NHS Scrubs Worn by Staff - The 4 Types

Medical scrubs are protective clothing worn by health and care workers all over the world. The NHS in the UK requires their staff to wear scrubs for hygiene and safety purposes. The colour and style of scrubs that each worker is required to wear depends on their department, role and hospital or clinic that they are working in. In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of scrubs worn in the NHS… 

Why Do Health and Care Workers Wear Scrubs in the NHS?

When working in medical settings, you will come into contact with bodily fluids (e.g. blood), germs and chemicals. This can be harmful and causes illness. Scrubs act as a protective barrier for the workers.

Also, scrubs ensure that NHS staff feel comfortable during their shifts, which is very important as the average shift for an NHS worker is 12 to 13 hours. Comfort is a priority. Scrubs are also flexible, which is important due to the scope of the work, which can involve lifting patients, using equipment and walking to different wards. For convenience, scrubs will have pockets, so that workers can carry around equipment with ease. 

Scrubs also allow workers and the public to identify the staff, which can be very useful in the event of an emergency. It easily differentiates patients from workers. Wearing different coloured scrubs to show your job role can be important for organisation purposes. 

How To Find What Uniform You Need to Wear

  1. Check NHS guidelines for general advice on uniforms e.g. what shoes you can and can’t wear, how you should wear your hair and how you should dress.
  2. Check your NHS trust’s guidelines for specific advice on the colour and style of scrubs you should wear for your job. This can differ between practices. 
  3. Find the appropriate uniform for your role, and purchase it from a trusted medical scrub supplier.

It is also worth noting that many NHS surgeries will ask you to wear embroidered scrubs. You may be asked to get your name, the name of your practice and the NHS logo on the scrubs. Moda Per Cura offers this service for a reasonable fee.

4 Types of Scrubs Worn in the NHS

The NHS is a large organisation, where there are many different departments and staff with varying roles working together. So it is important to be able to tell the difference between each worker, this is where colour and style coded scrubs come into it… 

Nursing Scrubs 

Nursing scrubs are designed for NHS nurses, this includes roles such as chief nurses, midwives and specialist nurses. Nursing scrubs are designed to be comfortable, durable and emulate a professional look and feel. Nurses wear light blue scrubs in the style of a tunic and a pair of pants. In the past, nurses wore white scrubs to symbolise ‘purity’, but this was impractical as they were hard to keep clean. 

Doctor Scrubs 

Scrubs for doctors are designed for NHS doctors in various departments. These scrubs can  be purchased in a range of colours, which you will select according to your role. Typically, A&E doctors will wear royal blue scrubs, to tell them apart from the nurses with light blue scrubs. Junior doctor

Dental Scrubs 

NHS dentists and dental staff must wear dental scrubs according to their role. Each dental practice has its own rules about the colour of scrubs that should be worn. However, blue is the most common colour. 

Surgical Scrubs

Surgical scrubs are worn by surgeons and anaesthetists. Often the colour of a surgeon’s scrubs will be green, as it does not show stains as prominently as other colour options. Also, green is less strenuous on the eye than other colours, which is beneficial for surgeons who may spend hours in the operating theatre. 

What to Consider When Buying Scrubs 

There are a few things that you must consider when buying scrubs so that you make the right choice for yourself. These are:

  • Sizing: it is important to get the sizing right so that you can move around freely and with ease. getting the right sizing also ensures that the fit is flattering, making you look and feel good. Consult with a sizing guide, and always purchase from a supplier that offers a reasonable return and exchange policy. 
  • Colour and Style: check what your department asks you to wear, and buy according to the guidelines. 
Washing: ensure that the material will be easy to wash, the colour will not instantly fade and that the scrubs will not hold creases.
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