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What Glove Colors Could Mean to Your Patients

Before you don those purple gloves, you might want to consider how that glove color could make your patients feel.

Color psychology suggests that purple signifies authority, sophistication, and power (think kingly robes and clerical vestments). While that color could be ideal for a surgeon demonstrating a difficult procedure to a group of students, perhaps there are better choices for a caregiver treating an assault victim.

The study of color psychology is centuries old. German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, perhaps most known for his tragic play Faust, published Theory of Colours in 1810. The book presented Goethe’s views on the nature of colors and how they are perceived by humans. Since then, fast food companies, ad design firms, and marketing strategists have labored over the potential effects of colors on the mind.

No color theory is gospel. For every suggestion that green signifies good taste to consumers, there seem to be at least as many naysayers who think of color psychology as junk science. And some people just don’t like orange. However, successful brands that adhere to it are doing something right, so it might be wise to follow their lead.

As a healthcare professional, a major part of your job is to create positive experiences. If your glove color could make even the slightest impact on your patients’ perceptions and satisfaction, isn’t it worth considering?

Below is a glove color list along with what they might symbolize to your patients and even to behind-the-scenes healthcare workers, such as lab techs. It should be noted that not all colors are thought to make strictly favorable impressions (see: black, green). On the other hand, there is probably not a very good chance that medical professionals will base their choices on glove color alone.

Blue – Masculinity, competence, high quality, corporate
Our recommendation(s) – Microflex® XCEED Nitrile Gloves for blood collection; Microflex Ultrasense® Nitrile Gloves for handling small instruments

Violet/Purple – Authority, sophistication, power
Our recommendation(s) – SAFEskin Purple Nitrile Gloves tested for use with 10 chemotherapy drugs and glutaraldehyde

Black – Sophistication, expensiveness (negative: fear, grief)
Our recommendation(s) – Microflex Black Dragon® Zero Nitrile Gloves to mask stains and act as a backdrop for powders and solvents

White – Happiness, sincerity, purity
Our recommendation(s) – Sterling Nitrile Gloves for wet gripping and multiple uses; Microflex Tranquility® Nitrile Gloves for everyday use and exceptional tactile sensitivity

Pink: Sophistication, sincerity, femininity
Our recommendation(s) – Pink 3G Vinyl Gloves for superior tear resistance and barrier protection

Green: Good taste (negative: envy)
Our recommendation(s) – Dual-Color Exam Gloves with Aloe for infection control compliance as well as soothing dry, chapped, and cracked skin

Would these color interpretations impact your glove purchasing decisions? Please let us know in the comment box below!

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