‘#PantsTheVirus:’ Whacky patterned yoga pants help raise morale for Somerset County doctors, nurses

Yoga pants with whacky designs helped to reduce stress dramatically at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset.

News 12 Staff

Apr 30, 2020, 2:08 PM

Updated 1,444 days ago

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Yoga pants with whacky designs helped to reduce stress dramatically at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset.
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It all happened after Dr. Marc Milano, an emergency room doctor, pulled a pair of yoga pants over his scrubs. But not just any yoga pants -- a box of crazy patterned pants was dropped off by a local resident, so nurses had something clean to change into once their shifts were over.
The pants sat untouched in the break room until Dr. Milano was looking to reduce the tension. Once his co-workers saw him in the pants, everything changed.
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"So, one night, when I thought morale was under pretty heavy fire, I thought it was time for me to do something different something radical and way out of my comfort zone,” says Dr. Milano. “So, I just pulled up a pair of pants over my scrubs and I walked around the ER nonchalantly.”

Slowly but surely, co-workers started noticing Dr. Milano in his crazy yoga pants.
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"Being chairman of the Emergency Department I think people were a little bit shocked to see I was walking around in these brightly colored pants,” says Dr. Milano. “Do you know I'm a fairly conservative guy? So, for me to have done that it was like people were wondering if it was OK to even laugh, but once I sort of encourage them; it's OK, it literally cut the tension like a knife. There was just chuckling and laughter and like I said the mood of this place was elevated instantaneously.”

Dr. Milano has since created the #PantsTheVirus as a way to promote the idea to other hospitals and to let them know it really helped boost morale.
The doctor and woman who left the pants have since become social networking friends. She plans on dropping off more yoga pants in the future, and now, the hospital will have a Hawaiian Shirt Day Friday.


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