Whether you know a nurse or you are a nurse, you’re probably aware of how much they’re on their feet — and wondered how their bodies can possibly withstand all those 12-hour shifts! Enter: compression socks, the holy grail item in many a nurse’s toolkit.
If you’ve ever been curious why nurses wear these magical fatigue-fighters, you’re about to find out.
they reduce fatigue
Long hours can make legs really tired, and nurses who are always on the go certainly don’t have the time to kick up their feet and relax on the job. Compression socks for women and men promote blood circulation, helping oxygen to flow through the arteries more easily and deoxygenated blood to flow back to the heart more quickly. The faster the oxygenated blood pumps throughout the body, the quicker it gets the nourishment it needs to keep going. Less leg fatigue means nurses are able to tackle a day of treating and charting without needing a foot massage the minute they get home.
they minimize swelling
When you’re on your feet a lot, not only can your legs and feet get tired, but they can also get quite swollen. The poor circulation that occurs when the body is stressed from standing can cause fluid to settle and build up in your legs and feet, resulting in uncomfortable swelling. Compression socks apply gentle pressure to the legs, squeezing them ever so slightly in a way that limits fluid buildup and helps to minimize swelling.
they assist in muscle recovery
Nursing is a high stress and tiring career choice. It’s no surprise nurses can end their shifts as exhausted as a ball player after a big game. Just like athletes need to take steps to help their muscles recover, so do nurses. The circulation benefits of compression socks occur even while the body’s at rest. In fact, the faster blood flows through the body, the faster it heals. Nurses, just like athletes, might wear compression socks on their rest day to help them recover in time for their next double.
they relieve symptoms of varicose veins
Standing for long periods of time can be a risk factor for developing varicose veins, which occurs when blood pools in the veins due to a valve malfunction instead of flowing smoothly back up to the heart. When the blood pools, it can put pressure on the vein and cause it to swell and twist. These dark varicose veins can look like they are bulging out of the skin, and can become painful. Knee high compression socks are especially useful in soothing the symptoms of varicose veins, as they work from the toes all the way up to the knees to help push the blood in the veins back up to the heart.
they make people smile
Nursing is a caring profession, and bedside manner matters. Nurses put a lot of emotional effort into treating their patients because they know that kindness and warmth can help improve their experience. While circulation-boosting compression socks certainly offer powerful physical benefits for nurses, they also serve another very important purpose: They make people smile.
While earlier styles of compression socks were basic and — dare we say? — boring, nowadays there are so many amazing colors and prints and patterns of cute compression socks! When a patient sees a perky pink pattern poking out from below a nurse’s scrubs, it’s an instant conversation starter as well as a welcome distraction from whatever test or procedure they’re waiting on.
The nursing profession requires a lot of human interaction. Nurses are constantly working together with patients, their patients’ families and their colleagues to improve lives, save lives and console those who’ve lost lives. They go out of their way to do what they can to help make people’s days a little easier. Even if something as simple as putting on a funky pair of socks in the morning will be enough to brighten a patient’s day, you better believe a nurse is going to do it.
Nurses work long shifts, running from bed to bed for hours on end. These professionals dedicate their entire careers to creating a welcoming and caring healthcare environment for their patients, and so it’s equally important that they take time to take care of themselves, too. Thankfully, compression socks are able to offer just the right amount of relief for nurses’ tired, aching feet to give them the boost they need to continue doing what they love.