THE HISTORY AND EVOLUTION OF MEDICAL CLOTHING

  • Authors: Selivanova T.D.1, Kryuchkova A.V.2, Poletaeva I.A.2, Panina O.A.2, Gridneva L.G.2
  • Affiliations:
    1. Unicipal budgetary educational institution secondary «School with in-depth study of individual subjects No. 1», Voronezh, Russia
    2. Voronezh State Medical University N.N. Burdenko
  • Issue: Vol 12 (2023): МАТЕРИАЛЫ VI ВСЕРОССИЙСКОЙ СТУДЕНЧЕСКОЙ НАУЧНОЙ КОНФЕРЕНЦИИ С МЕЖДУНАРОДНЫМ УЧАСТИЕМ «БЕРЕЧЬ И РАЗВИВАТЬ БЛАГОРОДНЫЕ ТРАДИЦИИ МЕДИЦИНЫ»: ВЕРНОСТЬ ПРОФЕССИИ В ИСТОРИИ МОЕЙ СТРАНЫ
  • Pages: 180-182
  • Section: БЕРЕЧЬ И РАЗВИВАТЬ БЛАГОРОДНЫЕ ТРАДИЦИИ МЕДИЦИНЫ»: ВЫДАЮЩИЕСЯ ВРАЧИ РОССИИ
  • URL: https://new.vestnik-surgery.com/index.php/2415-7805/article/view/8903

Cite item

Abstract

The article presents information about the history of the emergence of medical uniforms, the transformation of views about the purpose of medical clothing. Historical data from the times of antiquity to the present day are analyzed. The history of medical clothing has a centuries-old period of time. It was modified in accordance with the role played by the medical worker in society: from the epidemiological costume of the Roman and medieval doctor, from expensive robes decorated with precious stones, from the nurse's uniform (sisters of mercy), to the white doctor's coat as a symbol of helping in trouble.

Full Text

Traditionally, in society, a medical worker is presented as a person in a snow-white robe, cap and mask. The professional uniform of a medical worker, like some others, for example, the uniform of a firefighter, is one of the most recognizable in the world. But the robe in its usual form was not used in medical circles until the 19th century.
Analyzing the history of medical clothing, the first data we find in the period of antiquity and the Middle Ages.
Roman and ancient healers did not have any permanent special form. The uniform was worn only during epidemics of plague, smallpox, cholera and other particularly important cases. She looked like long black robes. The face was also protected by a mask, which was made in the shape of a beak, it could be made of wood, leather or bones. The main purpose of the mask was to create a safe barrier between the doctor and the patient. To protect the respiratory organs, various herbs and oils were put in the beak, doctors believed that they protected the body from infectious diseases, in addition, it hid the fetid smell that filled the streets during epidemics.
The doctor always had a cane with him, with which he visited the sick. She helped him, without contact with the patient, to indicate how to sit down, what position the patient should take, which of the household items to submit. For greater practicality, doctors began to use raincoats made of leather. Such medical clothing has remained in history as a symbol of a terrible disaster, epidemic and horror.
If we talk about the form of surgeons, it was different and had one goal - to protect the doctor from blood. For a long time in history, surgeons were a separate caste from doctors. They were considered artisans and had nothing to do with the noble profession of a doctor. Most of them were barbers who removed teeth, engaged in bloodletting and performed small operations. Accordingly, the appearance of the doctor, who represented the official medicine of that time, and the artisan surgeon were radically different.
The doctors had clothes, robes, made of noble fabrics decorated with precious stones. This created a high status for the profession. The famous healer and alchemist Paracelsus, reflecting the public opinion of that time, also wrote that the need for special clothes to wear rings with precious stones on their hands. Nevertheless, surgeons still wore an apron, but only when the operation was underway. They didn't have masks or hats either. Since there was a lot of blood during the operations, the apron perfectly protected the surgeon's everyday clothes from stains. Unfortunately, at that time they did not have caps and gloves to protect themselves and the patient. Aprons were called "short-brimmed", since they did not have a status length like doctors' robes. But the doctor's mantle, although it had a status length, was decorated with precious stones, it did not differ much from the clothes of a scientist, theologian or a simple rich man.
Over time, the robes and jewelry were replaced with a regular frock coat. To show the status of their profession and stand out in society, doctors began to wear the same coat, which was stained with blood, instead of robes and jewelry. This was done in order to show the society the relevance and extensive experience of a doctor. Blood in this case was not considered an indicator of the doctor's poverty, but only emphasized his high social status and professionalism.
The development of asepsis and antiseptics has become a huge impetus to the discussion of the international medical form necessary to ensure the safety of the doctor and the patient. In the eighteenth century, science, and with it medicine, developed very rapidly, it could not but have an impact on medical clothing.
Starting from the middle of the XIX century, precious robes and frock coats that were splattered with blood were replaced with more hygienic and practical clothes. It was from this moment that a medical gown appeared in the life of doctors. Translated from Arabic, "hil at" means an honorary dress.
The Sisters of Mercy are the first to use the prototype of the modern robe. Their dresses were black and had white aprons, they had a headscarf on their head, which they tied into a kerchief and thereby resembled nuns in some way. This did not affect the public attitude in any way, since at that time medical care was provided at monasteries. In the future, the kerchief will be replaced by a white cap, and armbands and white cuffs will appear on the hands.
In 1867, Joseph Lister's work "On a new method of treating fractures and ulcers with remarks on the causes of suppuration" was published. This year was marked by the year of antiseptics, which contributed to the fight against air and contact infection. In 1886, at Johns Hopkins Hospital (USA), military doctor Joseph Colt Bloodgood introduced rubber gloves to protect the surgeon's hands from infection.
In 1918, the world was shaken by the Spanish flu epidemic, which could not but affect the attitude of doctors to the means of protection, which was the robe. Now it is mandatory for doctors and surgeons to wear a bathrobe, a hat and gloves. Starting in 1918, some surgeons began using cotton gauze masks in operating rooms. The main goal was to protect yourself, and then there was no question of protecting the patient.
There are alternative versions of the appearance of white coats in medical practice. One of the versions: Russian doctors adopted the robes from Austrian doctors during the war with Turkey in 1877-1878. There is also evidence that it was at the Burdenko Hospital in the 80s of the 19th century that robes were first used among doctors. Thus, the existence of many theories about the appearance of classical medical clothing may indicate that the uniform gradually spread throughout all hospitals, slowly becoming a classic uniform. It is possible to build a clear line about how the robe became a classic form from paintings and photographs of famous figures of different times, such as A.P. Chekhov, V.V. Veresaev, I.E. Repin.
The greatest influence, in addition to scientific discoveries, on the image of medical clothing was exerted by military conflicts. Doctors have to change their shape in order to provide care as quickly and efficiently as possible. So, during the Russian-Japanese war, doctors rolled up their sleeves for convenience, which is confirmed by numerous photographs. The robes themselves fit snugly to the front surface of the body and are fixed with ties at the back. An operating gown in this form can be found in photographs of the First World War and the Great Patriotic War [1].
During the Soviet period, the requirements for the robe were high: it must be white, starched and below the knee. The appearance of the doctor was also controlled, especially for women, it was mandatory for them to remove their hair under a white starched medical cap. The uniform at this time remains an indicator of the status of the profession and the requirements for it are extremely high.
Since the middle of the twentieth century, there have been changes in the medical form. In Europe, many doctors are beginning to change their usual dressing gown for blue and green surgical suits. The explanation for this change was that doctors' eyes get tired of the bright white light in the operating room. Blue, green, muted pink allows the eyes to rest and switch. Since then, medical clothing has become very diverse. Large hospitals ordered suits of different colors, so they distinguished employees in different departments. Medical uniforms become part of corporate ethics. Long white coats gradually began to be replaced by multicolored surgical suits. This is based on the search for a more practical and convenient medical form that can be easily erased [2]. Now there is a wide range of different models and colors of surgical suits, gowns, medical caps. The most such bright costume is popular with pediatricians, as the bright coloring helps to position the child to the doctor and wean him from the fear of a white coat.
However, despite this, the white coat will still represent medicine and will remain its permanent symbol.

