As a nurse, taking proper care of your feet can make a world of difference in your day. The human foot consists of 26 bones, 33 joints, 19 muscles, 100 ligaments, and over 7,000 nerve endings. A body part as complex as the foot requires special care and maintenance to remain healthy. Nurses are on their feet for up to 12 hours a day, standing, walking, and often times running all around the workplace. A nurse’s feet need to be as happy as possible so they can be ready to stand up to any challenge. Say goodbye to sore feet, blisters, and painful shifts, and say hello to these foot care tips nurses can stand by.
Start from the Bottom Up: Choose the Right Footwear
Wearing the wrong pair of shoes can cause serious damage to your feet and leave you standing in pain all day. Every nurse has different feet, so one pair of nursing shoes may work wonders for one person and be the wrong choice for another. Choose shoes that are designed for extensive athletic wear, such as walking shoes. Breathability, comfort, and anti-slip soles are ideal footwear qualities for the nursing environment. Shoe inserts and compression socks can be worn for extra cushion. It helps to get professionally fitted for shoes once annually, so you can wear footwear designed specifically for your needs. Replace your shoes every six months. Working in worn-out shoes will only wear out your feet. Give your feet the support they need, and in turn, your feet will support you through thick and thin.
Pay Attention if Your Feet Are in Pain
It is not a good sign if your feet are hurting. Persistent pain in the feet could be suggestive of an issue that can be solved with the help of a podiatrist. As an educated healthcare professional, it is your job to be aware of important signs and symptoms, especially when it comes to your own health. If you are experiencing excessive foot pain, get to the bottom of the issue and see a specialist. To avoid developing foot pain during a long shift, exchange standing for sitting or walking, invest in an anti-fatigue mat, stay hydrated, and choose snacks rich in potassium, like bananas, for muscular support. Stretching improves circulation and reduces your risk of developing plantar fasciitis, a painful foot ailment that affects the flat band of tissue between your heel and toes.
Losing weight can reduce the amount of stress on your feet, as well. Though it may be a tough truth to face, even losing as much as 10 pounds can improve the overall workload on your feet.
Treat Yourself Regularly to a Pedicure
Give your feet some love. They’ve certainly earned it, having taken care of such a hardworking nurse. Getting a pedicure can do wonders for your tired and aching feet. Yes, guys, that means you, too. Both men and women can benefit from getting a relaxing foot treatment at the hands of a professional. Let somebody take care of you for a change. A quality footbath can restore the skin of the feet to be strong and healthy while eliminating unwanted foot odor. Getting your toenails properly trimmed can keep your feet clean and prevent painful infections or ingrown toenails. For at-home foot care, an Epsom salt soak extracts lactic acid and toxins from the feet that contribute to swelling, while the magnesium in the salt treats muscle pain. Add essential oils for that extra-luxurious spa experience.
A little foot care every day goes a long way. As a nurse, you are counted on around the clock for your compassion and care, so your feet need to be able to run to the rescue at any moment. Treat your feet as if they are two of your most important patients. Listen to them, make sure they get everything they need, and care for them with unconditional love. You’re only given one pair, after all.
To learn more about foot care for nurses, check out our article, “A nurse’s favorite foot care products.”