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The modern white coat was introduced to medicine in the late s as a symbol of cleanliness. A study conducted in the United Kingdom found that the majority of patients prefer their doctors to wear white coats, but the majority of doctors prefer other clothing, such as scrubs. Some medical doctors view the coats as hot and uncomfortable, and many feel that they spread infection. Some patients who have their blood pressure measured in a clinical setting have higher readings than they do when measured in a home setting.
This is apparently a result of patients feeling more relaxed when they are at home. The phenomenon is sometimes called " white coat hypertension ," in reference to the traditional white coats worn in a clinical setting, though the coats themselves may have nothing to do with the elevated readings.
The term is also used as verbal shorthand for psychiatric orderlies or other personnel and may be used, in a usually jocular manner, to imply someone's lunacy or paranoia.
Until the mids, students who were examining cadavers would wear black lab coats to show respect for the dead. Black lab coats were used in early biomedical and microbiology laboratories. The "whiteness" and "pureness" concepts that were established in medicine pervaded that environment at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries and physicians changed the black for the white coat. A white coat ceremony is a relatively new ritual that marks one's entrance into medical school and, more recently, into a number of related health-related schools and professions.
It originated at University of Chicago 's Pritzker School of Medicine in  and involves a formal "robing" or "cloaking" in white lab coats. Studies have shown that doctor's coats worn in hospitals can harbor contagions including MRSA. In , the American Medical Association investigated banning coats with long sleeves to protect patients, but did not institute a ban. A study published in investigating the effectiveness of the NHS ban showed no statistical difference in contamination levels between residents wearing long-sleeved coats and those wearing short-sleeved scrubs.
In an effort to reduce the contamination of healthcare uniforms, ASTM International is developing standards to specifically address liquid penetration resistance, liquid repellency, bacterial decontamination, and antimicrobial properties of such uniforms. When used in the laboratory, lab coats protect against accidental spills, e. In this case they usually have long sleeves and are made of an absorbent material, such as cotton, so that the user can be protected from the chemical.
Some lab coats have buttons or elastic at the end of the sleeves, to secure them around the wrist so that they do not hang into containers of chemicals. Short-sleeved lab coats also exist where protection from substances such as acid is not necessary, and are favoured by certain scientists, such as microbiologists, avoiding the problem of hanging sleeves altogether, combined with the ease of washing the forearms an important consideration in microbiology.
For added safety, a variant of the lab coat, called a "Howie" style lab coat is often adopted. It is called such after a report commissioned by the UK department of Health and Social Security to codify standard clinical laboratory practices, chaired by J. Among the codified standards was protective clothing; the type of wrap-around full coverage lab coat that had been in use in the UK for over a hundred years was nicknamed the "Howie-Style" coat to indicate its compliance with the provisions of this report.
It has the buttons on the left flank, elasticated wrists and a mandarin collar , and is quite similar to a chef's uniform. It is designed to minimize pathogen contact with street clothes. White coats which resemble lab coats are worn by students and teachers of most public primary schools as a daily uniform in countries like Argentina , Uruguay , Spain , Bolivia and Morocco.
It also was formerly worn during past decades in Paraguay and Chile. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the item of clothing. For other uses, see White coat disambiguation. He argues that the existing laws are both discriminatory and morally unacceptable, and that they should be replaced by an entirely different approach for over-riding treatment refusals.
Using case studies and real-life experiences, Men in White Coats: Treatment under Coercion discusses how involuntary treatment in psychiatric practice affects patients, their families, and society, and looks to potential solutions to the current legal frameworks surrounding coercion that could be made applicable across all medical specialties and settings.
A practice with a very long history 2. Some troubling observations about involuntary treatment 3. The conventional grounds for involuntary treatment are highly problematic 4.
Challenges to the orthodoxy 5. How mental health law discriminates against persons with mental illness 6. A law that does not discriminate against people with mental illness 7. On being able to make decisions and making decisions for others 8. A new UN Disability Convention: Treatment pressures and coercion Can we reduce the need for coercive interventions?
Mental disorder and public protection Emergencies, general medicine, community treatment orders and psychiatric advance statements. Where does this take us? A key interest is mental health law reform, particularly the development of non-discriminatory, generic legislation which would apply to all persons, regardless of the cause of the underlying disturbance of treatment decision-making.
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