Implementation Date: 12/2008
Date of Last Revision: 10/31/2022
Next Review Due: 10/30/2025
Reviewed by VTH Administrative Team: 3/2013; 8/2022
Reviewed by VTH Board: N/A
Reviewed by Legal Counsel: N/A
Reviewed by Biosecurity Subcommittee: 5/2019; 8/2022
Subject to modification by the Biosecurity Subcommittee of the CVM Occupational Health and Safety Committee without approval.
Printable PDF: Clinical Attire Policy
Attire worn by personnel working in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH), including faculty, staff, students, and volunteers, will be defined by factors pertaining to service location and scope of activities. Clothing pertains to street wear, protective wear worn over street wear, surgical attire, and footwear. Persons in violation will be asked to remove themselves from clinical duty, until such time as the issue is rectified.
This policy applies to all faculty, staff (employed and volunteers), and students engaged in clinical receiving or service operations within the Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH) or outside the VTH while on VTH-related related business. This policy does not apply to activities within the VTH pertaining to research or teaching that are not associated with clinical service. This policy does not apply to activities within faculty offices.
- Clothing shall be kept neat, clean, and sanitary. Soiled clothing must be changed as soon as possible.
- Clothing must be professional in appearance and functional.
- Clothing with branding, other than that associated with the VTH, the College of Veterinary Medicine, or the University of Illinois, is not allowed to be worn by personnel when service activities require that they be in the presence of clients. (Affiliate students are provided an exemption to this guideline when wearing their white coats with their affiliate school emblem)
- No hoodies, sweatshirts, graphic t-shirts, shorts, athletic or leisure wear, or jeans will be worn while working in clinical service areas. Leggings may be worn if covered to thigh level. An exception to this is during designated Illinois recognition days when Illinois branded t-shirts and jeans in good condition may be worn.
- Professional-looking jackets and quarter-zip pullovers may be worn over scrub tops.
- Appropriate footwear shall be worn in all clinical spaces. No sandals or open-toed shoes are allowed in clinical service areas. Safety footwear may be worn and should be dedicated to the work environment.
- Clean scrubs must be worn in surgery. Surgical scrubs should be changed into immediately prior to entering the surgical suites. Scrubs worn outside of the VTH may not be worn in surgery. Scrubs worn in surgery must be covered with a scrub jacket or other appropriate covering when leaving the surgical suite. The covering should be removed again prior to re-entering into the surgical suites.
- In the exceptions of approved VTH initiatives events, (i.e. VTH Cultural events), no vulgar or offensive clothing shall be worn.
Procedure (if applicable)
Small Animal Hospital (SAC)
- Clean scrubs in good condition or professional clothing in good repair will be worn during clinical receiving.
- An appropriate covering, such as clean laboratory coat or scrub jacket, shall be worn over clothing in any clinical service area when directly involved with patients with suspected contamination or infectious disease. The covering shall be removed immediately after handling the patient has concluded. Soiled outwear shall be placed laundered prior to reuse.
- Animal caretakers will wear clean shirt and pants combinations provided by the VTH that are to be removed prior to leaving the Hospital at the end of the work day.
- Sandals or open-toe shoes are not considered appropriate for clinical attire when on clinical duty in clinical service areas.
- VM1 and VM2 students on clinical service in the VTH shall wear their blue coat when engaged in clinical receiving. Blue coats shall be clean and in good condition.
Large Animal Hospital (LAC)
- Standard coveralls, bib overalls or uniform shirt and pants should be worn while on clinics. Coveralls should provide protection for street clothing worn beneath.
- Soiled clothing should be changed as soon as possible.
- Technical support personnel are to wear coveralls, scrubs or scrub jacket/pants outfits while on duty.
- Personnel working in the Large Animal Hospital are to wear disinfect-able boots or shoes. Sandals or open-toe shoes are not considered appropriate for clinical attire when on clinical duty.
- The routine dress for ambulatory activities is coveralls or overalls with the same attention to wear as described above and in addition:
- Ambulatory personnel should disinfect footwear on the farm prior to leaving the farm.
- Preferably, soiled clothing should not be worn to another farm call and should be removed when returning to the VTH. Care should be exerted to minimize the risk of cross-contamination from soiled clothing.
- Personnel should not visit retail establishments wearing soiled ambulatory attire.
- Personnel wearing contaminated boots or coveralls should remove these items prior to entering VTH service space or other areas of the College.
- Clean and sanitary surgical scrubs and shoes must be worn in surgical suites.
- Surgical scrubs should be changed into immediately prior to entering the surgical suites.
- Scrubs worn outside of the VTH may not be worn into the surgical suites.
- Surgical scrubs that have been worn in the surgical suite, must be covered with a scrub jacket or other appropriate covering when leaving the surgical suite.
- The covering should be removed again prior to re-entering into the surgical suites.
- Clean and sanitary shoes must be covered with shoe coverings (booties) before entering the surgical suite.
- Personnel wearing shoe covers (booties) shall remove these prior to leaving the surgical suite area and should replace them when returning to the surgical suite.
Definitions (if applicable)
Protective wear: personal protective gear for infection control such as scrub jackets or other outer covering, disposable gowns, head cover, mask and shoe covers.
Safety footwear: footwear that provides appropriate support, has a non-slip sole, and is made of materials that are impermeable to moisture/pathogens. Safety footwear is closed-toe, with or without steel toe protection.
Street wear: casual clothing not for clinical or professional use.
Surgical attire: worn in semi-restricted and restricted areas of the surgery department includes the head cover, masks, surgical scrub set, scrub jacket and shoes.
Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH): The collective clinical services of the Large Animal Clinic, Midwest Equine, the Small Animal Clinic, and the Veterinary Medicine South Clinic.