Think Again: The Hospital Gown
Style and aesthetics don’t even enter the conversation when it comes to the hospital gown, a garment that only someone too sick to protest would agree to wear. “It makes you feel more naked and exposed than when you’re actually naked,” says one former patient. Another claims, “They’re put on patients to cow them and make them compliant.”
What’s obvious is that hospital gowns were designed only for medical convenience, with no thought to fashion or the dignity of the wearer. They are purposely thin to keep patients from overheating. Made of cotton so they can be sterilized by washing in boiling water. Loose and shapeless, so medical staff can check vital signs quickly and protect any sutures from rubbing. And open in the back for injections and trips to the bathroom.
This is a garment that flatters no one – and certainly not a person who is deathly ill. The hospital gown ranks No. 1 in things that need to be redesigned. We invite you to nominate others that should be added to this list.