Why Nurses Should Wear Compression Socks

Kim Hickson

When it comes to putting together an outfit for a long nursing shift or workday at the clinic, we often act as if we’re on autopilot. The essential elements of any nursing uniform consist largely of scrubs and comfortable shoes, paired with a tidy appearance overall. Socks may have been an afterthought, until now. Compression socks for nurses are arguably as essential as comfortable footwear when putting together your nursing uniform for the day.

If you’ve ever ended a shift (or, is it every day?) with tired, achy feet and swollen ankles you’re not alone. We’re here to tell you that long days don’t have to end in leg fatigue. In fact, compression socks for nurses not only help to prevent fatigue and energize your legs, according to The Vein Institute, they can even help prevent varicose veins

How do Compression Socks Work?
To put it simply, The Vein Institute states: “compression stockings improve your veins’ ability to pump blood back to your heart and lungs. They work by compressing the superficial and deep veins and creating a ‘pump effect’ which minimises swelling and stimulates blood circulation. Wearing them during your shift can significantly reduce the amount of fatigue you feel at the end of a long day.” 

Why Graduated Compression Socks are Best
With graduated compression socks, the level of compression is highest at the bottom of the sock (surrounding your foot and arch), then gradually decreases up the sock. When choosing compression socks for those who spend long hours on their feet such as nurses, we recommend graduated compression socks. We focus on two levels of compression, moderate (15-20mmHg) and firm (20-30mmHg) however with the varying levels of graduated compression there are a few things to consider if you are unsure what level will be best for you. As always with anything medical related it is a very personal choice and if you are uncertain, it is always best to speak with a doctor first. The brand we offer is by US company SockWell, and they spoke with Dr. Richard Alvarez (an Orthopedic Surgeon in Chattanooga Tennessee who is highly regarded) about which level is best suited to who. Here is what he had to say

“The vast majority of young nurses will need light-to-moderate compression (15-20 mmHg). This level of compression is beneficial for nurses who stand all day, travel on long-haul flights, or generally experience mild swelling. 
Those with moderate swelling or varicose veins may want to choose a firmer compression (20-30 mm Hg). The next step up, 30-40 mmHg is typically reserved for more severe cases of varicose veins, post stripping and moderate swelling, due to venous stasis or lymphedema.”

Shop Compression Socks for Nurses

Benefits of Compression Socks for Nurses

Because nurses fall squarely in the category of those who stand or walk for prolonged periods of time, nurses are particularly susceptible to blisters, swollen ankles, achy feet, varicose veins and debilitating fatigue. The good news is that compression socks or stockings are an excellent way to help prevent and treat these common nurse and healthcare worker ailments. No longer are they boring plain socks you dread to be prescribed once problems appear, nurses and other healthcare professionals are choosing to start wearing the new era of stylish graduated compression socks early in their careers to help reduce and even prevent the ailments that can come with their important jobs.

Compression Socks Reduce Swelling
By providing gentle pressure to the feet and legs, compression socks help reduce swelling and inflammation. It is recommended that nurses wear compression socks during their shift to help prevent swelling, which triggers fatigue and achy feet. Compression socks may also be worn reactively after a shift to provide additional relief and help recover faster. 

Compression Socks for Varicose Veins
According to The Vein Institute, “Two of the biggest risk factors of developing vein diseases like varicose and spider veins are gender and lifestyle. Due to hormones, women develop varicose veins more often than men. 85 per cent to 90 per cent of Australian nurses are women, that means that if you’re a female nurse in a profession that requires you to stand (or sit) for long periods of time, you are at increased risk.” By wear compression socks, they “improve your veins’ ability to pump blood back to your heart and lungs” which “minimises swelling and stimulates blood circulation”

Sockwell Compression Socks for Nurses
Here at The Scrub Store, we take pride in curating a wide variety of nursing uniform staples that are of the highest quality and style at an affordable price. We believe a nursing uniform isn’t complete without compression socks and as such, have partnered with Sockwell Socks as our exclusive brand offering compression socks for nurses. Not only does Sockwell offer a wide range of beautiful, well-designed graduated compression socks, but they also offer unique benefits thanks to their custom fine merino wool yarn blend. To read more specific details about our compression socks, please read our blog “Sockwell Compression & Wellness Socks”.

Ready to get shopping? Buy your compression socks now.