Happy feet, happy nurses...
OK, it sounds silly, but yes, this article is about your feet. As a nurse, you're almost certainly on them all day. Have you thought about them recently? Have you looked at your shoes? No, well, read this and then give your poor feet a bit of consideration.
10th May 2012
At Nurses.co.uk, we know that nurses work tremendously hard. Your patients come first and you always go the extra mile for them – how could you not?
But, what about you? And specifically, your feet! As a health care worker, you are on your feet most of the day. If you're lucky, you might get to sit down for a bit whilst you change over or write up notes but generally, you're going back and forth. This adds up to one tired pair of feet! Working in such a busy job will take its toll on your tootsies – Nurse, heal thyself!
There's two stages to looking after your feet; preventative measures and what you do after you finish.
Correct footwear comes first. Your footwear needs a lightweight, flexible, slip-resistant and decently thick sole – you mustn't use cheap ballet-style shoes or ratty, old trainers. Keep the heel height right down and the toe area wide. Arch support helps with distributing pressure effectively and preventing your calf muscles becoming tired. Shoes that have a fastening are also likely to be better for you – slip-on shoes are often quite tight and your feet need a bit of breathing room!
After your shift, soak your feet. If they ache, use warm water; if they are swollen, use cool water. Once you've had 5-10 minutes, massage and stretch the soles and ankles. If you have a small, hard, rubber ball, try placing it under your foot and working it around to relieve your sole muscles. Then, find a wall, press against it with both hands, place one foot back firmly and lean into the wall. This stretches out your calf muscle which helps your feet. Afterwards, get comfortable, elevate your feet and let gravity do the rest of the work!
We know that you put your patients first but you must take the long-term view and look after your own health so you can treat others' for longer. Look after your feet and your job will become easier - let them feel their best and you can give your best!