There you are, a little nervously toying with the appointment card, thinking one thing only: what to wear? And, more importantly: what will you not be wearing during examinations. I’ll walk you through the key points.
StripeyDressy’s Medical Dress Code
First up – The women-only examination which involves legs up in the stirrups. In this case, you’re better off with a skirt or something long, so that you can at least try to stay a little bit covered whilst hanging there I know someone who actually asked if she could leave her socks on.
And, while we’re at it: labour, delivery, childbirth. Hours shopping for that special outfit, quick and easy openings for breastfeeding, matches everything. Hahahaha. Need I say more?
Physiotherapist. Above all, wear something easy, advises the leaflet. In a subtle sort of warning. Which usually means that you’ll be expected to lie for half an hour on the treatment table in almost nothing but your birthday suit. On your stomach and with your face through that hole. All the while conducting animated conversations about your muscle tone and those exercises that you’re most definitely going to do from now on, honest. I’m sure you’ve checked your underwear before the appointment.
Dentist. Make sure that there’s no ‘debris’ stuck in your teeth. That way you needn’t endure the critical glances from the assistant as she silently awaits her next command from the dentist. Cleavage makes no sense, because they’ll only cover it up with that unsightly green patch. Makeup is another consideration: you’ll need to look good close up. And, the devil is in the detail. That’s not a hair on your chin, is it?
Specialist. Check if a physical examination is on the cards. “You may get undressed now…you can leave your socks on.” You need to be prepared for this. The doctor too for that matter, but that’s another story. But physical examination or not, you still need to know what to wear. Should you present yourself as a business-like ImmeDressy that’s got everything under control? Casually groomed, as if totally at ease in the waiting room? And, I haven’t even got to the ‘jacket on or off’ decision yet. Makeup is a factor at the specialist too. No make-up looks so bare and pasty. Too much is no good either. And a specialist is just as likely to scrutinise your clothes, personal hygiene, teeth, and everything else. So, it’s perfectly logical that you’ll sometimes spend more time thinking about what to wear, than figuring out where that appointment card is again, or even what to ask once you get there.
I once visited the dental surgeon 3 to 4 times a week in terrible pain. Even the triple diclofenac and the something with ‘pam’ at the end of it didn’t help. I wanted to make sure that when I entered the treatment room, he immediately knew who I was. So each time I wore the same striking blue cardigan. So that he would think: oh that’s that woman with the terrible pain. The one who won’t be fobbed off if I tell her it will clear up all by itself, and here’s some paracetamol. This also worked well with the nurse. After just 2 or 3 visits in that same blue cardigan, she instantly knew who I was.
Rheumatologist. Although I don’t suffer from arthritis, I still had reason to visit one once. You have to stand on a glass plate where they start to measure everything. Had I known in advance, I’d have worn jeans. For under that glass lurks a mirror. It was summer, and I was wearing a skirt. Nice.
Lastly, if you’re going for test results, don’t wear your favourite clothes, because you’ll likely never want to wear them again. These days, I always recommend wearing the same ImmeDressy for each and every medical visit. This allows more time for locating that appointment card AND there’s a greater chance that the doctor / nurse / therapist will instantly know who you are.
I have the distinct feeling that this just might be the first EVER article on patient dress code.