March 20, 2020 2 min read
I’m sure you’ve seen different types of scrubs ranging from blue, green, white and pink to patterned or floral scrubs. If you happen to work in a hospital, you might be asking; what would be the right color to wear? Are their specific colors needed or can I wear any scrub with my favorite color?
The answer to the questions above is embedded in the hospital’s policy. Some hospitals do have specific color codes for different types of employees while others allow them to make their own choice.
Identification. Many healthcare facilities use contrasting color scrubs to differentiate between departments or between professions. For example, in a large hospital where there are many different medical professionals, it is easier for patients, visitors, and other staff to identify their role if they wear different colors.
If you find yourself in a hospital that doesn’t require you to wear a specific color, it can be fun to make your choice. However, these might lead to confusion like mistaking a resident for a nurse and so on. Patients might also find it difficult the next day to tell who helped them since they might be wearing a different color.
It makes your job easier. Some of these color coding practices may seem arbitrary, but many colors are assigned to different staff for a specific reason. In the past, surgeons wore white scrubs. White is associated with cleanliness, and therefore seems like the best choice. After the 19th century, green scrubs were adopted with the belief that green is easier on the surgeon’s eyes. After staring at the same thing for a long time, your eyes can become less sensitive (i.e. in long surgeries where everything is red and fleshy colored). Green is opposite red on the color wheel, and helps to mitigate this insensitivity and create a break for the eyes.
It keeps you cleaner (or helps you notice you're dirty). The color choice of scrubs might also be related to common exposures in that field. For example, it would be easier to see blood on white or green scrubs than if the scrubs were red or black. So most healthcare providers who work in the operating room wear colors where blood can be more readily visible.
Color coding can be good and has a lot of benefits, but it also means you might have to wear a specific color, and not be able to choose. However, the most important thing is to stay within the laws of your workplace and make the most of whatever scrub color you find yourself in. Poppy Scrubs is rolling out new colors all the time, sign up to be the first to know when new colors drop, and get 10% off your first order by using the form in the footer below. 👇🏻
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