How The Color Of Scrubs Can Affect Patients

If you find yourself feeling particularly anxious or uneasy at the doctor's office or in another kind of healthcare setting it could have something to do with what the color of the scrubs that the medical professionals around you are wearing. Scrubs are sold in all sorts of different colors, but is one color better for doctors and nurses to wear over any other? And beyond just personal preference, do the colors of the scrubs truly affect patient outcomes in the healthcare setting?

Contrary to popular opinion, there really is no scientific evidence that people are hardwired to respond in a specific way to one color over another, as is believed to be the case with the color red and danger, according to Grey's Anatomy Scrubs. That's not to say certain colors don't make some individuals feel differently, but that response has more to do with cultural and personal experiences than it does with anyone's actual biology. There are, however, certain scrub colors doctors and nurses stay away from, and some color choices they recommend.

Some colors are better than others

Also according to Grey's Anatomy Scrubs, blue and green are the most common scrub colors because they hide blood stains better than other color choices. Also notable, though, is that blue elicits calmer emotions and an overall sense of trust from certain individuals, while the color green evokes peaceful feelings and a sense of harmony and growth, as Care and Wear reports. Also notable, black scrubs signal professionalism and competence, while burgundy and pink are often worn by healthcare professionals who work with children.

Scrubs are sold in the full color spectrum, per Intiva Health. There's no particular reason to choose one color over any other beyond personal style and the highly generalized responses mentioned above. For some, brown means down to business, practical, and honest, while yellow makes others think of sunshine and warmth. Orange is another popular color depending on the season. The only scrub color to truly stay away from is red, per Care and Wear. Although individual responses are different, red is just too strongly associated with danger and blood, and for that reason, rarely worn by medical professionals.