Creating scrub top designs for VCU Medical Center nurses
Creating scrub top designs for VCU Medical Center nurses

The VCU Health System Nursing Recruitment and Retention Council’s Image of Nursing subcommittee contacted the VCU School of the Arts to help create the new women’s nursing uniform. The result: a fashion-forward scrub top design that incorporated eco-friendly materials.

Student researcher: Ameya Chumble (B.A. ’14/H&S; B.S. ’14/H&S), second-year medical student

Faculty mentor: Kimberley Guthrie, interim assistant chair and associate professor, VCU Department of Fashion Design and Merchandising

A DOSE OF ECO-FASHION

AMEYA CHUMBLE: Ms. Guthrie and I met at a program through The Honors College called the Freshman Research Institute. She talked about eco textiles and designs. I emailed her and said I was interested in what she was doing. It blossomed into a project. When she presented the project to me, my first thought was, Should I do this? I came to the conclusion that it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But another thing that attracted me was that it had something to do with the medical field; If I’m trying to be a doctor, it was nice to be designing it for the medical field.

KIMBERLEY GUTHRIE: I wanted to know more about what was going on textile-wise in the medical industry. It was hard to find that information but Ameya did all the textile research. He tracked all these innovations that are happening in the textile field. He went way beyond the surface. He wanted the scientific numbers, the data. With research, students discover they have other interests. They learn, like Ameya, how to work with other people and to report to other people. You need that these days to be a global professional. I encourage it. Hopefully you’re planting this nice seed.

THE RESULTS: Getting involved in undergraduate research is one of those things you should really accomplish in college — some type of research project outside of your discipline. Crack it open a little bit and see what either falls in or falls out. One of the main things I got out of this was sharing my ideas with a lot of different people on a team. Another thing was how to just go in there and get it done. Looking at Ms. Guthrie and how she managed the team taught me how to be a leader. That’s going to be very helpful for me in the future.