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In 1980's, I was introduced to Dr Seymour Butz and his wardrobe. Do you know him and his closet? Those are the hospital gowns which do not close in the back. (Hint: sound out the good doctor's name and you will finally get it). After decades of being a patient, you learn about these things.
I have also heard of the really 'weird-to-me' paper gowns. I have never experienced one of those and really hope not to but I believe they are prevalent in many parts of the country. I mean, first of all, paper? Is that meant to cover the average size person, never mind the larger than average size? And disposable? Sure it saves on laundry but what about landfills or additional trash to incinerate?
The hospital I go to has provided for many years cloth gowns and robes in three sizes: one size fits most, huge, and super-gigundo. Actually I think the robes come in two sizes: one size fits most and super-gigundo. You put the gown on open in the back and the robe over it in open in the front. That doesn't sound complicated but if you sit in the radiology waiting room you won't believe how many people do not get it.
However the gowns and robes are fairly ugly. I don't mind. I am not making a fashion statement in the hospital. And the reason for the ugliness is simple: it cuts down on theft. (Who wants to steal a hospital gown? Sense of taste people!)
Now fashion designers are stepping in after the CEO of some big hospital had to actually wear a hospital gown. Seriously, fashion designers? I have many concerns, while I understand the requirement for basic decency, let's not get out of control.
My biggest concern is cost. Hospital gowns should not be a big expense. Let's not create a lot of design costs, licenseing fees, or anything else. Keep them cheap. And let's not forget about the theft issue, they need to stay ugly (but functional). I can completely understand the desire to keep one's butt (literally) covered but in the day and age of growing medical expenses, hospital gowns should not be one.