Scrubs Color Meaning

Colours make things beautiful and also give meaning to things around us. When it comes to nursing and the health industry as a whole, colours have different meanings and stories behind them. In this article, we will be sharing with you scrubs colour meaning or the meaning of the colours of scrubs.

Colour coded scrubs in hospitals are highly common nowadays, especially in large hospital settings. Management chooses the colour of scrub for employees. In large hospitals, different types of scrubs with different colours are used by different departments. This help to distinguish between staffs of the various departments or specialists in these hospitals.

Most of us don’t know much about these scrubs and the meaning of the colours they come in. So, our main objective of this article is to provide you with a clear answer to the questions below:

  • What different colour scrubs mean?
  • What colour scrub do nurses’ wear?
  • What colour scrub do CNA’s wear?
  • What colour scrub do doctor’s wear?
  • What colour scrub do surgeon’s wear?
  • What colour scrub do medical assistants’ wear?
Scrubs Color Meaning

These and many other questions you will have clarity on by the end of this article. If you are a nurse, a nursing student or a health professional, you can testify that scrubs come in different colours. Since the colours are many, we will be dealing 7 most common scrub colours below:

  1. White colour scrubs
  2. Green colour scrubs
  3. Black colour scrubs
  4. Blue colour scrubs
  5. Red colour scrubs
  6. Grey colour scrubs
  7. Purple colour scrubs

Let’s now take a look at what the above-listed scrub colours mean and how to choose the one that is best for you.

The Meaning of the Most Common Scrub Colours

White Scrubs Meaning

Let’s begin with white scrub. Coloured nursing scrub all begins with a white nursing uniform. Just cast your eyes back in the 1800s and look at Florence Nightingale in the “all-white” long uniform with her lamp. Can you see that?

The colour represents cleanliness and sterility; a colour every patient expects to see on a nurse or a doctor when in the hospital. It’s believed to be the main colour for a surgeon, nurses and physicians. However, when white colour is stain with blood, it very difficult to clean, even with bleach. Also, the colour scrub causes create eye strain, headaches, and visual fatigue for patients. Due to these issues, it has been replaced by other colours like green.

So, you have consider the impact white scrub will have on you before going in for it. Also, remember that this is a colour that when stain with blood it very difficult to remove even with bleach.

Green Scrubs Meaning

Let’s look at green medical scrubs. The colour green is said to be one of the best and most commonly used scrubs in health care systems. The colour is said to be a presentative of peace, healing, life and growth. It’s also associated with harmony, new beginning and freshness. 

Green is indeed a calming color, known to provide relief for the eyes. It’s the best choice for Surgeons because they found that, it desensitised their brains after long exposure to patient’s blood during surgery.

As a result of this properties of the colour green, Green scrubs have taken over white scrubs in many health care system. Physicians and  Surgeons prefer green to white scrub as it refreshes their vision. So, the official scrub for surgeons or theatre nurses is green colour scrubs.

Blue Scrubs Meaning

Blue nursing uniform or scrub is said to be is one of the most commonly use scrubs by nurses and doctors. The colour is said to symbolizes serenity and relaxation. That’s it, a calming colour and symbolize reliability. Like green, blue colour scrub help refresh the eyes doctors and nurses during surgical procedures. In most hospitals, nursing support staffs like CNA wear navy blue scrub instead of blue.

Blue Scrubs

Black Scrubs Meaning

“Black scrubs? Who wears black scrubs?” Nurses or health professionals don’t like black scrubs. This is because black colour signifies depression and gloomy. However, some nurses like myself and some doctors prefer to wear black scrubs because is a slimming colour. The colour just look smart, sharp and professional. Also, stands for authority, efficiency, leadership, and class to those look at wearer. 

Red Scrubs Meaning

Red colour scrub is one of the right medical scrubs that is often associated with danger or blood. According to many patients, red is a scaring colour. This means that red scrubs are the worst scrubs a nurse or a doctor can wear.

It’s important to remember that blood is red and scrubs with red colour can remind your patients of a bloody situation, especially when your patients happen to be accident victims. 

However, red scrubs can be a great colour choice in times of awareness creation such as teaching people how to avoid certain health issues. If not for this, then stay away from red scrub at all costs.

Gray Scrub Meaning

It’s common to see nurses in gray scrub but what does the colour grey mean? What message does it carry?

Gray is a natural colour but it’s sometimes associated with depression according to research. It is also believed that depressed people see the world around as a gray shade.  It’s therefore important to avoid gray scrubs to protect your patients from the risk of depression.

Student in Grey Scrub

Purple Scrub Meaning

This colour is often said to be associated with children or immature people. Many people will not see you as a professional nurse or health professional when you are purple scrub. It’s also believed to be a colour of royalty and employment. Besides, it has no negative impact on your patient. It is the best scrub for nurses who work in the children’s ward


So, What’s the ideal colour of scrubs for nurses, doctors other health professionals? If the management of your hospital requires you to wear a specific colour of scrub, then you have no choice than to do so. If not, then it all comes down to the colours you prefer. However, blue scrub and green scrubs are always the best and great choices you can make. You may also consider purple if you work in the NICU or children’s ward. 

Finally, I believe with your patients in mind and considering what impact the colour of your scrubs can have on them and yourself , you will make the right choice.

Written by
Albright McHeals