What Color Scrubs Do Nurses Wear?

scrubs for nurse and doctor
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Scrubs for Nurses

While many healthcare environments may allow nurses to have fun with their scrub colors and patterns, many more will implement dress code policies and scrub color structures for their healthcare workers in order to help patients and professionals identify who is who.

Generally these scrub colors will represent a professional’s role and duties, but often they will also represent what department or unit they are a part of. So, before you go hunting for scrub tops in cool colors, you’ll want to know if the color has already been taken!

 

scrubs for nurse and doctor

What Color Scrubs Do Doctors Wear?

Although many doctors spend the majority of their time in lab coats, doctors are both traditionally and still commonly found in navy blue scrubs when required. Even in an environment with no dress-code or color structure, navy blue is a bold, knowledgeable, and authoritative color that doctors tend to utilize willingly.

scrubs for nurse and doctor

What Color Scrubs Do Surgeons Wear?

Surgeons are almost always found in iconic green scrubs. While the range spans from a light green to a deep teal and touches every shade of mint and turquoise along the way, you know them when you see them, and you know that they belong in the operating room. During their time in the OR, green surgical scrubs have proven to be extremely effective when it comes to identifying and preventing the spread of unwanted contaminants, as most colors (in particular the red of blood) stand out on these contrasting greens.

scrubs for nurse and doctor

What Color Scrubs Do Nurses Wear?

While you may have thought that you could jump to this section and get a simple answer, it’s not quite that straightforward. Traditionally, nurses have always been found in white. That being said, white has proven to be impractical for nurses, as it’s incredibly hard in a role like this to KEEP them white. These days, nurses can be found in colors of all sorts, but light blues tend to be the most common color choice.

scrubs for nurse and doctor

What Color Do Medical And Nursing Assistants Wear?

While there is no scrub color structure that represents medical assistants or nursing assistants in particular, common color choices for these roles include pinks, whites, dark blues, wine shades and scrubs with patterns adorning them — depending on the type of assistant they are and the unit they are a part of.

 

What if Your Place of Practice Has No Dress Code?

While color-coded scrubs are standard in many facilities for good reason, they are not standard or even utilized in others, also for good reason. If you have no dress code, you’ll want to find colors that are flattering to your personal color palette by comparing them against your skin. Simply hold a color up to your face and take a look at whether it washes you out or makes you “glow” — if it’s got you glowing, it’s a good color choice for you!

scrubs for nurse and doctor

Aside from how you feel and look in a color, though, you’ll want to consider the fact that the color you pick will have a major impact on those around you as well.

scrubs for nurse and doctor

  • White is generally preferred by healthcare professionals and patients alike, thanks to it’s seemingly proven purity and ability to instill a sense of order and authority. While today’s nurses aren’t found in the starched white uniforms they once were, thanks to how hard it was/is to actually KEEP them looking clean and pure, the color is still widely encouraged and embraced!

scrubs for nurse and doctor

  • Pink is a wonderful color when it comes to showcasing your softer side. Wearing pink scrubs is a nice reminder to your patients that you’re a nurturing nurse, from its impact as a color to the fact that it brings out the soft pinks in your cheeks and lips to accentuate your caring face. Its impact is especially noticeable in children, who seem to prefer nurses in light pink scrubs.

 

  • Red is an uncommon and somewhat unwelcome color in healthcare facilities, as it not only coaxes most patients to think about blood and become anxious, but is known to cause a rise in blood pressure as well. Red has the potential to be a great color choice if it’s being utilized to bring awareness to something, thanks to how attention-grabbing it can be, but it should otherwise generally be avoided!

scrubs for nurse and doctor

  • Orange scrubs are very versatile, in shade choices, and will generally emit your enthusiasm and enhance a room’s energy. Certain shades of orange, like a nice warm burnt orange, can also be extremely comforting and sophisticated, along with being the perfect choice for autumn.

 

  • Yellow is notoriously fun, happy and full of energy! Yellow scrubs are great, then, as a bright warm burst in autumn, a bloom of liveliness in spring or a fitting beam in summer. That being said, it’s important to note that yellow is known to increase heart rate and blood pressure when you’re looking at it, just like red (though likely in a more positive way!).

scrubs for nurse and doctor

  • Green is a color that’s full of life so full of life that it outwardly projects a feeling of healing, well-being and optimism. Wearing green scrubs not only encourages health and positivity but is a very versatile color when it comes to many holidays! As if that wasn’t enough, greens have also been noted to lower a person’s blood pressure when looking at them and to instill a certain calmness, which your patients will appreciate.

scrubs for nurse and doctor

  • Blue is among the most common scrub colors due to the sense of calmness that it instills, as well as the sense of belonging and expertise that it emits — nothing screams modern nurse more than a set of light blue scrubs. Not only will patients trust a nurse in light blue more and react to them better for these psychological reasons, but, thanks to the color’s ability to lower blood pressure and reduce anxiety, benefit from these reasons as well.

 

  • Wine shades like burgundy and maroon are classy, calming, powerful and professional. Especially popular within phlebotomy and geriatric units, these rich shades are flattering for the figure, complementary to most complexions, and easy on the eyes and moods of patients!

 

  • Brown, though uncommon, is a casual and professional color choice. This is a color that tends to evoke a relaxing and genuine feeling (likely due to being pleasantly rich, earthy, and non-threatening), and it is a great choice for healthcare professionals who struggle to keep scrubs looking crisp and clean.

 

  • Black is a bold, elegant and sophisticated scrub color choice that has been gaining popularity in recent years. When worn tastefully, black scrubs can be a great way to add a feeling of formality to your professional appearance, flatter your form and feel fresh and fashionable!

scrubs for nurse and doctor

Keeping Your Colors Bright

As a nurse, it’s important to not only look clean for your patients’ sake, but be clean enough to prevent bacteria, stains and odors — for everyone’s sake. Your scrubs will make the most impact when it comes to looking clean, and the vibrancy of your colors will only serve to amplify this. Unfortunately, in the process of really staying clean, your scrubs are going to take a beating and your colors are likely to fade — unless you take care of them!

Help them stay looking new by taking preventative measures like using a stain-resistant treatment or antimicrobial laundry additive and using proactive measures before wearing them like pre-washing your new pair of scrubs with a mixture of cold water and plain white household vinegar to set the color and keep them looking like the brand new scrubs for women that every nurse desires!

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