Medical assistant uniforms for men and women should be scrubs corresponding to the color of their role in the health care facility. Shoes should be closed-toed, hair should be kept up or otherwise restrained, jewelry and piercings should be minimal, fingernails should be short and visible tattoos should be covered.
Basics of a Medical Assistant Uniform
A medical assistant uniform can look different from one health care facility to the next, partially informed by the variety of responsibilities that medical assistants have. Medical assistants handle a multitude of tasks, such as answering phones, greeting patients and families at the front desk, completing administrative tasks and assisting in clinical procedures.
In most cases, medical assistants wear scrubs with a long-sleeve shirt or t-shirt underneath for warmth and comfort. Health care facilities tend to mandate scrubs of certain colors so positions can be quickly identified. In general, medical assistants wear dark blue scrubs to distinguish them from doctors (who wear light blue or light green scrubs) and nurses (who wear burgundy scrubs).
Medical Assistant Shoes
Shoes are an important part of a medical assistant’s uniform. In all cases, shoes are required to be closed-toe, both to protect the wearer’s toes from spills and drops and to maintain the sanitation of the environment.
Tennis shoes, running shoes or specialized nursing shoes are acceptable because they are comfortable to wear and can provide good support to people who are on their feet for hours at a time. Socks should always be worn with shoes.
Hair & Jewelry Requirements
Most health care establishments require employees with long hair to pull their hair back. Generally, this means they must have it tied back or otherwise restrained. This ensures their hair is not in the assistant’s face, will not make contact with a patient and will not shed or leave strands around the exam rooms. A surgical cap will allow medical assistants to keep their hair contained while protecting them, their patients and their work equipment.
Similarly, jewelry is generally permitted but with restrictions. Any items that are disruptive, distracting, obtrusive or otherwise detrimental to the assistant’s job responsibilities should be left in a locker or at home. Exceptions may be made for religious items, but these will vary from workplace to workplace.
Watches & Fingernails
Most health care facilities allow watches as having precise timing for medication and monitoring is a required part of the job. Smartwatches may be discouraged because they can display phone notifications (or other information) and can become a source of distraction. Smartwatches also tend to require touch contact to wake up the display and show the time, and this can be both distracting and a source of infection.
Basic watches are often recommended. Luxury watches will not be a good fit for the environment.
Artificial nails (or natural nails more than a quarter inch long) are generally not permitted as they pose health risks to both the assistant and their patients. They will likely interfere with the assistant’s work responsibilities. This guideline may not be set in stone in some facilities.
Shirts, Scrub Jackets & ID Badges
Here are some other notes on medical assistant uniforms for men and women:
While assistants are allowed to wear a t-shirt or long-sleeve shirt under their scrubs, it is recommended that the shirt be a solid color to minimize distraction and to not distract from the color of the scrubs. The specific color may be important for facility staff to identify and distinguish between different departments.
Any scrub jacket worn over the scrubs must match the color of the scrub top. It must be an actual scrub jacket (not a casual jacket).
Medical assistants must ensure their assigned security badge with their face and name is clearly visible at all times. If wearing a scrub jacket, an ID badge should be worn on both the scrub shirt and the jacket.
Grooming & Perfuming
Grooming and proper personal hygiene are considered part of the uniform for medical assistants. Professionals who have questionable personal hygiene may be warned or disciplined.
Perfumes, colognes and fragrant lotions should not be worn while on duty, as these items can irritate those who are sensitive to smells.
Piercings & Tattoos
While most medical facilities will allow medical assistants to have piercings, they tend to limit body piercings to the ears, and the earrings should be no larger than studs. Large earrings or ear gauges may get snagged on equipment or could be a source of infection.
Some medical facilities may request that tattoos are covered up by scrubs and other approved clothing. Some facilities may have no issue with tattoos, provided they are not offensive in nature.
Uniform Services From Alsco
At Alsco, we know how important it is for medical assistants at a health care facility to look presentable and professional for patients and how important it is to protect those medical assistants from stains, spills and other sources of infection. With Alsco, medical assistants can proudly represent their place of work with clean, professional scrubs. Let us handle your scrubs rentals and cleaning so you don’t have to worry.
Medical Assistant Overview. U.S. News & World Report.
Medical Assistant. Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
What Is a Medical Assistant? American Association of Medical Assistants.
Uniform/Dress Code Requirements. Santa Rosa Junior College.