April 8, 2001
More Silly Examinining Gowns
Deborah Collyar, Susan Durst, Tricia Hawn, Doreen Jaskela, Susan Kling, Claudia Kruggel, M.J. McKeown, MD, Joanne Millstone, Jean Reichenbach, Matthew Bieber Schooley, Barbara B. Sharpe, Diane Wildbur
Surely whoever designed hospital gowns never had to wear one! I suppose different styles are required for different situations (Just today in the examining room I donned a little pink paper creation that would have looked bad on Audrey Hepburn.)
The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center here in Seattle has in- patients wear scrub suits. Or at least they did when I had a stem cell transplant in 1994. Each morning, before our shower, we were obliged to go to the linen room and select one. Comprehensive, comfortable and dignified -- especially for walking the corridors for exercise which all but the sickest patients were encouraged to do.
Thanks for bringing up the subject.
Ok........Sista......let's clear the design table here...this is something that has been living on my last and final nerve for some time.......we agree that paper is definitely OUT, right?......I want to go on record with the never humble opinion that pale pukey light blue, green, pink and definitely white.....gasp......are beyond boring........I think the fabric has got to be 100% Egyptian cotton.......or Italian linen would be nice....Armani, do you need a charity, honey?........depending on taste one could choose prime crayon colors, geometric designs........personally I'd choose a Roy Lichtenstein batik.........I think there's lots of room for pop art here, you know..... "WOW", "BAMM" or the more inspiring, "HELP!" or one of my all time favs........the girl drowning, with cartoon thought balloon, "I don't care! I'd rather sink than call Brad for help!"....we could probably avoid the one with the blond laying down (on railroad tracks?)......with the thought balloon, "That's the way...it should have begun! But it's hopeless!"........but there's always blond standing behind man in blue suit...thought balloon: "Forget it! forget me! I'm fed up with your kind"..............can you sense my drift here....a little humor with your tumor...........there's gobs of Monet Impressionism for the soothing touch....I wouldn't mind being seen in a water lily pond gown...........very Ophelia-like, I think.....thereby perfecting one's Camille imitation before doctor arrival..........I think one's choice of gown should depend on patient mood........which as we know.....changes constantly............so I envision a batik series covering most of the major art statements..............in my mind I can't wait to reach for my dada Duchamp gown...........I always wanted to be examined as a furry teacup............................Oh, sistas!....imagine what we could do with landscapes, gardens, kimono shapes..........Ooh-la-la........where's the Donna Karen of medical uniforms?.........Oh.....and when you get done with this project you might want to help out our sistas who are still menstruating...........I never got why those dorky pads only came in white with stupid pink plastic wrappers....being female is enough to make one loathe pink.................I would love to have bled all over a Picasso pad......it certainly would have made paying for the things more fun.........................SUZilla-artist-in-search-of-a-medium...........
I usually stuff the paper gown(s) into my backpack after the doctor leaves the room. They are great for washing windows -- better than paper towels or newspaper!
Just say, NO!! & watch the auxiliaries, nurses & counsellors come running to book you in for psychotherapy!!
Yeah, and what's with those johnnies that have two ties, one where you can't even reach it?
Hey, let's try this: a cotton jeresy oversized t-shirt, maybe size 50 or so. At least it doesn't fall apart so the world can see your a.. in all its glory.
When I was actively practicing we purchased a supply of very ample cloth gowns and used them plus a small nicely patterned sheet for each patient we saw. Perhaps I was just more sensitive to this problem since I was an Ob/Gyn phyhsician. It cost us more since we had to have them specially laundered for health reasons but we figured it was worth it to have the patients feel more comfortable. They were so nice and large I used to joke that if someone would dye them colorfully and wear them with a belt they could serve as a summer dress.
Hospital gowns ARE silly...until they neglect to give you one!
At the Radiation Oncology Center here they expected me to disrobe, in front of them and anyone else that happened to stop by, from the waist up in the hallway (labyrinth) going into the radiation room...and walk in topless!
If you complained they handed you a fingertip towel to cover yourself!
I guess they missed the Compassion & Human Dignity classes in med school!
Give me a BIG, ROOMY ROBE-type gown with Velcro slits for easy access! Let the neck be tapered enough to put it on frontward or backwards...then give me two of them to wear as a gown & robe combo.
(Funny irony...I have a friend that bought a condo in Chicago at the same time I was being denied a hospital gown...former owner of the condo was the guy that invented the hospital gown!)
I have several nightgowns that have three armholes and a wrap around closure. They can be worn to wrap front or back. With the three armholes, I am assured adequate coverage, even as I am a rubenesque lady. What other solutions have your received?
Barbara B. Sharpe
As regards examining gowns, in British Columbia they are not bad. It is just the dam tapes that are difficult to cope with. If we have to go along corridors then they give us two gowns, one to tie up at the back as usual and since they can gape then they give us another one to put on backwards and tie in front so that we do not reveal!! So no problems here
I wear a fleece jacket over my dorky gown. Solves the problem and I feel more empowered wearing my own clothes over their feeble attempt at coverage.
PS they should make the docs wear those for a day!
From a professional stand point, I think preserving the dignity of the patient has been put low on the list of priorities. After reading this site, I was vividly reminded of how quickly a patient may feel stripped of their dignity & self-respect. Great idea to create your own gown! I'll pass along the idea..
Matthew Bieber Schooley
Schooley in Missouri
I think we should just skip the formalities and go totally naked the next time they want us to wear one of those things. They might just get the message then! The best experience I ever had was when I went to a plastic surgeon's office to discuss reconstruction. He actually had Victoria Secret robes!