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Embroidery Service
(*from just £2.50)

Free UK Delivery
(*on orders over £75)

UK Manufactures
since 1950

Speedy Delivery
on all Stocked Items

Decoding the Colours of Healthcare Uniforms

Decoding the colours of healthcare uniforms

For decades following the inception of nursing uniforms, the colour reflected a hygienic aesthetic – namely white.

Nurse uniform colours changed to make them easier to keep clean, hemlines rose so they weren’t dragging on the floor and nylon fabric made medical uniforms more comfortable, durable and helped keep mass production costs down.

Hospitals became busier and more overwhelming for patients prompting the introduction of colour coded uniforms across the professions to make staff easier to identify.

In today’s increasingly bustling healthcare environments, clinical staff and support teams don a spectrum of colours in their uniforms.

These colours are a carefully considered aspect of the healthcare system.

In healthcare settings where precision and attention to detail are paramount, the choice of uniform colours holds significance beyond mere aesthetics.

This blog explores the rationale behind the varying hues worn by healthcare professionals, nurses, and other healthcare workers, shedding light on the importance of their attire and its role in patient care.

Uniform colour is woven into the fabric of patient care

The ultimate aim of uniform colour coding is to give patients better recognition and understanding as they navigate what can be an ‘overwhelming’ healthcare landscape under challenging circumstances.

Colour allows for quick and accurate identification of different roles within the medical field while offering a sense of comfort and peace of mind during what can be anxious and difficult circumstances.

In a fast-paced hospital environment, where every second counts, being able to distinguish between a nurse, doctor, or other healthcare staff can be crucial.

This differentiation not only streamlines communication but also ensures that the right professional is sought for specific tasks, ultimately enhancing efficiency and patient care.

Professionalism and authority

The colour of a healthcare professional’s uniform can also convey a sense of professionalism and authority.

Although doctors no longer wear white coats, they came to represent leadership and expertise.

Nurses, on the other hand, wear colours which reflect a balance between approachability and responsibility and are usually seen in shades of blue ranging from light blue to navy, often with a contrasting trim such as red or white according to their role or seniority.

Colour coding is also used to establish a structured and organised healthcare environment, allowing patients to easily identify and trust the individuals providing their care.

Infection control and practicality

In the context of healthcare, where hygiene and infection control are paramount, uniform colours play a role in maintaining a clean and safe environment.

The stark whites of yesteryear have made way for darker colours, such as navy or dark green.

This can help to conceal stains and spills, ensuring that healthcare workers look clean and professional throughout their shifts – plus they’re easier to keep clean and aesthetically maintain.

Psychological impact

The psychology of colour is well-documented, and this knowledge is leveraged in healthcare settings to create an environment conducive to comfort and healing.

Soft, calming colours are often chosen for care and nursing home uniforms for example, especially for those directly involved in patient care. This choice aims to create a soothing atmosphere, reducing stress and anxiety for both patients and their families.

The same can be said of other healthcare professions too, such as animal care, where veterinary staff are not only caring for anxious pets but also interacting with worried owners.

Uniform colour tones often reflect this psychology with tunic options from our veterinary range including hues such as ‘calm pink’. For healthcare, unisex tunic tops in sky blue or eau de nil green are popular choices, both lending themselves well to this calming aesthetic.

Team cohesion and branding

Uniform colours also contribute to a sense of team cohesion among healthcare professionals, particularly in health and social care, physiotherapy and dentistry and again within veterinary practices.

Matching colours create a unified and cohesive look, fostering a sense of belonging and teamwork.

The consistent use of colours aligns with the branding of healthcare institutions, promoting a professional and organised image.

So, as you can see, it’s not personal preference and aesthetics that go into the intricate tapestry of health care uniforms; they are a purposeful and thoughtful choice.

From aiding in quick identification to promoting infection control and contributing to a healing environment, the colours of healthcare uniforms are woven into the fabric of patient care.

Serving the healthcare industry

Founded in 1950, Harveys Workwear has a rich heritage in providing clothing for UK healthcare professionals and support teams.

We supply a wide range of uniforms and workwear to the health care sector across hospitals, social care providers, nursing agencies, child care and much more including dental and veterinary.

We offer not just quality but also choice across our ranges of uniforms, scrubs, tunics and trousers for women and men, available in a wide selection of colours and sizes.

Our bespoke in-house embroidery service is a go-to for all your personalisation requirements.

It’s simple to order online – or call us if you’d like help with your order – and we have a range of pricing options.

Call our friendly customer service team on 0161 624 9535 or email us at: info@harveys.co.uk

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