Plus size hospital gowns are necessary for a comfortable hospital stay. If the medical facility cannot provide one, a patient can usually bring her own. This will ensure a proper fit as well as a sense of comfort for the patient.
Designs of Plus Size Hospital Gowns
The gown that is provided when you check into a hospital or go into an office for a medical test is called a Johnny. It is simple in design, with a sleeve extending from the garment like a kimono. The fabric is usually a cotton/polyester blend that adds to the washability and durability of the fabric.
Hospital gowns are available in a variety of designs for specific purposes. For example:
- Hospital stay - The knee-length gown is designed with fabric panels that wrap around the patient's back. The panels have attached fabric ties, which are specifically designed to be tied to the left or right side. These side ties are more comfortable to lie down on than a center-tied gown.
- Heart monitoring - This gown is designed like the hospital stay gown with two additions:
- Snap sleeves - The top seam on the sleeve has snaps so that the gown can be removed without having to unhook or reposition any electronic wiring.
- Telemetry pocket - There is a small chest pocket into which a portable telemetry unit can be placed.
- X-ray - The hospital stay gown is often worn during x-rays. Sometimes a closed-back, dress-style gown is provided for full body x-rays or if the patient is required to do a lot of moving during the procedure.
- Mammogram - This gown is waist length and is designed to tie in the front.
- Test or office visit - This gown may be designed like the hospital stay gown. It might have a Velcro-like closure instead of ties.
Hospital gowns are produced in sizes from small to 10X. Most medical facilities only provide one size which fits a patient who weigh up to about 200 pounds. This gown is often too small for many plus size women.
Gowns that are too small are restrictive through the shoulders and upper arms and they may not have enough width to wrap fully around the patient. Some medical facilities may have limited quantities of plus size gowns, which are designed to fit patients who weigh more than 200 pounds. If this larger size gown is not available or does not fit the patient, the medical staff will usually try to make the patient feel more comfortable by either:
- Providing the patient with two gowns, one to cover the front and the other to cover the back.
- Ordering a larger gown from the medical facility's linen supplier. It may take up to a week to receive the order.
Finding a Comfortable Gown
The keys to having a comfortable gown are pre-planning and telling the medical staff if a gown is too small. A patient should contact a medical facility before admittance to check what actions they will take if a larger gown is needed. This will give the facility time to pre-order a larger gown if necessary. If a larger gown is not provided, a medical facility will usually allow a patient to wear their own sleepwear or hospital gown. Hospital gowns in numerous styles and colors are available for purchase from several retailers for reasonable prices.
A hospital will usually have plus size hospital gowns available, but patients should provide their own robes for modesty while walking outside of their hospital rooms. However, if the gown provided is not large enough, the patient should request a larger gown. And if that one isn't large enough, the patient should request a maternity gown.
Maternity gowns are usually made of the same fabric and design as non-maternity hospital gowns. They are very roomy in the shoulders and arms and they have long panels in the back to cross and tie. Maternity gowns may not be readily available in a non-maternity area, but they can be requested. A patient should ask the nurse to obtain several gowns that can be kept in the patient's room for planned and unplanned gown changes. The hospital's patient coordinator should be contacted if the hospital is not able to provide the patient with a gown that fits comfortably.
If the gown provided is not large enough, the patient should request either a second gown to cover their back or a maternity gown. Some tests require closed-back, dress-style gowns. The patient should request a larger gown if the gown provided is not a comfortable fit.
Doctor Office Visits
Paper gowns and paper lap sheets are usually provided for patients in a doctor's office instead of cloth hospital gowns. These paper gowns tend to be cut very wide and have large sleeve openings. A second gown can also be requested if needed.
Where to Buy
Retailers have started to inventory items to improve life for the plus size person such as plus size hospital gowns:
- Amplestuff - Gowns to size 10X. Standard and snap sleeve styles available.
- Personal Touch Home Health Care Apparel - Gowns to size 10X. Standard, snap sleeve and telemetry pocket styles available.
- Health Gear - Gowns to size 5X. Six-piece minimum.
Comfort and Coverage
Plus size hospital gowns take the embarrassment out of being improperly covered by too-small gowns. Whether you are at a doctor's office, in the hospital or having a specialized test, you will feel comfortable and have peace of mind knowing that you are wearing a hospital gown that fits correctly and provides full coverage.