Generally, both professions favour wearing scrubs. Originally developed for the purpose of making clean up and sterilization easier for surgery, scrubs are loose garments somewhat resembling pyjamas, with a short sleeved shirt and long pants. There are no metal fastenings, and scrubs are easy to launder, requiring little maintenance. Over time, these garments have replaced the old white dresses associated with nursing, and are now generally worn by anyone who may expect physical work as part of their medical duties. Scrubs have gotten so popular, that other industries have adopted them, for example janitorial staff.


Scrubs now come in a variety of styles and colours, and in male and female versions. Originally issued by hospitals to their staff, they were generally in blue or green tones, but now they tend to be in whatever colours are currently fashionable for regular clothing. Some have pockets, while some do not. Furthermore, you have a choice between fitted and non-fitted versions, such that workers can have a uniform appearance without needing to look like clones. The first time you put on scrubs may be at the end of your medical office assistant or personal support worker courses when you get some practical work experience or it could be as part of your classes if there is a lab component.


Footgear should be comfortable and slip resistant, especially for a personal support worker, who is on their feet a lot. Some people prefer vented plastic foot gear, but non-marking, closed shoes are best. Additionally, personal support workers will wear minimal jewelry, so that it will not interfere with their duties. Anyone assisting patients may rely on disposable gloves. In the past these were usually made of latex, but increasing awareness of latex allergies means that gloves may now be made of various other materials.


For graduates of medical office assistant courses, if work is purely administrative, normal office clothing might be preferable. On the other hand if they will be helping treat patients, the look of scrubs may give the person some extra medical authority and make patients more amenable to cooperating with instructions. This can be very valuable to the health and safety of the patient, especially since administrative staff may be responsible for following up with patients.



Visit Algonquin Careers Academy for more information on uniforms and equipment.