If you've been spending any time at all in medical or dental offices around Springfield, you've probably noticed that professionals who work in those fields have added a little color to their lives.
Sherry Bishop, manager of The Uniform Shop in White Oaks Mall, says over time her customers have become more fashion conscious.
"Medical uniforms have changed and have definitely become a lot more stylish in recent years," she says. "They look more like ready-to-wear clothes and are more becoming."
Right now, The Uniform Shop's biggest sellers are the "Grey's Anatomy" scrubs, but not for the reason most people might think.
It's not because the women want to look like Dr. Meredith Grey and the men are emulating Dr. McDreamy - rather Grey's Anatomy scrubs are easy to wear.
"Those scrubs are made from very comfortable material, so that's what sells them," Bishop says. "The younger women especially like Baby Phat scrubs. They are a little more stylish than some of the others."
Since medical personnel spend most of their time on their feet, comfortable and sensible shoes are a top priority, Bishop adds. Popular brands are Nursemates, Dansko, K-Swiss, Klogs and Cherokee Rockers.
"Danskos have a good support feature, while Klogs are skid-resistant, so they are good for people who give people showers," she says.
Color is key in some offices and in different areas of the hospitals.
"I know, for example, that some departments at the hospitals wear a specific color and it is that way at Springfield Clinic, too," Bishop says. "A lot of the dental offices match each day and then change with the seasons.
"Not too many people wear white, unless they are medical students. Surprisingly enough, black has taken over as the most popular color in medical clothing," she says.
Other favorites are navy blue and "shocking" pink. Pewter is a popular color for fall.
Staff members who are working in Memorial Medical Center's Orthopedic Unit are sporting mostly black and pink this fall.
However, nurses there are bringing on the bling with sparkly shirts made for them by Eye Candy in Springfield.
Jennifer Neff, who was charge nurse of the Orthopedic Unit when staff members began the ordering process, says it was the physicians who first suggested wearing a uniform.
"We had a meeting and talked about it," she says. "We didn't do the uniforms, but we settled on these cute T-shirts. We have a really young group of nurses here, so they especially wanted something fun."
The shirts read "4B - keeping it hip" and "4B - we've got what you knee'd." On the back the shirts read "Walk this way," and the arms sport a MMC logo. The female nurses could choose from several different body styles in long or short sleeves. The men who work on the floor have ordered screen-printed shirts from Primo Design in Springfield.
"It was Dr. (Ron) Romanelli who came up with the slogan for the knees," says Neff, who is now nurse manager of Orthopedics.
"The shirts are great. You just have to wash them inside out on the delicate cycle. If a jewel or two comes off, Eye Candy is great about fixing them."
Physicians from the Orthopedic Center of Illinois, SIU Orthopedics and Springfield Clinic Orthopedics helped buy the shirts.
"The doctors paid for one shirt for each of the staff members, and most of the people ordered one more," Neff says.
The nurses started sporting their shirts in late September, and patients and visitors noticed immediately.
"It was something fun to do to at work - something to bring us together," says 4B unit clerk Jenny Szerletich. "I think different floors now plan on doing something like this. It turned out to be a great idea."
Story published Friday, December 4, 2009 ( Volume 4, Number 7 )