OK, you got us—we design and sell lab coats. And yes, it's in our interest for labcoat-wearing professionals to have more than one lab jacket apiece.
What would you say, though, if we told you there were four measurably important reasons why you really should have more than one? What if we told you those included ethical reasons, or if they were for the sake of your job?
You can probably guess what some of those reasons are. If something (dangerous or otherwise) spills on your designer lab coat, you'll need another one on-hand.
How about the other reasons, though? How important is it, really, to have more than one lab jacket? And what could the consequences be if you don't?
Why spills matter: hazards and symbolism
If you spill pasta sauce on your tie when you're at a conference (worst of all one you're scheduled to speak at), what do you do? It's always handy to have back-up articles of clothing on-hand, but it's rarely practical.
If you could convince yourself to put another tie in your pocket before heading out for that conference, for instance, it could just as easily occur to you to pack another shirt, another pair of pants, and another jacket. However, no one is really not going to stroll into an event (or even into the workplace) with all that extra garb.
A lab jacket, on the other hand, is a clothing article of a different breed. It has functional purposes as well as a symbolic one. If something happens to your lab coat, especially in a clinical or laboratory setting, your job will become harder and even unsafe, and confusion and frustration will ensue.
So, maybe you won't take an extra lab coat with you to that conference. If you skip storing an extra lab coat at work, however, you’re putting yourself up against unnecessary risks.
Most of the time, a lab coat is sent out of commission thanks to spills. And whatever you spill on a lab coat—whether it’s a hazardous substance that makes you whip off your lab jacket faster than ever or if it’s the Bolognese sauce at the employee appreciation lunch—you will do your job better if you have a back-up lab coat on-hand.
You need different lab coats for different occasions
The lab coat you're going to wear in the lab or clinic won't always be the same you wear for formal events. We talked about this in a recent Dr. James article. In fact, the lab coat you'll wear for certain aspects of your job won't even be the same you'll wear for other aspects.
Think of it this way: if you worked in an office setting where you wore a suit every day, would you wear the same suit jacket for everything? Every day? Without ever changing?
Of course not. Your lab jacket is the same way. A designer lab coat, for instance, will give you greater confidence with more styles to choose from, including fitted lab coats for women, and fabrics that help you strut your stuff and perform your job safer and more comfortably. For the day-to-day stuff, on the other hand, you will want the top-rated and functional lab coat that fits you right, feels good, and helps you get the job done.
Oh, and you'll probably want a couple of each.
You’ve taken an oath to help fight infections
You've read about this before. The white lab coat has been slammed by opinologues for their supposed propensity to carry infection and do harm to patients (where a doctor is trying to do good).
It's easy to dispel this myth and point out that washing and caring for your lab coat is the obvious fix, because lab coats carry absolutely no more microbes than whatever other garment worn in a clinical setting. If you're wearing any clothes at all when you interact with patients (which we imagine you are), those clothes have to be washed regularly for that reason.
How often do you think ties are washed? Maybe you've never washed one. Can you imagine how many microbes a tie could have after months of hanging from someone's neck in a clinic or hospital?
That said, ensuring that you don't carry infection from one patient to another does require due diligence, and having more than one lab coat gives you greater flexibility to do so. You can launder one lab coat while you wear another, or even have a lab coat for every day of the week. It's a simple solution that allows you to do more good for those you serve.
You have to account for wear and tear
Dr. James introduces fabrics that are lighter and more comfortable all the time, while at the same time protecting you from fluids and fires. And, especially leveraging LABTEX technology, these lab coats are lasting longer also.
There are still, however, limitations to how long any article of clothing can last. If you throw a cotton sweater on every single day for a few months, you’ll inevitably start to see wear and tear.
Our lab coats are professionally designed to last, but are still subject to the same vulnerabilities of any other garment. The solution? You can delay wear and tear by rotating in a couple more lab coats.
Keeping your lab coats white is another point of interest for medical and lab professionals, which we wrote about recently for your reading pleasure. If you take just a little extra care to do the job right, you can prevent faster breakdown of the fabric in your lab coats.
Bonus tip: “where to buy lab coats” is another question to make any of these benefits that much easier to act on. We recently wrote about Amazon lab coats, for example, and whether that's the best place to buy your lab jackets.
Wherever you acquire them, buy your lab coats two or three at a time. Especially when you find the designer option that fits you right, functions perfectly, and helps you work at your best, it's worth getting more than one.
Because, at the end of the day, these 4 reasons why you really do need more than one lab coat spell out your safety and success, as well as that of all you work with and serve.