Medical Scrubs: More Than Just a Uniform

Carhartt-ScrubsIn many professions employees have to wear uniforms, whether it’s a waitress, a nurse, or a member of the Navy. Often the purpose of a uniform is to distinguish employees or members of the group from others, and to command respect. Sometimes a uniform is used for branding purposes. With medical scrubs, the scrubs are more than just a uniform; they have many purposes.

Medical scrubs come in a wide variety of styles, colors, and designs, and various institutions will have varied policies. Some hold their employees to strict color-coded dress codes, while others are more relaxed about the type of scrubs nurses are allowed to wear. Hospitals are usually more rigid, and have different colors to differentiate between different departments.

Arguably the most important function of medical scrubs is the sanitary factor. Nursing scrubs are worn only at work, keeping much of the germs from outside the office at bay. Some offices launder their employees’ scrubs; others allow nurses to do it on their own. When laundry is done through a commercial service very strong chemicals are used to ensure that all the germs are burnt out. This grueling process also takes a toll on the garments, so it’s important to purchase durable scrubs, such as Carhartt scrubs, which are made to last.

Another function of medical scrubs is that they make doctors’ jobs easier with plenty of pockets to hold their equipment as they move between patients. Many doctors have specific pockets for various tools so that they can find them without a second thought. Lab coats are also designed with many pockets specifically for this purpose. For example, the Carhartt Men’s Six Pocket Coat has exactly that; six pockets! Distributed between hip and chest pockets, this lab coat still has a nice fit while offering the functionality of many, easily accessible pockets.

A less publicized function of Carhartt scrubs is the effect of colors and patterns on patients. Studies have shown that patients subconsciously relax when scrubs are in soft and soothing colors. Pediatrics are also easily distracted by brightly patterned scrubs, charms on stethoscopes, and the like. The right color in a scrub can visibly calm or distract a patient and alter the whole nature of the visit.

Medical scrubs by Carhartt and other manufacturers lend a certain importance and authority to the wearer just by their presence. The many functions of a nursing uniform make it more than just a garment, and an important instrument in the medical world.


Michelle is a freelance writer whose husband is in medical school. She has learned about the virtues of Carhartt uniforms after many hours spent laundering her husband’s scrubs.

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