Scrubs come in a veritable rainbow of colors and it can seem like each color signifies something different. It actually doesn’t take that much to decipher scrub color meaning, because there isn’t a very strict structure. Some hospitals stick to a more traditional approach, while others don’t mind what color scrubs their staff wears. 


In medical facilities, you will see some colors more than others due to psychology and the physical response they evoke. Each tone and hue is associated with a different emotion or reaction. Let’s take a look at both the color psychology and the traditional approach. 

Wholesale Scrubs and Their Color Meanings

According to psychology, every color evokes a different emotion. When a specific color isn’t required, medical staff choose based on color preference and the desired emotional response. So what does each color mean?

  • Black- Black automatically gives an air of formality and sophistication. This color is also easy to clean. It does have the downside of lowering moods though. 

  • White- White suggests cleanliness and sterility but is actually the hardest to remove stains from. This used to be the traditional color but due to eye strain, has become less popular. Now they are more likely to be seen on lab techs. 

  • Purple- Purple is seen as a fun or bold color choice. Some view it as a less professional color to wear, but it is a popular color choice in pediatric wards. 

  • Blue- One of the most traditional colors, blue is supposed to ease anxiety, lower blood pressure, and feel dependable. 

  • Brown- Brown is a more neutral, natural color, that comes across as more approachable and down to earth. It is, on the other hand, reminiscent of bodily functions. 

  • Green- Green is associated with peace, healing, and tranquility. It is chosen due to the color’s ability to reduce eye strain and lower blood pressure. 

  • Red- Red is usually associated with blood and increases feelings of stress and anxiety. It might be best to avoid this color on its own unless required to wear it. 

  • Yellow - A bold, cheerful color, yellow is seen more in hospice care and nursing homes to help uplift spirits. 

  • Orange- Orange is somewhere between red and yellow. It is a little alarming, but also an adventurous color. Orange is a fantastic seasonal choice for the fall though. Patients love to see the people around them getting into the spirit. 

  • Pink- Pink is visually soothing and often associated with caring. This is another color popular in pediatric wards. 

  • Burgundy- Like black, burgundy is a dressier color, giving off a more formal vibe. If you really love red, burgundy might be a good alternative choice to the brighter, more alarming color. 

Bulk Scrubs and What Each Department Traditionally Wears

Not all hospitals have color requirements for their different departments but some do. The color-coding helps easily identify what department a person works in and sets them apart from patients. The colors can be arbitrary but different departments across the profession tend to wear specific colors. 

  • What color scrubs do doctors wear?

    • Normally, doctors can be found wearing blue scrubs. Royal and Navy blue are the most popular, but not the only shades of blue used.  

  • What color scrubs do nurse practitioners wear?

    • Nurses, in general, have been known to wear light blue scrubs to distinguish themselves from the doctors. It used to be required for nurses to wear white but that was quickly discarded as impractical.

  • What color scrubs do nursing assistants wear?

    • Traditionally, certified nursing assistants wear white or a royal blue color. 

  • What color scrubs do surgeons wear?

    • Green or teal is the traditional choice for surgeons. These colors are known for reducing eye strain and are easier to remove or hide stains. 

  • What color scrubs do medical assistants wear?

    • If they aren’t wearing the more traditional navy, medical assistants usually have the most freedom with their color choices. These are the people most likely to wear bright colors and patterns.  


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