Scrubs are the shirts and trousers or gowns worn by nurses, surgeons, and other operating room personnel when "scrubbing in" for surgery. In the United Kingdom, they are sometimes known as Theatre Blues. They are designed to be simple with minimal places for dirt to hide, easy to launder, and cheap to replace if damaged or stained irreparably. The wearing of scrubs has been extended outside of surgery in many hospitals.
Originally issued as replacement clothing if street clothing was contaminated, scrubs are now worn by any hospital personnel in any clean environment. The spread of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus has increased the use of scrubs but can give wearers a false sense of security that they are 'clean' when in fact are as easily contaminated as any other clothing. They have also been mandated in some American prisons as a prison uniform. The television show Scrubs is partly named for this garment.