EVERETT — Before that colonoscopy or proctology exam, isn’t it uplifting to see your health care attendant wearing colorful medical scrubs?
Doesn’t it just say, “Hey, we’ll get through this and maybe even chuckle about it later.”
“If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you work good,” said Vinson Latimore, 51, the founder and owner of Choices Scrubs + Medical, a new Everett business that sells medical scrubs and medical supplies.
Latimore launched the first Choices Scrubs store at a Bellingham location in 2008. This spring, he opened a second outlet at 7705 Evergreen Way in Everett.
The spacious, 4,700-square-foot store occupies the former Catherine’s clothing store at Cascade Plaza, near Planet Fitness and Ross Dress for Less.
The store also rents and sells walkers, wheelchairs, hospital beds, lift chairs, orthopedic shoes and other medical supplies for home health care.
“We’re trying to be a one-stop shop,” said Latimore, looking dapper in cobalt-blue scrubs.
Latimore started the chain out of frustration, he said. He once owned an assisted living facility in Tacoma and was concerned when he saw “employees come to work dressed unprofessionally,” he said. “I began supplying them with three sets of scrubs.”
What are scrubs and how did they get their name?
In the 1950s, hospital workers began wearing cotton trousers and short-sleeved, V-neck tops to protect patients in the operating room. The green or blue get-up was called “scrubs” because they were worn in a “scrubbed,” or clean, environment, health care historians say.
Those two colors still hang on the racks, but now scrubs also come in pink, aqua, gold, black and patterns, along with a variety of fabrics and fabric weights. Most pieces are priced from $20 to $40 and are available in a range of sizes, from petite to 5-extra-large and tall.
A couple of years ago, the world at large discovered scrubs.
Gardeners say they’re great for digging in the yard. Gym rats like them for workouts. And now, work-from-home types have discovered their stretchy, elastic waistbands. Others say they make excellent pajamas. For people with limited mobility, Velcro fasteners make them easier to slip on and off.
Scrubs also carries children’s scrubs that double as costumes. “They’re a favorite at Halloween,” Latimore said.
Like the fashion trade, scrub styles, colors and fabrics rotate with the seasons. Popular this spring and summer: the jogger versions, with a tapered leg and fabric ankle cuff, Latimore said.
Latimore hopes to partner with local colleges and nursing schools to provide used scrubs to students.
“I don’t want a set of scrubs to be a barrier to students entering the medical field,” he said.
Last year, Latimore launched The Choices Scrub Drive through the Bellingham store. Health care facilities were urged to donate gently used scrubs. In all, the store cleaned, pressed and distributed 700 sets of scrubs, including 200 new sets from its own inventory, Latimore said.
You’ve heard of pop-up stores and food trucks. Latimore hopes to put a new spin on that with the store’s “scrub bus,” a mobile store stocked with scrubs, doctors’ coats and footwear.
Down the road, “the plan is to visit local doctors’ and dentists’ offices and assisted living and retirement communities,” Latimore said.
Janice Podsada; firstname.lastname@example.org; 425-339-3097: Twitter: JanicePods