The color of the lab coat

It seems obvious, for us as operators in the sector, that a lab coat must be in harmony with the working environment and with the personality of the health care worker, but too often we forget to assess the impact of color.

Infact, in medical sector, the color is interpreted in a slightly different way from the usual standards of other professions. A classic example can be represented by the green, color notoriously relaxing, but that a patient could interpret as surgical, automatically increasing his/her levels of stress. Those who work with childhood instead tend to use very colorful or even informal outfits to eliminate the image of the doctor from the mind of the child.

A recent study carried out by the Department of Hospital Epidemiology of the University Hospital of Zurich (USZ) reveals an interesting fact, in contrast to the common thought: Doctors should wear white shirts and not more colorful clothes.

The aim of the study was not to find out what appears to be pleasant to the patients' eyes, but rather how they react - mostly unconsciously - to the appearance of doctors. In particular, it has been examined which clothes inspire confidence, in which "outfits" doctors appear more accessible and available and especially if patients attribute professional skills to a certain type of clothing.

Several respondents felt that the appearance of the doctor was very important, while about 25% thought that clothing also influenced their judgment on the treatment imposed. The combination that has the greatest confidence among patients is always the white coat, even better if accompanied by a clothing of color also white. This outfit also gets the best scores in other categories such as "professional competence", "availability" and "attention to care".