Why Do Nurses Wear Scrubs?

Scrubs are the uniform of the medical environment and the symbol of the medical profession. But why? In short, scrubs are built specifically for medical professionals because they’re protective, comfortable and safer for caregivers and …


Scrubs are the uniform of the medical environment and the symbol of the medical profession. But why? In short, scrubs are built specifically for medical professionals because they’re protective, comfortable and safer for caregivers and patients.

What Are Scrubs?

Scrubs are meant to provide maximum comfort, cleanliness and durability in a demanding environment. Scrubs include pants, tops, jackets and more that are specifically designed for use in medical facilities. They are comfortable, protective and easy to clean.

Scrubs are practical, but they’re often made to show off a nurse’s personality, too. In fact, you’ll find tons of cute scrubs for women that can handle the rigors of the job. Modern and stylish scrubs are available in fits and sizes for any body type and are offered in any color and pattern you (or your patients) may need or want.

Though the traditional starched white uniforms that may come to mind are still used in some practices, they have become nearly extinct, with more modern attire such as scrubs in T-shirt and pant styles having taken their place.

Modern scrubs have a lot of equally modern features to offer, such as wide pockets, instrument loops, stretch panels and tech-compatible attachments. With this being said, it’s important for nurses and other professionals to utilize the best features for their environment and duties.

  1. Fit —  Scrubs are designed to be somewhat loose and comfortable, so it’s important to get them in your proper size instead of buying a size up to accomplish this. Your scrubs shouldn’t be baggy enough that movement is bogged down or tight enough to restrict your movement (or worse, tight enough to tear open at the seams).
  2. Color —  If the employer hasn’t provided scrubs, most facilities and environments will have dress codes in place meant to help staff look visually distinct and to offer a separation between specialties and departments. It’s always important to clarify with your employer what the dress code and structuring of colors is at your specific location, but otherwise, it’s all about finding the scrubs that make you feel the best when you pull them on.
  3. Pockets —  The size, shape, placement and amount of pockets on a pair of scrubs can have an impact on a nursing outfit from a practical standpoint. Here are a few of the most essential pockets for your scrubs uniform:
    • The patch pocket is big enough to hold most essential gear and is conveniently located right on the front of a scrub top.
    • The hidden pocket is similar to the patch pocket but is located underneath the top layer of fabric instead of being slapped on the outside.
    • The chest pocket, though generally a little bit smaller, can be incredibly useful for smaller, more frequently accessed items.

Why Scrubs Are Important in the Medical Field

The importance and impact that scrubs have in the medical environment are significant. Scrub uniforms offer nurses numerous benefits, which in turn extend to their patients, colleagues and to the general public. The primary driving benefits behind wearing medical scrubs are to improve workplace performance and professional identification. This helps in order to instill a feeling of safety and confidence in the environment for both patients and colleagues.

  1. Identifying Contaminants —  Scrubs help identify contaminants and bodily waste that you’ve come into contact with. This is especially important in environments that have the frequent opportunity for transmission.
  2. Thorough and Intensive Cleaning —  Harsh chemicals and high temperatures are frequently dispatched on scrubs. It’s important that scrub uniforms can withstand both the intensive working and washing conditions that are frequently thrown at them.
  3. Easy Accessibility Where Seconds Count — Medical scrubs generally boast ample pocket space for essential gear. Keep in mind that pocket size and number will vary dramatically from piece to piece, and make sure to find and utilize what’s best for you and your position.
  4. Helping Patients Identify Professionals — Nurses and other professionals can be identified quickly and with certainty by their appearance. This is crucial for patients who may require medical assistance or colleagues who may require professional assistance.
  5. Creating a Unified System and Environment — Taking the time to provide a professional and uniform appearance for the healthcare system and its environments instills confidence in everyone involved, especially patients.
  6. Emitting an Awesome Fashion Statement —  Paired with some great nursing shoes, scrub uniforms can help you express your personal style. With the amount of scrub styles, colors and patterns found these days, nurses can express their personality while remaining professional and efficient throughout the day. New trends and mindful designs have inspired pieces like skinny and jogger style scrub pants, warm-up jackets and long sleeve scrubs for chillier days.

Which Scrubs Are Right For You?

More than just a uniform and symbol of your profession, scrubs are meant to improve workplace performance, safety, identification and so much more. Uniform scrubs are designed mindfully with materials that do not easily pick up dirt and grime and are easily laundered and sterilized when they do inevitably pick some up during the course of a shift.

Various scrub options are available for today’s healthcare professionals, and it’s important for them to understand and utilize the best styles, shapes, features and colors for their environment and duties. Through this process, you’ll be able to see the incredibly significant impact of a scrub uniform from a practical, professional and personal standpoint.

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