The color debate: What your scrubs say about you

By | 2022-02-23T14:44:28-05:00 April 25th, 2013|1 Comment

When you wear colorful scrubs, you’re not just making a fashion statement.

  • In a study published in 2009, researchers investigated the association between multicolored scrubs and pediatric patient (and parent) perception. Nurses who wore brightly colored scrubs were perceived as more helpful and friendly than those who wore standard blue scrubs. Parents rated nurses in colorful scrubs as more reassuring and less frightening to kids.
  • A similar study showed comparable findings. Children felt more anxious with nurses wearing white uniforms than those wearing brightly colored scrubs.
  • This article from Pediatric Nursing reported that, when asked, children preferred a boldly printed top and solid colored bottom.

The other side of the coin

But some think nursing uniforms should be standardized to promote easy recognition and higher visibility among healthcare staff. Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta instituted a dress code in 2004 requiring nurses to wear only white scrubs. And the data in this literature review suggests that patients felt RNs were more easily identifiable and perceived as professional in a standardized uniform.

So what do you think?

Should nursing uniforms be standardized or should nurses have a degree of choice in what they wear?

Do you think it’s important to wear colorful scrubs in pediatric nursing or do you think it affects the public’s perception of professionalism?


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One Comment

  1. Avatar
    Kimberly April 11, 2018 at 1:19 pm - Reply

    I think making any healthcare wear a certain color is dumb, the patients do not know who wears what color or care. What they care about is scrubs that fit properly. Ive seen some skinny people wear very baggy scrubs and on the flip side, heavy people wearing way too tight clothing or cleavage showing. Wear clothes that fit.
    They are talking about our lab going to one color, no one wants their personal choice taken away.

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