Understanding the Diverse Connotations of Scrub Colors

As you pick out a medical uniform ahead of your next shift, it can be easy to grab the scrubs hanging in your closet or folded neatly in your dresser drawer without even considering the color. But what if we told you that nurse colors matter, not only to your peers but also to the patients you care for each day? While your workplace may require you to wear a certain color based on your specific job title, some employers in the healthcare field are more flexible than others. At Greydjie, we always want to help you look your best, so we’ve compiled a guide covering the most common uniform colors worn by doctors, nurses, surgeons, and medical assistants. We’ll also discuss each scrubs color meaning and why what you choose to wear to work matters more than you may have ever realized.

Nurse Colors and What They Mean

Whether you’re intending to portray authority to your fellow co-workers or cheer up your patients with bright scrubs, the color you wear to work can have a major impact on how others see you. From black to yellow and everything in between, learn about each scrubs color meaning and how to send the proper message to the people that matter most around you.


A very bold and powerful color choice, the black scrubs meaning as seen above is consistent with strength, sophistication, and elegance. By wearing black scrubs, a feeling of formality is part of your presentation. Sporting black scrubs is a great way to earn respect from each medical professional and patient you interact with.


One of the most common nurse colors for the sense of calmness it creates, blue scrubs are peaceful yet distinctive. When you wear a blue uniform in a healthcare facility, there’s no question that you’re supposed to be there. Your patients will not only trust you, but also see you as a reliable caretaker.


Like khakis, considered to be both casual and professional, brown scrubs carry a similar connotation in the medical industry. As a color, brown is known to evoke a relaxing and genuine reaction, making it a quality choice for those who choose to wear it.


Fresh and vibrant, the green scrubs meaning is focused on healing, well-being, and optimism, making it the perfect choice for those medical professionals whose patients could use a healthy boost. Wearing green scrubs not only encourages positive thoughts, it also provides people with a sense of reliability, durability, and safety.


If you think wearing green scrubs would make a statement, wait until you hear what we have to say about orange! Not only does it naturally make for the best Halloween scrubs in the fall, it’s also a color you can wear all year long to add energy and enthusiasm to the office. Orange scrubs symbolize cheerfulness and creativity, enhancing everybody’s mood in a welcoming way.


Feel pretty in pink, showing off your softer side with a favorite nurse color that exudes love. Wearing pink scrubs is a good way to show how much you care about what you do every day, with a nice reminder for your patients that nurturing is your top priority. Just as orange fits for Halloween, pink is a great choice for Valentine’s Day scrubs come February.


A color that stands for royalty and nobility, purple is a beautiful way to show off your power and elegance while still carrying yourself in a humble manner. Earn the admiration you deserve with purple scrubs, a signature look that radiates sophistication and an exceptional sense of style.


What sends a better message than a clean-cut look? Just as common as the color blue in the medical field, arguably even more widely worn, white scrubs are preferred by healthcare professionals at all levels. From lab coats to pants and more, white offers a fresh trend that continue to flourish and stand the test of time.


Depending on your taste, wine is a color that’s smooth and pairs together nicely with many other hues for a fashionable appearance. Just look at our scrubs color chart for proof! A shade of burgundy, wine scrubs are a classy choice for those days that you feel like dressing up a bit more. This professional color looks good, makes you feel good, and encourages others to do the same.


Demand attention when you don yellow, applauded for its fun, bright, and energetic appeal. With yellow scrubs, you will surely bring happiness to the healthcare facility you work at. Like the summer sun, shine bright by showing your inviting personality. Simply put, you can’t help but smile when you’re wearing the color yellow!

Eggplant (Purple)

Wearing eggplant-colored scrubs signifies a sense of royalty and nobility. This rich hue exudes power and elegance while maintaining a humble demeanor. If you opt for eggplant scrubs, you radiate sophistication and a unique sense of style.

Royal Blue (Blue)

Royal blue scrubs evoke a feeling of calmness and reliability. They establish your presence in the healthcare setting, fostering trust among patients and colleagues alike. When you don royal blue scrubs, you are seen as a dependable caretaker.

Navy Blue (Blue)

Similar to royal blue, navy blue scrubs convey a sense of trustworthiness and professionalism. The deep, dark shade exudes authority and competence. Wearing navy blue scrubs commands respect from both medical professionals and patients.

Aqua Sky (Green/Blue)

Aqua sky-colored scrubs symbolize healing, well-being, and optimism. This vibrant hue is an excellent choice for healthcare professionals aiming to uplift their patients' spirits. It radiates positivity, reliability, durability, and safety.

Ceil Blue (Blue)

Ceil blue scrubs, with their tranquil shade, create a peaceful yet distinctive appearance. They leave no doubt that you belong in a healthcare setting, instilling trust and confidence in your patients. When you wear ceil blue scrubs, you are perceived as a reliable and caring healthcare provider.

Color-Coded Scrubs in Hospitals

While some healthcare facilities allow employees to wear the scrubs color of their choice, many hospitals implement a dress code policy to help patients easily identify what a medical professional’s everyday role is. The color could represent a caretaker’s exact job title or what department they’re part of, among other criteria depending on what hospital they work at. Most hospitals also include a scrubs color chart poster or printed brochure in each patient room, showing visitors what specific color each worker wears by discipline. Whether you’re a doctor, nurse, surgeon, or medical assistant, we’ll go over common color-coded scrubs in hospitals for each position below.

What Color Scrubs do Doctors Wear?

At medical institutions where a color code is enacted, doctors are known to wear medium-to-dark blue scrubs as they help them stand out among fellow healthcare professionals. And for this reason, both navy blue scrubs and royal blue scrubs are popular picks for doctors. They’re bold, authoritative colors that command attention. Depending on the hospital or facility you work at, there could be a different color used to represent doctors, however.

What Color Scrubs do Nurses Wear?

Traditionally, the most prevalent nurse color for professionals has always been white, mainly because it protrudes purity. White is not only consistent with cleanliness, but it also instills a feeling of order and authority. However, for workplaces that don’t require a color code, white can be seen as impractical for nurses because it’s a color that can show stains and be hard to clean.

What Color Scrubs do Surgeons Wear?

The color that’s most associated with surgeons is green, usually in a variation of teal scrubs or turquoise scrubs. Not only do these lighter shades look good with a variety of different skin tones, they’re also proven to be effective in covering up bodily fluids – an important consideration for surgeons.

What Color Scrubs do Medical Assistants Wear?

Considering the colors already discussed above for doctors, nurses, and surgeons, these medical professionals generally wear scrubs that differ from all the rest to show they’re an assistant. So, what color scrubs do CNAs wear? It depends on who and what department they work most closely with on a regular basis, and what scrubs they wear, but it’s safe to say any color that isn’t blue, white, or green. Whether it’s pink or purple, or even a neutral color like gray, black, or khaki, the most important factor to consider when deciding what color medical assistants should wear is contrast. If medical assistants look noticeably different from higher ranking positions, consider your color choice a successful one.


Now, armed with the knowledge of these scrub color meanings, you can make intentional choices that convey the message you desire to those around you. Whether you prefer the regal elegance of eggplant or the calming assurance of royal blue, your scrub color can speak volumes about your role in the healthcare field.