By Rehan Iqbal
Comfort hasn’t always been part of the job description of nurses. In fact, most of their day is filled with discomfort. This can be attributed to a variety of reasons. The long hours that they spend standing, the lack of time for a good relaxing break and the physical exertion are the top three things that nurses complain about.
The stress of the job can be reduced significantly based on the type of shoes that a nurse wears. This is a job where looks are not important. Nurses everywhere will testify to the fact that hard and impractical shoes are a nurse’s worst enemy. Imagine spending your entire day standing in high heels. Painful right?
So what are the main factors that a good shoe should have?
The shoe should have adequate arch support – This means that the arch of your foot will be resting comfortably while you walk or run.
The shoe should be light – Light shoes are easier to use. They help in increasing the speed and flexibility of the person wearing them. Light shoes reduce exertion and are especially important when a nurse works long shifts.
For this particular reasons, three types of shoes have been developed for nurses based on the area that they work in.
Slip on shoes or slippers – These shoes are easy to use and quick to change. This is especially useful in Operation theaters where nurses need to maintain sterility. The protocol of all Operation theaters across the world states that no external footwear is allowed. This means that the nurse has to change her footwear every time she enters and exits the Operation theater. Slip on shoes and slippers are more practical here.
Sneakers or Tennis Shoes – High stress areas like Intensive Care units (ICUs) and the Emergency Room (ER) mean that the nurses are always on the go. Their fast paced environment make tennis shoes a great fit. These shoes are built for running and are stable so that you do not slip. Another very important factor that makes sneakers ideal for such areas is the fact that they protect the feet from fluid spills.
Clogs – Clogs are by default the most popular type of shoes. If you have seen a clog, you will know why. These shoes are designed for comfort. The front of the shoe is closed and protects you from fluid spills. The back of the shoe is open and hence the clog can function as a slip on shoe too. This makes it great for use in the operation theaters. They have a strap at the back which makes them even more secure.
The shoes are roomy and are built for comfort. They are designed in a way that takes the pressure of the pressure points in the feet. This means that the nurse has a lesser chance of suffering from aching feet.
Choosing the right kind of shoe can mean a world of a difference in the daily working life of a nurse. Let us take a look at the advantages that a good comfortable shoe can bring to the table.
- A good shoe helps a nurse to maintain a correct posture. This helps prevent back problems. A nurse spends her entire day standing and lifting patients. Anything that helps relieve the stress off her back is always considered a relief.
- Adequate arch support means that a nurse will not have aching feet at the end of the day.
- It prevents accidents since good shoes don’t slip.
- Improves speed and comfort.
The shoes that a nurse wears can affect her entire day. That is why she should choose her shoes wisely. Here are a few points that a nurse should keep in mind while buying a pair of shoes for work.
- Shoes made out of synthetic products are more likely to get hot and uncomfortable.
- Choose a pair of shoes that are easy to maintain and clean. Remember a large amount of fluids fall on the hospital floor everyday.
- Shoes should be durable. The wear and tear on a nurse’s shoes is high because of the kind of work she does. Durable shoes are a must in such a profession.
- Ensure that the shoes have adequate arch support. Wear both the shoes and walk around for a minute or two. Don’t forget to check and see if the shoes are too tight or too loose.
- Shoes with a support at the back are the most ideal.
- Ensure that the shoe protects your feet and socks from any potential fluid spills.
Keeping all this in mind, let us take a glance at some of the most popular brands that manufacture shoes for nurses across the world.
Dansko seems to rank very high on this chart. Two of their shoes are very popular. These are the Dansko Professional Patent clog and the Dansko Professional Oiled Leather clog. A number of other Dansko shoes are also popular. If you are interested in buying Dansko products then it would be wise to walk over to a store and try out their wide range of shoes before settling on one. After all, what one may find comfortable, another may not!
Merrell is another popular brand of shoes. Many of the nurses prefer Merrel because it is designed for comfort. The most popular Merrell shoes is the Merrell Woman’s Encore Pro Grip Slip-Resistant work shoe. The name itself suggests that the shoe complies to all the requirements that a nurse has.
The Alegria Women’s Keli Professional Slip Resistant Work shoe is another very popular choice. Many people say that this particular shoe works well for people with heel pain and back pain. An added advantage is the fact that the shoes come in a multitude of different colors!
Choosing the right shoe may be the most important choice you make. When you work in a place where there are long hours and a lot of physical activity, you will find that it puts a toll on your body. You begin to suffer from the signs and symptoms of burn out. That is the reason why it is extremely important to find a shoe that is a perfect fit.