When you work in dentistry, nursing, veterinary medicine, or another healthcare industry, you know firsthand how hard it can be to find quality clothing that protects your regular clothing and skin from dirt or contamination. In the lab, you may come into contact with a broad spectrum of chemicals and hazardous materials. Medical lab coats are designed for the very purpose of minimizing your exposure while providing a reasonable amount of coverage. With such a wide variety of lab coat styles to choose from, though, how do you decide which coat is best for you and your work? We dive headfirst into the distinctive styles of lab coats so that you can frame your search to find a coat that is right for you and your unique expectations. Keep reading to learn more.
Overview of Lab Coat Styles
As you know well by now, lab coats come in many different styles. The most widely used lab coats are traditionally white with a length that ranges from 36 to 42 inches. However, lab coats have evolved to meet the demands of the modern medical worker. Join us as we take a closer look at the latest trends in lab apparel.
Consultation Coats: These jackets very similar to a traditional lab coat, except that they are designed differently to appear more stylish and form-fitting. Consultation coats are most often worn by medical doctors or physicians that conduct consultations with clients on a regular basis. The contemporary shape can inspire confidence and trust between caretaker and patient. The average consultation coat measures between 27 – 32 inches.
Full- or Knee-Length Coats: Whether in classic white or a vibrant color, there is no mistaking the classic lab coat. Lab coats are available with long or short sleeves, but coats with elastic cuffs are highly recommended to avoid contamination. Knee-length lab coats measure between 29 – 36 inches, and full-length lab coats measure between 36 – 45 inches. Coats made of cotton poplin are usually lighter and more flexible. Coats made of cotton twill are usually heavier and feature a crisper weave.
Alternatives to Traditional Lab Coats
Lab coats may continue to change, but there are noteworthy alternatives to traditional cotton and polyester coats. Disposable lab coats, for instance, are especially recommended when working with animals or biological hazards. Veterinary professionals and animal technicians can properly dispose of their coats after use, saving time and energy on washing and reusing. Reusable lab coats are another alternative that can help your facility cut down on costs. Some coats are flame-resistant, and others are made of synthetic blends that are better for working with flammables.
Lab Coat Care and Best Practices
Now that you know a little more about the different lab coat styles, it is essential that you treat your chosen lab coat with great care. You should never take your lab coat home or to the laundromat to be cleaned. Most labs and medical practices partner with local uniform or laundering services. One of the advantages to having your lab coats laundered professionally is the peace of mind in knowing your coats will be washed and sterilized in a clean environment. If a lab coat should become grossly contaminated, it should be disposed of as hazardous waste. The same guidelines apply in cases of biological or chemical contamination. If your lab coat should become contaminated by a radioactive material, it is important to bag, label, and store until the radiation level is indistinguishable from its surroundings.
We hope that this article helps you in the process of shopping for lab coats online. As a rule of thumb, you should select a coat that suits your unique role and environment. Please do not hesitate to contact Labwear.com today with any inquiries or concerns, and a member of our courteous staff will provide further assistance.