What Does the Color of Scrubs Mean? 

As we all know that scrubs are an important part of hospitals as they are used by doctors and nurses daily. In the previous article we discussed the different fabrics for scrubs and now in this article, we will be talking about the different colors and what they mean. 

The significance of scrub colors varies, and it aids others in distinguishing between people from distinct departments at the hospital. According to studies, medical scrubs have an important influence in instilling trust in patients.

Some hospitals, particularly larger ones, color-code their employees. A few hospitals, on the other hand, allow its employees to select the color of their scrubs.

Whatever the situation may be, let us decipher the meaning of hospital scrub colors for you!

What Does the Color of Scrubs Mean

What are the different types of scrub color?


Talking from a psychological perspective, the color green denotes peace, well-being, and healing. Green scrub also seems fresh and energetic, and wearing it might provide a healthy boost to your patients.

On a scientific level, staring at green has been shown to reduce a person’s blood pressure. One reason for this might be that it is the opposite of red on the color wheel.

Green also helps to conceal strong red blood stains, allowing you to use the scrubs for longer periods of time before washing them. Finally, green relieves a surgeon’s eye strain during surgery, allowing them to focus.


White was the most common color worn by doctors, nurses, and surgeons. White was thought to symbolise cleanliness and purity at the time.

This mostly fell out of favour in the medical profession since early practitioners discovered that white creates a variety of problems. This color is extremely tough to remove blood stains from.

Even after sanitizing with bleach, the stain would not completely disappear, it would just turn to brown or green, and the scrubs would frequently have to be discarded. 


There are several reasons why blue is one of the most popular colors for scrubs. This color relaxes and calms people, decreasing blood pressure and relieving anxiety.

It also makes it easier for surgeons to focus on their jobs by masking the bright color of blood. And if it’s a deeper blue, the blood won’t stand out as much. Overall, blue is one of the most powerful and popular scrubs color options.


Purple may elicit a range of emotions depending on the individual. Although this color is most closely linked with royalty, some people believe it is less professional than other colors.

As a result, purple is a popular choice for medical personnel who work with children. Regardless, it’s not too harsh on the eyes, thus wearing this color poses no health risks to patients. 


The color brown exudes warmth, earthiness, and non-threatening vibes, making it an excellent choice if you want to appear trustworthy.

Some people even link it with stability and trust. So, perhaps it’s time to revisit the color brown as a scrubs option.


For many patients, red scrubs are the worst color you can wear. Because blood is red, red scrubs may remind patients of blood, which no one likes when they’re unwell.

Red, on the other hand, may be a wonderful scrub color option if you’re wearing it during an awareness campaign since you’re attempting to teach how to prevent a health risk and red can reflect that concern, making the argument hit deeper.

Otherwise, we recommend you to stay away from this scrub color at all costs.


Pink is connected with loving and care, making it an ideal color for nurses or people who work with children.

Pink, in contrast to red’s ability to elicit strong negative emotions, offers a visually relaxing experience for the majority of individuals who gaze at it.

It does this by the use of subdued tones that have a more subtle influence on people’s moods than red.


Gray, while being a neutral tone, is frequently linked with depression. According to studies, depressed individuals physically view the world in a grayer tone, which may explain why people feel worse when it’s gloomy outside and happy when it’s bright.

To prevent eliciting grief in patients, it may be better to avoid wearing grey scrubs.


When it comes to scrubs, black is an attractive choice. If you want to appear more official at work, wearing black scrubs is a wonderful method to do it.

The color black is timeless, and it gives the individual a clever, professional, and elegant appearance. Some healthcare workers choose to wear it, while others do not. Well, black scrubs are popular among medical students.


Another universally attractive and semi formal color option is burgundy. It’s a better option than wearing red scrubs.

What color scrubs do doctors, nurses and surgeons wear?


Doctors are most often seen wearing blue scrubs. Scrubs in navy blue and royal blue are popular among doctors.

This is not, however, a hard and fast regulation, and other hospitals may require physicians to wear a different color or have no requirement at all. It completely depends on your work environment. 

See also: Why Do Nurses and Doctors Wear Clogs?


Nurses typically wear light blue or burgundy scrubs to distinguish themselves from physicians and surgeons. Nurses used to wear white, but it’s very difficult to keep clean in a hospital environment.


Surgeons typically wear green or teal scrubs, not only because they look well on most skin tones, but also because they cover stains nicely and assist in decreasing eye strain during surgery.

See also: Why Do Surgeons Wear Crocs?

Does the scrub color matter? Why?

The primary reason that hospitals, healthcare clinics, dentists, and other healthcare organisations choose specific colors of scrubs is to enforce a dress code.

Employees no longer have to figure out what is and is not proper business wear thanks to uniform dress regulations.

Furthermore, when physicians, nurses, medical assistants, and administrative personnel are color-coded to distinct scrub colors, it is simpler for patients to distinguish between them.

Is there any psychological impact of different colored scrubs?

Yes, we react differently to different colors. But only when given the correct context and cultural reference.

There is no solid evidence that we have an intrinsic emotional reaction to any specific tone, let alone one that is large enough to have a substantial influence on our psyche in most situations. 

There are a few notable examples, such as our eyes being easily drawn to large red signs on the side of the road, and color coding in advertisements has helped us associate red with aggression and warnings.

Whereas green and blue are soothing tones that calm the mind, also they’re practical because they neutralize the color of blood which might help patients to keep calm and not be frightened. 


As you now understand what the different scrub colors signify, you will be able to select the best scrub color for yourself.

You may even choose the tone based on your personality and preferences. If your hospital has a dress code for different departments, make sure you adhere to it.

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

Related Posts: