By Josephine ReidMany of staff members in hospitals nationwide wear colored uniform scrubs to identify their job title or occupation. Occupational therapists use special equipment to help children with developmental disabilities. Occupational therapists treat injured, ill, or disabled patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. They help these patients develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living and working.
The goal of color coding is pretty simple. Color coding for uniform scrubs offers a sort of visual shorthand that lets patients - and other workers a chance to differentiate one specialty or department from another. On the surface, it seems like this would make it easier to figure out who’s supposed to be doing what. Taking the guesswork out of choosing daily work attire is one thing that many occupational therapists like about dress codes that specify scrub colors.
As for hospitals generally using green uniform scrubs, the combination of white surroundings, white apparel, and bright operating room lights, however, was believed to cause eye strain for surgeons and staff. As a result, operating-room attire was changing to various shades of green by the 1960's. Among other benefits, shades of surgical green as well as blue were found to reduce eye fatigue, provide a high-contrast working environment and make bloodstains less obvious. These shades in replacement of white could help physicians see better for two reasons.
First, looking at blue or green can refresh a doctor’s vision of red things, including the bloody innards of a patient during surgery. The brain interprets colors relative to each other. If a surgeon stares at something that’s red and pink, he becomes desensitized to it. The red signal in the brain actually fades, which could make it harder to see the nuances of the human body. The surgical greens uniform became the standard by the 1970's and are the foundation for today’s standard scrubs, which are commonly worn by healthcare staff in hospitals.