Medical Scrubs (hospital scrubs) are made to provide comfort, flexibility, and deliver all day durability. In the past green or blue was the only color option. Now there are literally hundreds of different styles, patterns, and colors to choose from. Healthcare workers have found that wearing brighter, more colorful attire will create a more relaxed atmosphere. Most scrubs are made from a 65/35 polyester/cotton blend however, some are made with 100% cotton for maximum comfort. There are also unisex medical scrubs that are made for both men and women.

Scrubs in the Operating Room

Many hospitals have a blue scrubs only policy in the operating room. This policy is basically a control measure to prevent the spread of infection to patients. Also note that wearing a tee shirt underneath your scrub, if it extends beyond scrub, can increase infection rates.

Hospital Scrubs Policy 

Policies concerning attire will vary from one hospital to another. In some settings you’ll have the option of choosing the colors and styles. Some will issue your scrubs to be worn on the premises only (washed daily and reused). And some will buy them for you. Your employer or hospital will normally make the final decision (but you’ll always have a say, well in most cases at least).

Here are a few posts about hospital scrubs and the experiences nurses had with their employers uniform policy. Special Thanks to the staff and contributors at Please check out their discussion board, it is excellent.

Once upon a time, the hospital at which I work provided all our scrubs. They paid, they picked! They gave us 5 sets of scrubs and said that’s it! It’s about 15 years later, and there are some folks still wearing those clothes!! Then they tried to tell us what we could wear, color, etc. I am a large economy sized nurse, and I couldn’t FIND what they wanted me to wear, and the 5 sets weren’t in my size. So, I decided that, since I was now paying for my own clothes, I will choose what I wear for myself!! I am a grown-up, after all! The hospital no longer tries to tell us what to wear. They do have a dress code, I think, but every time they revise it, and try to enforce it, the unions, and just about everyone else in the building has an absolute fit!! Moral of the story: Pick your battles!!

In a past life I managed an ED with about 100 staff from unit secretary, technician to RN. We instituted a dress code for all levels of staff, meaning all techs wore one color, RN’s another and unit secretaries another. Each staff level chose the color scrub they would wear, a vendor was located and we went “live” in about 2 months after all the details were worked out. Additionally, the hospital logo was embroidered on the left upper chest, with “Emergency Services” underneath. Each level of staff wore their scrubs with pride. And, as a manager, having the various colors representing each group of staff, it made identifying staff easier, who may have had either positive or negative feedback from patients or families. They would almost never remember names, but surprisingly could say what the “nurse” (female employee), or “doctor” (male employee) was wearing. Having a dress code for our department worked for us and it was surprising to see other departments in the hospital follow our lead.

I’ve done both color coded and not color coded. Currently the hospital I work at gives us scrubs- so that is what I wear- prior to that I did wear (gasp) WHITE- because it was required. I found that even with the nurses in all white, and the aides in maroon- the patients still did not make a distinction between nurses and techs- and neither did the MD’s. But if the hospital is not going to pay for the scrubs, I think all they can expect is Clean, Neat and Whole as a dress code.

About 2 years ago the LTC facility I work at decided to let all of nursing decide what they wanted to wear. We can wear anything as long as it is scrubs. Many of us have taken to making our own and I have to tell you, the residents love the vibrant colors and designs. My husband also works at the facility as a QMA and one resident told him she would have to live till tomorrow, just to see what he is wearing. Of course the fabric choices must be in good taste and so far no one has not complied. I have at least 40 different tops and all colors of pants, including yellow and orange, my residents favorites. They always say, “Here comes Sunshine.” Spirits are higher and I really think the dress code has improved, everyone looks nicer. I have always thought that the person who decided nurses should wear white had a sick sense of humor. I cannot tell you how many uniforms I had ruined due to the many “stains” I encountered. I like it much better this way.

My hospital has had a dress code that has changed twice in as many years because of the complaints. The original idea: identify employees by color. Med-surg-ceil blue. OB-purple… No patterns. Basically, we wore what we wanted on the weekends when admin. wasn’t there. Code has relaxed somewhat with each unit allowing patterns in the original colors.

My opinion? My patients don’t give a hoot what I wear (within bounds of decency and neatness) as long as I deliver. Administration shouldn’t care either. Just please, please, don’t bring back the caps!

Considerations when Choosing Medical Scrubs

Hospital Requirements – Are there any requirements set forth by the hospital indicating specific attire. Some hospitals have different nursing uniforms based on rank or seniority.

Personal Preference – A simple medical scrub may be the best option but there are many different colors and styles to choose from.

Nursing Scrubs Cost – In some situations the hospital will foot the bill for your uniforms. If not, check with our recommended suppliers above for specifics on style and pricing.

Nurses Scrubs Materials – Nursing uniforms are not all made alike be sure to check the specific materials that go into manufacturing the uniform. If comfort is the most important consideration you may wish to go with all cotton. However, if durability is a concern a polyester/cotton blend is your best bet.

Nursing Seniority – Some hospitals have uniforms based on seniority.

Medical Scrubs by Brand Name

These are a few of the more popular brand names in medical scrubs. There are other options available. Check with our recommended suppliers for details.

Cherokee UniformsCherokee Uniforms has been well-known for great comfort and fashion since 1972. Recent nationwide surveys have ranked them as one of the top ten strongest brands for women’s apparel. Cherokee Uniforms is dedicated to bringing the fashion, comfort and quality of the ready-to-wear market to the functional apparel worn by healthcare professionals.

Landau Uniforms – Landau Uniforms and Scrubs are known for their quality and professional designs. Landau ensures the highest quality everyday and the scrubs and uniforms are designed to provide greater comfort and ease of movement. Landau uniforms and scrubs are made from top-quality fabrics, which provides maximum tensile and tear strength. This translates into durability for all of your scrubs and uniforms. Landau was the first manufacturer to introduce scrubs in fashion focused colors and designs.

Crest Uniforms – Crest Uniforms offer high quality nursing uniforms and medical scrubs at great prices. Crest Uniforms and Scrubs are the solution to your needs when you want quality. They are manufactured with exceptional fabric featuring stain-resistance and color-retention. These medical scrubs and nursing uniforms are exceptionally comfortable in addition to being durable and stylish. Crest Uniform Co. provides the best value for your money in nursing scrubs and nursing uniforms because Crest  products are made from superior quality material and conform to the highest standards.