What do anatomic pathologists wear to work in Omaha and Tampa?
March 17, 2013 12:17 AM   Subscribe

I'm visiting pathology labs for work, and want to be respectful of the workplace attire. I've seen a couple of labs in California, where jeans are practically the dress code in every industry. Traveling to Omaha this week and Tampa next week. What to wear?

Additional details, in case they matter: we're talking about anatomic pathologists who practice in clinical settings; typically hospitals. From experience, some wear lab coats and others don't -- I'm less interested in what they're wearing, and more interested in what I should be wearing.

I'm female, and not part of the healthcare industry. It will be cold in Omaha, and warm in Tampa.
posted by nadise to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total)
Disclaimer: I've worked in hostpitals in the uk and australia.

I did a google images search, and from that I got the impression that omaha is more uniformy than tampa.

In my experience you can't go wrong with a light blue shirt in a hospital (As a bloke, I would avoid a tie unless sn explicit dress code requirement). If it's cold enough to need a jumper/jacket, go with a somewhat darker colour than the shirt. Go for a neutral colour of skirt or trousers that goes with the shirt.
posted by singingfish at 3:27 AM on March 17, 2013

Just to give you a datapoint, in Rochester, NY, jeans are regularly worn.
posted by karlos at 3:46 AM on March 17, 2013

I've never worked in a hospital, but I have found that in general, twill pants in khaki, black, or charcoal, topped with a collared shirt in a flattering colour, and a jacket or cardigan of some kind, and worm with comfortable non-sneaker shoes (e.g. ankle boots, loafers, oxfords) will take you pretty much anywhere.
posted by rpfields at 4:26 AM on March 17, 2013 [6 favorites]

I grew up in Omaha, but I don't know anything about anatomical pathology. So! I'll interpret this as a generic question: what do Omaha hospital employees wear?

In my Omahavian experience, patient-facing health care professionals never wear jeans. For a woman in March, I'd commonly see nice dark shoes, grey/blue/khaki slacks, and a sweater or blouse. (As a man, I'm actually not sure what exactly the world "blouse" means but you get the idea.)

Relative to the coasts, clothing in the midwest is less important, and doesn't play the same role in signaling your values or place in the world. So: don't worry a whole lot. As a visitor, err on the side of overdressing. Really it's just a check box. Are you dressed "nice enough"? (e.g. no jeans, sorry.) Check. Move on.

For another data point, you could ping Bunny Ultramod, who's the most prominent MeFite with Omaha experience.
posted by Sfving at 5:11 AM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Most of the folk working in our anatomic path labs wear uniforms now. Except for the Dr. type persons. The guys wear slacks and shirt and tie, the ladies wear slack/skirts nice blouses. Our work place has tried to go non jeans for a while but doesn't take very well in the research areas. I'd say non-jean pants, nice blouse, closed toed shoes.
posted by PJMoore at 5:14 AM on March 17, 2013

not part of the healthcare industry

Why are you visiting these labs? That makes a big difference as to what you should wear.
posted by grouse at 8:37 AM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

I've worked in hospitals in several states (including the great plains and the south), and jeans were never allowed for anybody. That said, I could see the actual MD pathologists getting away with wearing jeans, while everyone else in the lab wears a uniform or some form of business casual. I would go with some version of twill pants and nice shirt or sweater.
posted by jeoc at 10:46 AM on March 17, 2013

Response by poster: @grouse - I'm a designer, interested in understanding pathologists' workflows and tools. I'm going to be observing and interviewing the pathologists.

Thanks to all for the recommendations! Got it: no jeans. :)
posted by nadise at 1:44 PM on March 17, 2013

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