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About the authors

Tatiana Dmitrievna Selivanova

Unicipal budgetary educational institution secondary «School with in-depth study of individual subjects No. 1», Voronezh, Russia

Email: ninaselivanova@rambler.ru

student of the 11th grade

Russian Federation, 75, Vladimir Nevsky Street, Voronezh, Voronezh region, Russia, 394051 .

Anna Vasilyevna Kryuchkova

Voronezh State Medical University N.N. Burdenko

Email: ann1059@yandex.ru

Associate Professor, Director of the Institute of Nursing Education

Russian Federation, 394036, Russia, Voronezh, st. Student, 10

Irina Alekseevna Poletaeva

Voronezh State Medical University N.N. Burdenko

Email: poletaewa80@mail.ru

Associate Professor of the Department of Organization of Nursing

394036, Russia, Voronezh, st. Student, 10

Olga Alekseevna Panina

Voronezh State Medical University N.N. Burdenko

Author for correspondence.
Email: media01@mail.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7351-3638
SPIN-code: 5865-1257

Candidate of Medical Sciences, Assistant, Department of Nursing Organization

Russian Federation, 394036, Russia, Voronezh, st. Student, 10

Larisa Grigoryevna Gridneva

Voronezh State Medical University N.N. Burdenko

Email: grilagrig@gmail.com

Candidate of Medical Sciences, Assistant, Department of Nursing Organization

394036, Russia, Voronezh, st. Student, 10

References

  1. Григорьева Е.В. Профессия врача-хирурга, как профессия служения людям / Е.В. Григорьева, А.В. Крючкова, О.А. Панина // Молодежный инновационный вестник. - 2020. - Т. 9, № S4. - С. 50-51.
  2. Зиниченко В.Я. Современные европейские требования к одноразовой медицинской одежде / В.Я. Зиниченко // Менеджер здравоохранения. - 2007. - №1. – С.5-9

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