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Sanford Bemidji Medical Center scrubs get color-coded; used scrubs will go to Haiti

Dr. Ray Majkrozak, ob-gyn, left, and Bruce Chaffee, a registered nurse, discuss plans to collect medical scrubs to be donated to Haiti while Majkrozak is there in the fall on a medical mission trip. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

Change is sometime difficult, but, occasionally, it can become a double positive.

Sanford Bemidji Medical Center on Friday began requiring unified colors of scrubs for its employees. For example, registered nurses must wear navy blue scrubs and those who work in respiratory must wear gray scrubs.

The change helps patients, guests and employees to more easily identify who is providing care, according to a Sanford statement.

Bruce Chaffee, an RN, saw the change as an opportunity to help others. Working with Dr. Ray Majkrazak, an ob-gyn specialist, they collected a hockey bag of used scrubs last fall that will accompany the doctor on a medical mission to Haiti.

In a mass email, Chaffee asked his 180 fellow RNs to donate their old scrubs, which would go to a hospital dignity closet - for those employees who may not be able to afford scrubs - or to underserved countries that could use the clothing.

"It was an overwhelming decision to donate to an underserved country," Chaffee said.

Majkrazak will return this fall to Haiti, bringing with him, hopefully, many boxes of donated scrubs.

"It's an opportunity for nurses to make a good positive statement," Chaffee said. "The changeover turned into

an adventure to help."