Scrub Color Psychology: How Color Affects Patients and Staff

As a healthcare professional, the color of your scrubs may seem like a small detail, but it can have a big impact on your patients and staff. Different colors can affect mood, behavior, and even perception. Here's a breakdown of how different scrub colors can affect those around you.

Blue Scrubs

Blue is a calming color that can evoke feelings of peace and serenity. There are different shades of blue, such as royal blue, ceil blue, navy blue, and Caribbean blue [1]. Royal blue and navy blue scrubs can create a sense of trust and confidence in patients. Caribbean blue can be a great choice for staff who work in pediatrics or mental health settings as it can help create a more relaxed atmosphere [2].

Black Scrubs

Black is a color that's often associated with sophistication and professionalism [3]. Black scrubs can make staff look sharp and put together. However, black can also be associated with negative emotions like sadness and grief, so it's important to balance it with other colors [4]. 

Charcoal/Grey Scrubs

Charcoal or grey is a color that's often associated with stability and neutrality [5].link It's a great color for staff who want to look professional but not too formal. Charcoal or grey scrubs can also help reduce eye fatigue for staff who spend long hours looking at bright lights and screens [6].

Pink Scrubs

Pink is a cheerful color that can evoke feelings of happiness and positivity. There are different shades of pink, such as light pink, mauve, link and rosewood. Light pink scrubs can be a great choice for staff who work in pediatric or neonatal units. Mauve and rosewood can create a calming effect and promote a sense of compassion and understanding [7].

Green Scrubs

Green is a color that's often associated with nature and growth. There are different shades of green, such as olive green and hunter green. Olive green scrubs can help create a sense of balance and harmony, which can be beneficial in a healthcare setting. Hunter green scrubs can create a sense of trust and reliability [8].

Wine Scrubs

Wine is a deep, rich color that's often associated with luxury and elegance. Wine scrubs can help staff feel confident and sophisticated. However, it's important to balance wine with other colors, as it can also be associated with negative emotions like anger and frustration [9].

The color of your scrubs can have a significant impact on those around you. Blue, black, charcoal/grey, pink, olive green, hunter green, and wine scrubs all have their unique benefits and drawbacks [10]. Consider the psychology of color when choosing your scrubs, and see how it can positively affect your workplace.






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Swaby L, Morgan R, Greenfield S. Colour psychology and its role for nurses: a review of the evidence. Journal of nursing management. 2020;28(7):1643-1653. doi:10.1111/jonm.13065

Nasseri K, Ghorbani R, Sharifzadeh G, Ebrahimzadeh M. A Study on the Effect of the Uniform's Color on the People's Feeling. Journal of Applied Sciences Research. 2013;9(12):6722-6726.