As a paramedic, you want to make sure your EMS uniforms are always clean and presentable since this helps you maintain a professional appearance and make a good impression. A sloppy or dirty uniform reflects poorly on the individual and the group of EMT’s as a whole; however, a bit of care can go a long way toward creating a strong positive impression.
Always Pay Attention to Care Instructions
When you buy your EMS paramedic clothing, it will come with care instructions, just like all other clothing items you buy. Pay attention to these washing instructions and follow them carefully since they are designed to extend the life of your uniform. There might be specific instructions for the type of detergent to use, water temperature, whether you can iron the items, and more. In the case of boots, there will likely be instructions for spot cleaning and making the footwear shine.
Wash Uniforms Separately
Because of the tasks involved in an average day, EMT uniforms frequently become dirty after a single shift or perhaps just half a shift. Because of the amount of dirt and other materials that accumulate on the uniform, it is a good idea to wash your items separately from regular clothing and with hot water. The hot water will kill any bacteria and germs that have gotten onto the uniform, reducing the risk of disease.
Don’t Be Afraid to Iron
Unless your specific EMS uniforms state that they should not be ironed, a few minutes with your iron and ironing board can go a long way toward maintaining a professional appearance. Before ironing, confirm that the clothing’s care instructions do not tell you to avoid it and always take care during the ironing process, so you do not accidentally damage your uniform.
Consider Shirt Stays
Although they are not directly related to EMS uniforms care, shirt stays are a good idea to consider if you find your shirt constantly becoming untucked. An untucked shirt not only looks unprofessional but also will have a higher risk of getting dirty since the bottom portion of the shirt might fall into blood or other liquids you come across during the day. Shirt stays can keep your EMS paramedic uniform tucked in to reduce this risk.
Know How to Get Out Stains
Unfortunately, stains are bound to happen no matter how hard you try to keep your EMS uniform clean. They may be work-related, such as blood or vomit, or something simple, like food grease from an accidental spill while you rushed to eat a meal. With any stain, remove it as soon as possible. Stains become more challenging to remove the longer they sit. For a blood stain, you might be able to get it out with just some cold water. Blot the stain and then wash it right away. If that doesn’t remove the stain, soak the stain in white vinegar for ten minutes before washing it. In the case of a vomit stain, try rinsing it out with cold water. If rinsing doesn’t work, soak it with a mixture of warm water, liquid detergent, and ammonia and rinse well before washing in warm water with detergent. You can get rid of sweat stains with vinegar, baking soda, salt, and hydrogen peroxide before washing the clothing normally.