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Medical Scrubs: What do the Different Colors Mean?

scrubs for sale

Maybe you’ve been in a hospital and wondered why doctors, nurses, and other hospital employees wear their medical uniforms in different colors. Do hospitals require particular colors for specific roles? Or are the colors and styles of scrubs for sale completely arbitrary, and based on the individual’s preferences?

While not technically medical uniforms, by the 80s and 90s, scrubs had become the unofficial uniforms of nurses and other medical personnel. Originally, scrubs worn by doctors were all white, as this color represents cleanliness. Though white scrubs are still used, it’s far more common for doctors and surgeons to wear green scrubs. Green is thought to be easier on the eyes, and since it contrasts sharply with the color red, it’s easy to spot traces of blood.

While some medical centers don’t have any system for what colors personnel use, in others there’s a color code system — a specific color for a particular department. This is helpful because someone can see a hospital employee and immediately know what department they’re from, without having to look at a name tag. It also helps differentiate employees from residents in an assisted living center.

The different colors used vary from one hospital to another. However, the following list of common colors for medical scrubs for sale suggests why particular colors may be used.

White Scrubs

Truly the “classic” color for medical scrubs for sale, white has been used for medical uniforms since the beginning of modern medicine. White was a popular color because it represents cleanliness and sterility.

However, white uniforms have been known to cause eye strain and headache. Furthermore, blood and other bodily excrements would cause stains that couldn’t be fully removed, causing white scrubs to go out of popularity.

Green Scrubs

Green scrubs became a popular option after white ones were ditched for their headache-inducing effects. Green reduces eye strain, and it’s a calming color, associated with peace and healing. In fact, green has been scientifically shown to lower blood pressure. It’s also the color most used on hospital walls.

Blue Scrubs

Blue is another popular color for scrubs. Like green, blue is soothing and relaxing and can lower both anxiety and blood pressure. As a color, it also represents honesty, stability, and strength.

Purple Scrubs

Purple suggests royalty, mysticism, and strength. While often viewed as an unprofessional or childish option, it’s nonetheless fairly common among nurses and aids.

Red Scrubs

This is a comparatively uncommon choice. The color red has an alarming effect, literally speeding up one’s heart rate. It also doesn’t help a doctor and when he needs to be on the lookout for blood since they’re the same color. However, red can be a helpful choice in that it can lift the mood in an otherwise dull clinic.

Brown Scrubs

Brown tends to be everyone’s least-favorite color for medical scrubs, and it’s not hard to see why. This color is often associated with bodily functions, which can give it an unpleasant connotation. In spite of this, brown is a calming, earthy color that comes across as approachable and non-threatening.

Black Scrubs

Black is a popular color among medical students. It suggests seriousness and sophistication, but it can have a diminishing effect on one’s mood. On the plus side, black scrubs are easy to clean.

Yellow Scrubs

Yellow is a bold, cheerful color. Its effects are similar to those of red, as it can cause one’s heart rate to go up. For this reason, it isn’t often seen in hospitals. However, it’s an excellent choice for workers in hospice, as the color can help lift the mood in one’s environment.

Choosing Your Color

When you’re looking at medical scrubs for sale, you’ll first want to know if there’s a designated color for the role or department you’re serving. If not, you can choose the color that feels right for you, based on your personality, preferences, and the setting you’ll be working in.

Hopefully this guide to the different colors of scrubs will help you make the best decision for you.