- 1 How to Choose the Right White Coat
- 2 How to Maintain Your White Coat
- 3 The 5 Best Medical Student White Coats You Can Find
- 4 Conclusion
One of the most important parts of your gear as a med student is your white coat. It’s a hallmark of the profession and an invaluable asset in your future work. But, how to find the right one when you’re just starting out?
In this article, you’ll learn how to do just that and how to maintain your white coat, so it stays pristine in the years to come. Finally, you’ll see the reviews of the best medical student white coats on the market! Let’s get started!
How to Choose the Right White Coat
Once you’re out there shopping for a white coat, you’ll see that it’s much more than just a piece of plain white cloth. At that point, picking the right one becomes incredibly difficult but here are a few things you should look out for if you want to succeed at that.
White coats can be made out of many different types of materials – here are some of the most common ones and how they fare.
Cotton – Cotton is a mainstay in the clothing industry and for a good reason, since it’s lightweight, comfortable, easy to wash and durable. The versatility of the material can’t be understated. However, they are typically not resistant to fire, stains or chemicals, so watch out.
Polyester/Cotton Blend – This is what you get when you mix cotton with a synthetic material, typically polyester. Depending on the ratio of the blend, the coat will have different properties. However, a 60/40 blend of polyester/cotton is considered to give you the best of both worlds – a comfortable, stain-resistant and durable piece of clothing.
Barrier Polyester – These types of white coats are made specifically to prevent fluid penetration and are used when dealing with infectious materials. They are typically not resistant to flames.
Nomex – The best fire-resistant material that’s also durable and resistant to washing. However, it’s not particularly comfortable or resistant to fluids.
Nylon – This is a lightweight and sturdy material that can withstand a lot of tension and is waterproof. They can also be fire and chemical resistant.
Rayon – A durable synthetic fabric that can last through repeated washing but is vulnerable to chemical damage.
Never buy disposable white coats, even though they might seem like a good choice at times – they can be extremely dangerous, especially around fire.
Being comfortable in your white coat is important not only for you but for the patients you will be dealing with. The more comfortable you are, the better you will be at your job.
You might be tempted to get a fancier, more form-fitting white coat but always try to search for function over form. Just get something you feel comfortable in, and that won’t cause you to sweat too much.
It should also be easy to put on and remove in the case of an emergency – again, function over form is the key.
While you’re not likely to come across too many dangerous situations during your medical studies, they are bound to be at least a few. Wearing a white coat that will help keep you safe in those situations is a must.
White coats with snap-on buttons that can be easily taken off in the case of a fire or chemical spill can be extremely helpful, for example. Coats made out of more fireproof and chemical proof materials are also a good choice.
The length of the sleeves is also important for safety. Short sleeves are a hazard if you think there may be a danger of fire or chemicals, but long sleeves can be equally dangerous if there’s a chance of them getting stuck in machinery, for example. All of this goes for the length of the coat as well.
There’s a lot you need to consider, but safety should always be one of the priorities.
Lastly, your white coat needs to be functional in more ways than one. One of the most important things to keep in mind is pockets. They can be a lifesaver, and you should try to get a white coat that has at least two large side pockets, a chest pocket, and an inner pocket. Zippered pockets are also a plus since you will be less likely to lose your stuff.
Having a coat that has a clip on the back of the neck to hold the stethoscope is also useful.
There are many other utility features that a white coat can have, and you should consider them before you purchase it.
How to Maintain Your White Coat
Once you have your white coat, you need to make sure that it will last for a while. White coats are notoriously prone to staining and everyone who’s worn this piece of clothing for at least one day in the hospital is aware of that.
So, here’s how to deal with some of the most common hazards and properly maintain your white coat.
- Wash your white coat regularly – at least once per week
- Don’t wash it with colored clothing
- Iron your coat after you wash it
- If you have pets, regularly remove hair from it with rollers
- Don’t fold the coat – make sure it is always hung up
Removing Blood Stains – Ah, the most common of all problems and one of the most difficult to deal with. Blood stains can be removed, but it does take some effort. The most important thing is to get to it fast, but it can still be removed if you act within a few hours of the stain occurring.
Put some hydrogen peroxide on the stain to start with and use gloves while doing it. Then wash your coat by hand using only cold water and some laundry soap. If the stain isn’t gone after that, soak the coat in cold water overnight along with a cleaning powder, and then wash it again in the morning.
Contagious Fluids – If your coat happens to come in contact with fluids containing bacteria, yeast, viruses, fungi or parasites, you need to wash it as soon as possible.
Start by filling a container with hot water and bleach, and then let your coat soak in the mixture for around 30 minutes. After that, put it in the wash and use a warm washing cycle.
Removing Coffee Stains – Coffee is the best friend of all medical students, at least until it betrays you and stains your white coat. The key here is, again, to act fast. Put cold water on the stained area as soon as possible and use some stain remover on it. Then, wash it as soon as possible, and it should be fine unless the stain is more than a day old.
Refurbishing a White Coat – If you have a white coat full of stains that refuse to come out, it might not be time to throw it away just yet. Here’s a technique you can use to restore your white coat and use it for a bit longer.
