What do different colored scrubs mean?

What do different colored scrubs mean?

Posted by Noel Asmar on

Classic black, traditional navy blue, or chic mauve—scrubs color meanings can impact your mood, communicate to your patients, and reveal your personal sense of style, too. With so many options available there’s no shortage of ways to mix and match colors, styles, and layers for your perfect set of scrubs.


Why do nurses and doctors wear different color scrubs?
Different colored scrubs may help an organization to differentiate roles and make team members easily identifiable. Historically, white scrubs were worn by staff as the color (or lack thereof) was thought to represent cleanliness and sterility. However, maintaining white scrubs can be a challenge and bright white scrubs have also been known to cause eye strain when staring at the color for extended periods.

Over time, colors like black and navy blue became common as they don’t stain as easily and are thought to convey professionalism helping to build trust between nurses, doctors, caregivers, and patients.


How does color impact well-being?
Have you ever noticed why most hospitals and medical facilities have the same color palette? Believe it or not, color plays a big role in health. Research has shown different colors not only impact our emotions, making us happy, sad, angry, or even depressed, but can also translate into physical responses like raising or lowering blood pressure and heart rates.

Creating a space that’s calming (think neutral colors that aren’t too bold or vibrant) can help a patient to feel safe and incorporating shades found in nature like soft greens and pale blues, have a positive impact on physical and emotional well-being. These colors represent tranquility, peace, and renewal and are known to help individuals feel grounded in the midst of what can be an overwhelming time.


When it comes to picking out your scrubs, cool colors like (like blue, indigo, and green) convey strength and trust and have been shown to help a patient feel more at ease, while warm colors (like red, orange, and yellow) can be too bright or bold and can even cause a patient’s heart rate to rise. Red, which is associated with anger, can also be triggering as it can resemble blood and trauma making it a uniform color to avoid in these settings. Opting to wear softer warm shades like pink or mauve instead can inspire feelings of soothing comfort and gentleness—something everyone wants in a nurse or caregiver.

What color scrubs should I pick?
Color choices for scrubs have exploded recently. While some hospitals and workplaces may have rules regarding what color scrubs are acceptable, many places don’t, meaning you can wear whatever makes you feel your best. Consider mixing and matching lights and darks—like black joggers with a jade or mauve top—especially if you’re working in pediatrics or a unit where you’ll encounter kids on a regular basis. The pop of color can be a welcome cheery boost that makes you appear more inviting and friendly. Or keep it simple and sleek and rock your favorite color from head to toe knowing you’ll look and feel your best in scrubs Made For the Way You Move™.

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