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Scrubs for House Staff

Last Updated: April 22, 2020


The Problem: The combination of increased personnel and stricter sanitation protocols led to a shortage of clean scrubs for residents. Students have 2 scrub credits for anatomy and their OB/GYN and surgery rotations, but often would also have stockpiles of institution-issued scrubs in their apartments. 

Our Approach Students organized the #Scrubs4Housestaff campaign to collect hospital-issued scrubs from medical students, launder them, and redistribute them to housestaff. A centralized form with a QR code to apply for return scrub credits was created after consultation with administration. Word of the campaign was spread via social media, word of mouth, and postings in public areas in apartment buildings. Student captains were designated for each of 2 apartment buildings in which medical students predominantly live. The captains set out collection bags in a central location (e.g. mailroom, laundry room) including a QR code for return scrub credit, and coordinated other scrubs hand-offs among building residents. They also laundered dirty scrubs, sorted, and returned the scrubs to the hospital. This campaign was time-limited and ended on the designated date of return, by which all willing medical students had relinquished their scrubs. 

Key stakeholders: 

  • Medical students: Donated, collected, laundered, and delivered scrubs 
  • IM and EM Chief Residents: Coordinated bulk drop-off, directly distributed scrubs to the medical teams under their purview 
  • Student housing building supervisors: Vetted potential areas for collection in the apartments and reviewed fire safety or ingress/egress issues with collection box placement
  • Office of Medical Education: Coordinated scrub credit refund 

Outcomes by the numbers: 

  • Scrubs:  249 complete sets of scrubs were rehomed (distributed evenly amongst EM and IM teams) + 10 unpaired lone pants/shirts 
  • Students: 60 medical students claimed scrub credit (honor system, presumed donors) 
  • Duration: 1 week’s time from start to finish 

Participation: Open to all medical students 


NYU Med Students v. COVID19, NYU Grossman School of Medicine (nyusomvcovid19@gmail.com)