First, place stain remover on any stains and let the coat soak in warm water overnight with a lot of boosters added to the mix. Put just enough water to completely cover the coat in it.
The next morning you should put the coat in hot water with half a cup of bleach added. Let it soak for around 30 minutes, take it out and do a heavy duty wash in warm water with no other clothes except your coat – use laundry soap to do it. This should make your coat look presentable, but it probably can’t be done more than once.
The 5 Best Medical Student White Coats You Can Find
Natural Uniforms Unisex 40 inch Lab Coat, White
This is a professional-looking white coat made to fit both men and women. It is made with a good 65/35 mixture of polyester and cotton, making it both comfortable and durable in the long run.
The fit is a bit suspect, though, since it’s larger at the top and will most likely favor men. It also tends to run small, so you will probably need to order a size up.
It features a total of three pockets – two side pockets and one breast pocket, all reasonably deep but without zippers. Still, since they open up on the top, it’s not likely that anything will fall out.
It is 40 inches long which is standard in most medical schools so you won’t have any problems there.
Overall, it’s quite a good white coat, and it comes at a decent price.
- Three deep, safe pockets
- Comfortable and durable
- Fairly priced
- Made from quality materials
- It’s not truly unisex, more suited to men
- It runs a bit small
Utopia Wear Professional Men Lab Coat (White)
This is strictly a men’s white coat but it is made to fit well, and if you get the size that usually fits you, it will be perfect for you.
It is made from a good blend of polyester and cotton and is made to be quick thick, so it’s reasonably safe. However, it does run a bit hot in the summer months, but it will keep you warm in the winter, unlike most white coats.
It features three pockets that are deep enough and safe. It also has something most coats lack – an opening on the side so you can reach into your pants pockets. That’s a small addition, but a valuable one.
Overall, it’s comfortable and sufficiently durable though the buttons do tend to pop off on their own once in a while. Other than that, it’s great.
- Made from high-quality fabric
- Machine washable
- Comfortable and quite durable
- Three deep pockets and openings for pants pockets
- It’s not breathable enough
- The buttons tend to pop off
Dickies Everyday Scrubs Unisex 40 Inch Lab Coat
This white coat has a true unisex fit that will be good for most men and women. It doesn’t run too small or too large like most unisex white coats do – you can order it without worrying about that.
It does run a bit long though, and for shorter people, it might be a bit too long, so be wary of that. The sleeves won’t be too long, though.
It’s made with a good 65 to 35 polyester/cotton blend, and it washes just fine in the washing machine.
As far as utility goes, there are three deep pockets on the front of the coat, and it features openings for your pants pockets. Overall, it’s great in that regard.
The only major downside here is that the coat is a bit too thin. It works well in the summer months or in hot environments, but it might get ripped up too easily if you’re not careful.
- True unisex fit
- It has openings for pants pockets
- Deep and safe pockets, three of them
- It’s easy to unbutton
- A bit too long for shorter people
- Too thin
Dr. James Professionally Designed Unisex Lab Coat – 39 Inch Length
This is a decent unisex lab coat that does run a bit large but is able to fit both men and women to a satisfactory degree.
It’s made from a usual mix of polyester and cotton, a 65/35 blend which provides it with good durability and the fabric is reasonably thick. There are a lot of loose threads though, and they might unravel the coat if you don’t cut them off in time.
The pockets here are a bit unusual – there are four of them on the front, but not in the usual way. There’s a breast pocket and two large pockets on the front of the coat. The right pocket also houses a smaller pocket inside it, intended for a smartphone. The coat has openings for your pants pockets as well.
Overall, it’s a decent white coat that comes at a good price.
- Great, useful pockets and openings
- It has a true unisex fit
- A decent, affordable price
- Breathable in the summer
- It runs a bit large
- Lots of loose threads
Meta LabWear Unisex Colored 40″; Lab Coat
This is one of the rare white coats with an inside pocket, and that’s highly appreciated. It does have the three usual outside pockets as well, and they’re not too shabby either. The slits to access your pants pockets are there as well.
Another great thing that’s included is a swing belt, something that most white coats don’t come with. Some people might find it superfluous, but it can be useful to hold your coat together in certain situations.
Overall, it’s decently durable though the fabric is thinner than you would expect. However, that does make it highly breathable in the summer months, and the slightly shorter sleeves also help but make it a bit unsafe.
It’s not a bad coat, and it runs a bit big so order a size up if you’re getting it.
- Features a two-piece swing belt
- Three outside and one inside pocket
- Made to be durable
- Highly breathable
- The fabric is a bit thin
- It runs a little big for most people
That’s about all there is to it! If you follow this guide closely, you will be able to find a great medical white coat in no time and keep it in good condition for a long while.
But, if you’re still stressing about your choice, here’s the best one of these five products – it’s the Dr. James Professionally Designed Unisex Lab Coat. It has great pockets, it’s durable, and it’s a good fit for most people, making it one of the top white coats on the market.
In case you have any questions or thoughts, pop them down in the comments and see you next time!