Scrubs come in nearly every color of the rainbow, but what does each color actually symbolize? Some hospitals assign certain scrub colors to certain types of staff, while others leave the choice up to each individual. We’ve broken down what kinds of emotions each color evokes, according to color psychology, as well as the most common colors worn by doctors, nursing staff, surgeons assistants, and phlebotomists.
Scrub colors and their meanings
White: White is most traditionally donned by lab scientists and nurses and symbolizes cleanliness and purity. However, it fell out of fashion in medical settings since it’s difficult to get stains out of.
Black: Black is an elegant choice when it comes to scrubs. If you want to come off as more formal in your place of work, wearing black scrubs is a great way to do so.
Brown: Brown scrubs are basically the khakis of the scrub world. Brown gives off neutral and down-to-earth vibes, making it a good option if you want to come off as trustworthy.
Purple: This color is most closely associated with royalty, but some consider it to be less professional than other colors. For that reason, purple is a popular choice for medical staff who work with children.
Blue: Blue is one of the most popular scrub colors. This is because it evokes feelings of trust, dependability, and eases anxiety.
Green: Green typically evokes feelings of peace and healing, making it extra appropriate in a medical setting. It’s also a top choice because stains don’t easily show through green scrubs.
Yellow: Yellow is strongly connected to happiness and warmth. Wearing yellow scrubs will help bring a cheery vibe to your patients and colleagues.
Orange: Like yellow, orange is another uplifting option. It’s also a great seasonal choice for fall.
Red: Red is a very uncommon scrub color, and that’s because it’s associated with warnings, wrongdoings, and blood. We recommend avoiding red scrubs if you can.
Pink: Pink is associated with nurturing and caring, making it an excellent choice for nurses or those who work with children. It’s also a festive choice for Valentine’s Day.
Burgundy: Burgundy is another universally flattering and dressier color choice. It’s a good alternative to wearing red scrubs.
What color scrubs do doctors wear?
Doctors can most commonly be found wearing blue scrubs. Navy blue and royal blue scrubs are popular options for doctors. However, this is not a hard and fast rule, and some hospitals may require doctors to wear a different color or have no requirement at all.
What color scrubs do nurses wear?
Nurses usually wear light blue scrubs so that they are distinguishable from doctors and surgeons. Traditionally, nurses wore white but white is too difficult to keep clean in clinical settings.
What color do certified nursing assistants wear?
Certified nursing assistants typically wear either white or royal blue scrubs. Both of these colors are on the more traditional side.
What color scrubs do surgeons wear?
Surgeons usually wear green or teal scrubs, not only because they tend to be flattering on most skin tones, but they hide stains very well and help reduce eye strain during surgery.
What color scrubs do medical assistants wear?
There is no single scrub color that medical assistants consistently wear across the healthcare industry. Some common options include patterned, pink, or navy scrubs.
What color scrubs do phlebotomists wear? Like medical assistants, there is no particular scrub color that is directly associated with phlebotomists. Popular options include burgundy or blue scrubs, or whatever color is required at your healthcare facility.
Care+Wear Scrub Color Chart
At Care+Wear, we know your scrubs have to withstand a lot of wear and tear. That’s why we launched men’s and women’s scrubs in four of the popular colors found in healthcare facilities: ceil blue, royal blue, navy, and black.
Our scrubs are made from soft, flexible fabric and come equipped with plenty of pockets to store what you need. They’re also wrinkle-resistant, antimicrobial, and moisture-wicking.
Can’t find the color you’re looking for? Contact us directly to suggest which color we should add next.