Save Your Scrubs

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Nurses Collect 810 Pounds of Scrubs for Developing Nations

When Kristi Bode, RN, and Niki Giddings, RN, launched a drive last spring to collect scrubs for medical workers in developing countries, they never imagined that more than 1,000 tops and bottoms would pour in from across the East Baltimore campus.

“Literally bags and bags and bags of scrubs came in,” says Bode. She and Giddings, who work together on the neurosciences critical care unit, put out a request to nursing units for clinical attire with no holes, tears, stains, or embroidered names. What they received, along with hundreds of suitable tops and bottoms, included a sampling of vintage items, such as skirts, dresses, aprons, caps, and a fair amount of scrubs with garish colors and puffy sleeves, Bode says. “It was hilarious.”

The ongoing scrubs drive, launched in February, is part of the Save Your Scrubs campaign run by Global Links, a Pittsburgh-based medical relief agency that collects and distributes equipment and supplies to developing nations around the world. Since 2008, Johns Hopkins has contributed thousands of gently used items to the relief agency, including wheelchairs, crutches, IV poles, exam tables, medical supplies, and mattresses.

Of all the medical institutions participating in the drive, The Johns Hopkins Hospital has so far delivered the biggest haul, says Hayley Brugos, medical outreach manager at Global Links. “We weighed the scrubs and they totaled 810 pounds!”

Now that their mountainous collection has arrived at Global Links, Bode and Giddings are taking a break from the drive. Then, says Bode, “We’d like to start back up in six months or so, so that that our new employees or people who didn’t get around to it the first time can donate their old scrubs.”

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