Three Types of Uniforms Worn by Medical Professionals


Many professions have uniforms to help the public identify these professionals while they’re on the job. Police officers wear uniforms and badges, construction workers wear reflective clothing and hard hats, and most doctors wear lab coats. Here are three types of uniforms worn by medical professionals.

Surgical Scrubs

These uniforms are usually worn only in surgical theatres by doctors and nurses while operating on patients. Scrubs are made to fit loosely and be comfortable because surgeries can sometimes last for several hours. Most varieties of this uniform are made from a blend of polyester and cotton, although they may also contain rayon and/or spandex.

Surgical scrubs have to be kept sterile for the operating theatre and they need to prevent liquids from soaking through the fabric. Some liquids used in hospitals can irritate or even burn skin if they were to spill or splash on a nurse or a doctor. Scrubs are available in a wide variety of colours and styles.

Nurses’ Uniforms

Nurses wear much different uniforms than they did several decades ago. Most nurses wore dresses with aprons over them and caps pinned to their hair. Modern nursing uniforms may include everything from nursing scrubs to trousers with a fitted button-down blouse. Most nurses in hospitals and doctors’ offices choose to wear scrubs if permitted to prevent their clothing from becoming ruined if someone were to bleed or get sick on them.

Male nurses may also wear scrubs while at work to be comfortable during a long shift and protect their own clothing. Most healthcare uniforms have a unisex look to them but sometimes male nurses or technicians will wear cargo-style trousers or scrub pants so that they have extra pockets to put equipment, notepads, and pens. Nurses’ uniforms are offered in a vast array of colours so a clinic or doctor’s office can choose to differentiate personnel by having them wear a certain colour for the department they work in.

Lab Coats

Usually doctors or laboratory personnel are the only ones who wear lab coats. Doctors wear them so that they are recognised as doctors by patients in their offices, in clinics, or in hospitals. Laboratory personnel usually only wear them in the lab or the immediate area so that they are not mistaken for doctors if they work in a hospital setting.

Lab coats are protective garments so, like scrubs or nurses’ uniforms, they are often made from a blended fabric including synthetic materials. They are made so that liquids cannot be absorbed by them to protect the wearer and his or her clothing underneath. Most doctors and laboratory personnel wear lab coats over their street clothes and leave them at work at the end of their shifts.

Medical uniforms are generally the same no matter what type of medical environment they are worn in. The colours or styles may be slightly different in a hospital than they are in a veterinarian’s office or dentist’s office but scrubs, nurses’ uniforms, and lab coats are generally all the same styles.