Are Hospital Gowns for Patients or Health Care Providers?

Are Hospital Gowns for Patients or Health Care Providers?

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Hospital gowns are worn by both health care providers and by patients, and this duality of nomenclature can sometimes be confusing for those of us not in the health care field.

Hospital gowns that are specifically worn by health care providers can be isolation gowns, surgical gowns, procedural gowns and more, but regardless of the name, health care providers wear them as a barrier to provide infection control throughout different settings; they wear them for their own protection as well as for the protection of their patients.

On the other hand, hospital gowns that are worn by patients (also known as patient gowns) do not have a main purpose of infection control, but rather, they’re meant to provide medical staff easy access to the body. These are very useful in a variety of procedures such as basic exams and surgery.

Patient gowns can be disposable or reusable. Disposables are usually constructed of a paper material and are intended to be worn only once and then discarded. While disposables are initially less expensive to buy than washable cloth gowns, it may not be so for medium to long term usage as the costs quickly pile up over time since they are to be worn only once and therefore must be purchased again and again.

This article will focus on washable, cloth patient gowns. These are typically made of cotton, polyester, or a combination of the two. Since they can be washed, they help reduce waste, and because they are usually thicker and softer than disposables, they provide more coverage and comfort.

Traditional Patient Gowns

A traditional hospital/patient gown opens at the back and is easy to put on and take off since the front part gives full coverage and the back part is cut down the center. In the back, the patient gown will usually have ties at the neck and waist.

Here are two examples to consider:

Blue Straight Tie Back gown

The blue straight tie-back patient gown pictured above is lightweight and very economical. They are often worn by patients for basic exams at medical clinics, however they are also used by patients post surgically at home or in a medical setting.

Angle Tie Back Hospital Gown

Another option for a traditional gown (has ties and opens in the back) is the Angle Tie Back Hospital Gown. This patient gown is a slightly thicker gown and has an overlap at the tie at the back and the waist. Pictured below.

IV Patient Gowns

IV patient gowns have slits up the shoulders to provide for easy access for an IV line. The slit can be left open or closed with snaps so that the sleeves can be opened and closed as desired.

The IV patient gown also provide easy access for breastfeeding or can be used for patients who have difficulty getting an arm through a sleeve. By unsnapping the shoulder portion of the gown, it becomes easy to put the arm in and then just snap the closures.

The IV patient gowns also often have a telemetric IV pocket on the front chest which allows wires to pass through a buttonhole inside the pocket.

Bariatric Gowns

Very frequently, the patient gowns mentioned above are a one size fits all. However, the reality is that sometimes a larger size is necessary. Below are three larger size gowns in the market.




The designer ladies hospital gowns, pictured below, are available in both 100% soft cotton  and also a slightly lighter poly/cotton blend.

For those women who are looking for something other than an institutional looking hospital gown, these colorful, uniquely pretty gowns (many floral patterns) are a great option.

The designer ladies hospital gowns are available in three different sizes, all with two snaps that overlap at the neck for maximum privacy.

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