What is the Significance of Different Coloured Nursing Scrubs?


Ever ask yourself why some doctors’ medical uniforms are green, while others are blue? Or why nurses wear a variety of different coloured scrubs within the workplace and what the meaning of this could possibly be?

Today medical and nursing scrubs are available in nearly every colour under the sun, but what do each of those colours represent? Thankfully the uniform experts at Head To Toe Uniforms are here to assist you in getting the answers you need. Here, they have put together a guide covering the most common uniform colors worn by doctors, nurses, surgeons, and medical assistants to better illustrate their different meanings. In addition to discussing why what you choose to wear within the medical field matters more than you might think. Here’s what you need to know.

Medical Scrubs Colours & Their Meanings:

In the medical industry there are a variety of reasons for the use of different coloured scrubs. For instance, some hospitals assign certain scrub colours to differentiate between hospital staff. As a means of colour coding their employees based on job title and/or position. While others allow their employees to choose whichever colours or eccentric patterns they might want to wear, to work. While there are plenty of reasons as to why medical professionals enjoy wearing an assortment of different coloured scrubs, they’re largely in part due to more mundane reasons they would like to believe. Those two major reasons being: preference and obligation.

What is more, these discrepancies can make getting to the bottom of the meaning behind different coloured scrubs more difficult at times. However, below we have broken down what kinds of emotions each colour scrub evokes, according to colour psychology, along with the most common scrub colours worn by doctors, nursing staff, surgeons, medical assistants, and phlebotomists to further simplify matters when looking to purchase new medical/nursing scrubs for your job. As at Head To Toe Uniforms we always want to help you in looking your best.  

Below is a list of the most common different colour scrubs and their meaning so you can best choose what’s right for you!

Nurse’s Scrub Colours & What They Mean:

Did you know that the colour of a nurse’s scrub matters a great deal, not only to their co-workers but also to their patients, whom they care for each day? In addition, assisting patients and visitors determine who’s who within a hospital setting. Therefore, depending on whether you’re intending to portray a certain level of authority amongst your co-workers or trying to cheer up your patients, the colour of scrubs can be a large indicating factor of your intentions within the medical field. As the colour one wears for work can largely impact the way others view you within the medical industry, according to psychological testing.

From white to burgundy, and every colour in between. Learn about each scrub colour’s meaning and how they can impact the way you are viewed, along with they can assist you in sending the proper message to those around you who matter most!

The Different Scrub Colours

When looking into buying new medical uniforms or nursing scrubs, it’s important to consider the specific meanings that have come to be associated with each scrub colour, such as:


There is nothing better than a clean-cut look. From lab coats to pants and shirts the colour white offers a fresh trend that continues to flourish in even the dimmest and roughest conditions, proving to stand the test of time. White scrubs are a preferred choice by most healthcare professionals at all levels. In fact, white scrubs are almost as commonly worn in the medical field as blue scrubs. As, white scrubs were one of the earliest colours to be worn by nurses, doctors, and surgeons alike. However, as time went on it was thought that the colour white in the medical field might prove to be troublesome, due to a difficulty keeping it clean for starters as well as eye strain, and visual fatigue.


​​The colour black has come to represent a bold and powerful colour within the medical field. In fact, the meaning associated with black scrubs, is consistent with strength, sophistication, and elegance. As such, black has come to be a common colour of scrubs for students to wear within the medical field. Being that it allows them or anyone who chooses to wear black scrubs to appear more formal within their workplace. As such, wearing black scrubs may earn you a greater sense of respect from others within the medical field as well as patients.


The colour brown has come to represent warmth, earthy and non-threatening. In fact, the colour brown has even come to be associated with stability and trust. However, with that in mind brown scrubs are still considered to be the Khakis of the medical uniform world. Although, like khakis, which are both casual and professional, brown scrubs signify a very similar connotation in the medical industry. With the colour brown evoking a relaxed and genuine reaction from staff and patients, making it a quality choice to consider when looking to purchase new medical uniforms.


The has often been associated with royalty, and as such, some consider it to be an unprofessional colour to wear within the medical industry. Then again, it is for that exact reason that purple scrubs have become a popular choice for medical staff who work with children daily. What is more, outside of the general association with royalty, the colour purple is seen to represent nobility, power, elegance while still carrying yourself in a humble manner. Earn the admiration you deserve with purple scrubs by Head To Toe Uniforms. This signature look radiates sophistication and an exceptional sense of style.


The colour blue is one of the most common colour choices for scrubs. Not only has the colour blue been found to represent a sense of relaxation, and calm, but similarly to green the colour blue has a way of lowering blood pressure and easing anxiety. According to colour psychology, medical staff who wore light blue medical uniforms were found to be more trustworthy according to their co-workers. This is a significant message to embody within the medical field, as building trust is a key factor for anyone working in medicine. Interestingly, blue scrubs have been said to help surgeons focus more easily on their tasks by offsetting the bright colour of blood. As such blue scrubs have become one of the most popular scrub colours to purchase within the medical industry.


The colour green has often been associated with a feeling of tranquility, peace, and healing. Making it an extra appropriate choice for medical settings. Hence why it is the most common colour found on the walls of hospitals and doctors offices. Additionally, green scrubs are also often the top choice for medical uniforms as they don’t easily show stains and are easy to clean and maintain. Not only has green been scientifically found to lower a person’s blood pressure, but it also allows these eyes to rest.

What Colour Scrubs Do Doctors Typically Wear?

Traditionally, doctors can most commonly be found wearing blue scrubs within the hospital. Specifically Navy blue or royal blue scrubs are the most popular options for doctors.

What Colour Scrubs Do Nurses Typically Wear?

Within the medical industry, nurses are usually found wearing light blue scrubs, to distinguish themselves from doctors who typically wear dark to navy blue scrubs and surgeons who usually wear green or teal scrubs.

What Colour Scrubs Do Nursing Assistants Typically Wear?

For certified nursing assistants, they tend to wear either white or royal blue scrubs. Both of which are more traditional colours in terms of nursing attire.

What Colour Scrubs Do Surgeons Typically Wear?

It has often been said that surgeons tend to wear green or teal scrubs within hospital settings. As, the colour green is not only flattering for most skin tones, but it is easy to clean and is said to best hide stains as well as reduce eye strain during surgery.

What Colour Scrubs Do Medical Assistants Typically Wear?

When it comes to medical assistants there isn’t a single scrub colour which characterizes their position from any other medical professional within a hospital setting. However, some more commonly found options for medical assistants are patterned scrubs, pink, or navy-blue scrubs.


Now that you have a better understanding of the role colour plays in choosing and wearing your medical uniform, Head To Toe Uniforms ensures client satisfaction and excellent service and quality when purchasing your medical scrubs today.

Written by Megan Taylor
Megan is a beauty expert who is passionate about all things makeup and glam! Her love for makeup has brought her to become a beauty pro at Glamour Garden Cosmetics.