Are There Any Meanings Behind the Colors of Medical Scrubs

Go into any health center, and you’ll likely find nurses and doctors wearing scrubs that are all colors from the rainbow. Go to a medical show, and you’ll find healthcare professionals dressed in scrubs, usually white or green. Read this article for more information about the meanings of medical scrubs.

And if you’re a healthcare professional (you’re here, which means you are), You’ve likely faced the entire color wheel while looking for new scrubs, particularly if you are required to follow a specific color dress code. But which scrub shades are most appropriate for you? And what shades should you be avoiding?

We’ve broken the basics into a color chart in the following. We’ve also listed some things to remember while searching for your next scrubs online purchase.

Colors of scrubs and the meaning they convey

The answer is simple: yes. Different colors of scrubs have different meanings and are something you should be aware of when shopping for the latest medical equipment. However, often, it’s not the reason you’d expect.

The primary reason the healthcare professional is required to wear the color they prefer is because of an office dress code. Certain hospitals require their staff to wear specific shades of color or use a common color appropriate for various types of nurses since those shades can signal their status to other healthcare professionals and the general public. Color-coding systems provide an efficient and simple method to determine who is doing what, particularly in a chaotic, bustling environment such as hospitals.

The second reason that the color code on your scrubs is vital? Certain colors are gentler on the eyes than others, reducing strain on the eyes. Certain colors may also trigger certain feelings or even anxiety, and it is not the kind of thing you’d like to experience in a medical environment.

What color scrubs are surgeons wearing?

Surgeons also wear a specific scrub color that they’re generally associated with. They’re still associated with this color today.

The shade that we’re discussing? You’ve guessed it. Green.

Green scrubs can be attractive and conceal stains effectively. Based on the quality of the scrubs, they can be a good way to reduce eyestrain during surgeries. This is why it’s still popular and is used in hospitals and other medical establishments.

Here are some of the most popular scrub colors and what they can do to your appearance.

White scrubs

White scrubs are typically associated with medical assistants of past times. In the past, they represented the idealized idea of “purity” and the sacrificial nature associated with the job.

Nowadays, medical professionals often view the white outfit as a waste of time, contrary to the white t-shirt you wear beneath your scrubs. Nurses are often in contact with bodily fluids, which could stain white scrubs easily. A lab coat with a white color will indicate your role, which is often the case with doctors; however, in some circumstances, a single white piece of clothing, such as a top or a pair of pants, can suffice.

But what if you’d like to wear all white wearing medical attire? You don’t need us to convince you to rethink your decision. Click here for more details.

Black scrubs

Black is an elegant, slim shade. If you spot this black shade on scrubs, you’ll notice that it can hide stains and appear more elegant in certain scenarios for health professionals.

Green scrubs

The teal and green scrubs are two other colors with a historical meaning. They were traditionally associated with surgeons, who were dressed in green gowns while preparing for surgery. Green scrubs are fashionable even today. In general, it’s a shade that’s comfortable on the eyes and helps reduce strain on the eyes.

Pink scrubs

A softer shade that runs across the spectrum from pink to mauve, Pink scrubs are usually associated with calmer healthcare settings, which makes them an ideal option for podiatrists and nurses who deal with children in the pediatric setting.

Blue scrubs

Blue is among the most commonly used scrub colors and one of the safest colors to purchase. It’s gentle to see due to its cool undertones, and it hides staining quite well. Blue medical scrubs come in different shades, from royal blue and navy blue to teal and ceil colors.

The scrubs are either purple or mauve.

Purple is a deep hue with an undertone of cool. When worn with scrubs, it can be slimming, gentle to see, and stylish, particularly for scrub tops.

However, this shade isn’t the most popular as some find it as unprofessional while others love it. However, it’s an ideal alternative to navy or dark blue scrubs for most healthcare facilities.

Scrubs made of wine or burgundy

Burgundy is a shade close to purple in the color spectrum. However, unlike purple, it typically has warmer undertones. It’s still an elegant, formal color with a dark hue that can hide staining.

Red scrubs

Although red scrubs aren’t the most relaxing for the eyes, they are efficient as a formal outfit. In essence, you can utilize scrubs to stand out on a particular occasion, like an awareness-raising campaign highlighting an issue affecting the local hospital.

Gray scrubs

Finally, you’ll be most comfortable with a pair of gray-colored scrubs. It’s a neutral hue that is easy to look at. It’s also darker than white, making it easier to maintain a clean appearance. Gray will also appear less intimidating than an imposing black, making this shade a great middle-ground option for alternative scrubbing.


The importance of knowing the color codes for medical scrubs is more than just the realm of curiosity. It is essential to ensure effective communication and coordination within healthcare environments. No matter what color the serene blue scrubs of a surgeon are or the vital red that is an ER nurse’s outfit, each color has a purpose and contributes towards the safety, efficacy, and patient-centered care that health professionals provide.


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