If you work in healthcare, odds are you’re on your feet for the vast majority of your shift. Over time, all this stress on your feet is going to take its toll, and you’re going to be at an increased risk for injury. However, if you plan ahead and be proactive about your foot care options, you can greatly reduce your risk of suffering a foot or ankle injury. Below, we share five ways healthcare workers can help protect their feet from injury.
Foot Tips For Healthcare Workers
If you work in healthcare, or any industry where you’re on your feet all day, consider these five tips for reducing your likelihood of suffering a foot or ankle injury.
1. Replace Your Shoes Regularly – You’re going to want a shoe that supports your arch and equally displaces stress across the foot, so invest in a quality pair of shoes. Your shoes are going to get quite the workout, and don’t expect them to have the same shelf life as your every day shoes. Replace your shoes every 6-9 months or when they start to break down. Many healthcare industries offer yearly stipends to pay for new work shoes, or you may be able to write them off on your taxes, so do some research about your shoe buying options.
2. Consider Compression Socks – You may advise some of your patients to wear compression stockings to help improve their circulation, but they also aren’t a bad option for people who are on their feet every day. Compression socks can help keep blood from pooling in your legs and feet due to gravity and hours on your feet. Your scrubs will cover them up, so don’t worry about how they’ll look with your work attire.
3. Stretch and Lift Care – Nurses and other healthcare workers often have to lift and maneuver patients, and that can cause problems if your feet and body aren’t ready for the activity. Stretch your hamstrings and calf muscles throughout the day, and don’t try to perform large lifts by yourself, or you may lose your balance and suffer a fall injury.
4. Pamper Your Feet At Home – When you’re not on the clock, make sure you are pampering your feet. Soak them in a hot bath, put on some moisturizer to prevent against dry skin and cracking, and slip into some comfy slippers. This will help ensure they are ready for the rigors of your work routine.
5. Exercise and Strength Training – When you’re not on the clock, try to find some time to strengthen your foot muscles and improve your balance. Whether you achieve that by going for a run, taking a weekly yoga class or doing some range of motion exercises while you’re on the couch watching TV, your feet will thank your for it. Stronger foot muscles and improved balance can help keep your feet safe on the job.