Temperature control is a major challenge in the nursing field.
In the surgical wing you have the extreme cold. It’s either cool, cold, or frigid depending on what stage of the peri-operative procedure you may be located. (FYI – the OR = frigid)
In the Critical Care setting the temperatures range from real cold to real hot. This depends on many factors. Everything from the patient themselves, the equipment in the room, the temperature outside the building, etc.
In the Medical-Surgical setting it’s equally vast and non-uniform. Each patient room will be a different temperature. Some rooms with 2 patients will be warm and tolerant, while the private rooms can be extreme cold or extreme heat.
In the Emergency setting, you have all the above listed variables, and then the ambient temperature and weather outside will affect your workspace since you work within close proximity of the entrance and exit doors.
Is your patient on isolation precautions? Well add everything already mentioned, mixed in with the probable stuffiness feeling you have. You’re level of ‘stuffiness’ will be dependent on what type of pathogen you’re isolating. Being gloved, gowned and with a mask can make that extremely hot room feel like a sauna.
Over the years these temperature changes have been a thorn in my side, since I’ve worked in just about all the above environments.
One of the many joys of working as a nurse is being able to wear scrubs. Unfortunately scrubs don’t provide a comfortable temperature medium for individuals like myself.
Here’s my problem. I sweat. I sweat a lot.
I rarely find myself being cool or cold, so just imagine how bad things get for me when the room and/or environment is already warm/hot.
I would always find myself sweating profusely during my day due to the constant temperature changes.
HOT -COLD- WARM – COOL – HOT- STUFFY
It was a constant circle.
What made it so bad was the shirts I would wear under my scrubs. I found out quickly that cotton was not my friend. I would sweat, dampen my shirt and then spend the remainder of the day in a semi-damp sticky shirt.
So polyester shirts became my friend, then sleeveless polyester shirts. Polyester was a step above the cotton, but I still had the lasting dampened shirt effects no matter how I prepared.
It got so bad at one point while I was working in the ICU, that I would bring 2 shirts for my 12hr shift.
(the only good thing about my hyperhidrosis was that I didn’t wreak the funk-da-fied stench of a garbage can. I just looked like I came out of a boiler room)
Oh, don’t forget, I’m also bald. I shave my head. So all that stuff would just run down my head.
Ooh I was quite the sight.
Managing my temperature was quite the challenge to say the very least. Until one day I was working with a fellow nurse who was wearing Under Armour under her scrubs?
I can remember making fun of her wearing the clothes. “What are you a football player or something?”
“Since when did you become an athlete?” (yeah.. She didn’t like my teasing too much)
She proceeded to tell me her fiancé owned a shirt, and she wore it to work once. She fell in love with the fit, the feel and the fact that it kept her warm when she was cold, and kept her cool when she was warm.
I was intrigued to say the least.
So I went and bought a shirt that was on sale. (No, I won’t lie, the clothing line is not cheap)
I was hooked!
I was so hooked, that I was pissed off. I was mad. Why in the world had I not discovered this stuff before?! Who the heck has been keeping this a secret?!
It did exactly what she claimed. It kept me cool when I over heated. The quick-dry ‘moisture-wicking‘ effect actually cooled me down faster whenever I would sweat. And on the rare occasions that I was cool or even cold, it kept me warm!
Since that time I have acquired almost half a dozen Under Armour T-shirts for work, as well as a stocking cap and gloves. I now wear it at work, as well as at the gym. In fact I wear it as an undershirt when venturing out into the frozen tundra these days.(It eliminates that horribly cold updraft)
I’ve become a walking billboard for the company! I actually did some digging about the company. Some very interesting stuff.
I still get a lot of confused and comical reactions when other medical staff and patients see me with my Under Armour on. After I give them my sales pitch, they usually give me the, “I never thought of that” answer. In fact I have an anesthesiologist who swears by the clothing line after I suggested he try it.
For anyone who has the same temperature regulations difficulties that I did, you should really give it a try. Are you always cold at work? Are you always hot at work? Under Armour could be your ticket.
Oh and one final note, there are a lot of other ‘generic’ form fitting clothing lines out there. I’m here to tell you from personal experience, it’s not the same. Not at all.
This is one product I would proclaim is worth the money you have to spend on it. The cost-benefit analysis is unmatched!
Image Source: Under Armour