New qualified nurse. Legs and KILLING me

  1. Hi everyone,
    I'm a newly qualified nurse and began my job this week . I worked 12 hours on Monday and Tuesday and I was off yesterday and off today. I am back tomorrow and Saturday. But my god, are my legs and feet killing me today. I spent yesterday recuperating with my legs up watching tv all day but today im worse and i have to go back tomorrow I'm on my feet for 12 hours literally, and even writing my evening notes I have to stand at a table. Will i get used to it? I'm not overweight and I wear sketchers shoes.
    Thanks for all advice
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  2. Visit SallyRi profile page

    About SallyRi

    Joined: Apr '18; Posts: 1; Likes: 1

    21 Comments

  3. by   adventure_rn
    I'd recommend using knee-high, good-quality compression socks with at least 15-20 mmHg of compression; I use these cotton, cushioned ones by Sigvaris Sigvaris 142C Delilah Women Cushioned Cotton Socks - Discount Surgical

    Even though they only go up to your knees, on days that I don't wear them I have soreness that goes up my calves and all of the way into my thighs. These make a huge difference.

    You might also benefit from specialized insoles, as opposed to the ones that come with your shoes. For me, the insoles don't make as much of a difference as the compression socks, but they still help. I've had a good experience with these ones by Superfeet, which aren't too expensive: Amazon.com: Superfeet Women's Blueberry Comfort Insole Shoe Insoles: Shoes

    Another thing that has really helped me is to do some quick, yoga-esque stretches before and especially after work. When I'm at work, I also try to sit down for as many tasks as possible (especially when it comes to charting).
    Last edit by sirI on Apr 19
  4. by   Horseshoe
    Yes, you will get used to it. Just like any physical activity, the body becomes conditioned to work over time. Your muscles are not used to holding up your body for so long, but they will strengthen to meet the challenge eventually. Your feet, on the other hand, may always be a little sore after a 12 hour shift, especially if you don't wear quality shoes.

    You may always be tired after a 12 hour shift, but you shouldn't always be in pain after one. If you don't improve over time, I'd go get a check up just to make sure there is nothing else going on.
  5. by   K+MgSO4
    Look into proper nursing shoes. Many shoes are not designed for 12 hrs on your feet. There are a million threads on the site. Also alternate between pairs of shoes. It gives your shoes a chance to recover and dry out as well as extend their life span.

    Hydrate properly and make sure your Mg levels are right.

    Make sure they fit correctly, I have a wide foot and getting a proper fitting shoe changed my experience (being a size 12D foot is a whole other game).
  6. by   Davey Do
    What adventure_rn, Horseshoe, and K+MgSO4 said, SallyRi and let me reinforce good shoes with arch supports (I use Birkenstock's), support hose, and a daily exercise routine.

    I cannot say enough of how regular weight lifting and aerobic exercise has continued my stamina, helped in the injury-healing process, and prevented exhaustion and injuries. It doesn't have to be, like an hour every day. I do ten minutes of stretching with weights and maybe a short bicycle ride before my 12 hour shifts and save my long workouts for my days off.

    I'm telling you- I'm 61 years old and deal quite well with the stress floor nursing puts on my body and I owe it to a regular exercise routine!

    Good luck, the very best to you, SallyRi, and welcome to AN.com!
  7. by   Horseshoe
    Quote from Davey Do
    What adventure_rn, Horseshoe, and K+MgSO4 said, SallyRi and let me reinforce good shoes with arch supports (I use Birkenstock's), support hose, and a daily exercise routine.

    I cannot say enough of how regular weight lifting and aerobic exercise has continued my stamina, helped in the injury-healing process, and prevented exhaustion and injuries. It doesn't have to be, like an hour every day. I do ten minutes of stretching with weights and maybe a short bicycle ride before my 12 hour shifts and save my long workouts for my days off.

    I'm telling you- I'm 61 years old and deal quite well with the stress floor nursing puts on my body and I owe it to a regular exercise routine!

    Good luck, the very best to you, SallyRi, and welcome to AN.com!
    When I was working 12 hour shifts in the ICU, I used to get up at 4:30 am to work out before my shift. It really helped my stamina.
  8. by   brownbook
    I have never had sore feet or legs, after 30 + years of bedside nursing. I wear men's shoes. Usually slip on loafer style. As you can tell I am NOT into shoes or fashion.

    Try different shoes and or see your primary care physician, your symptoms are not normal.
  9. by   vanilla bean
    Finding the right shoes can be a pain in the butt, but it's well worth the initial cost to try different shoes out until you find the right ones *that work for you*. I used to have pain that would progress from just my feet up to my ankles, knees, hips, and lower back as I worked a few shifts in a row. After the 3rd 12 hour shift in a row, I could barely stand up when getting out of bed. I tried probably a half dozen pairs of shoes with no relief until I discovered how amazingly well Danskos work for me. They've been my exclusive work shoe for over 15 years now. As soon as that foot pain starts to return, I replace them even if they still look good.
  10. by   Horseshoe
    Quote from vanilla bean
    Finding the right shoes can be a pain in the butt, but it's well worth the initial cost to try different shoes out until you find the right ones *that work for you*. I used to have pain that would progress from just my feet up to my ankles, knees, hips, and lower back as I worked a few shifts in a row. After the 3rd 12 hour shift in a row, I could barely stand up when getting out of bed. I tried probably a half dozen pairs of shoes with no relief until I discovered how amazingly well Danskos work for me. They've been my exclusive work shoe for over 15 years now. As soon as that foot pain starts to return, I replace them even if they still look good.
    Lol, I would do great during the shift. But after finally sitting down in the car for the relatively short drive home, I often would already be stiff by the time I pulled into the garage, and felt like a 90 year old woman just trying to get out of my car! I stopped doing 3 shifts consecutively. I'd work two in a row, but not three.
  11. by   bugya90
    I wear knee high compression socks and shoes with memory foam insoles. It took some trail and error to find a shoe brand that I like but I've settled on Fila with memory foam. They are about $40 per pair and last around 6 months. I have at least 3 pairs at any given time so I never wear the same pair two days in a row. Between the compression socks and comfy shoes I've never had muscle fatigue from the 12 hours shifts.
  12. by   vanilla bean
    Quote from Horseshoe
    Lol, I would do great during the shift. But after finally sitting down in the car for the relatively short drive home, I often would already be stiff by the time I pulled into the garage, and felt like a 90 year old woman just trying to get out of my car! I stopped doing 3 shifts consecutively. I'd work two in a row, but not three.
    The struggle is real! Those 3 in a row shifts were back in my early years; now I only do two too
  13. by   Been there,done that
    Your facility should allow / encourage you to sit while you chart. Seems like a bad place from the get-go. I found my way around THAT BS , by moving my WOW into a patient room, in order to chart sitting down.
    Get ready to move. on .. as soon as you can.

    I found changing my shoes and rubbing my feet in mid-shift helped a lot.

    Best wishes.
  14. by   Davey Do
    I worked with a podiatrist in surgery when I was in my late 20's as an LPN scrub nurse. I had to stand for up to 12 hours at a time for lumbar laminectomies or when there were unseen complications with other surgeries. The podiatrist recommended New Balance which were not as cheap and ubiquitous as they are nowadays.

    I go to a good shoe store and still buy relatively expensive New Balances at about $120 a pair, and put Birkenstock inserts in them. It's expensive, but well worth the cost.

    Turning 60, and suffering a bicycle accident last year took its toll on me. My LE experienced some swelling, and Belinda got me some support stockings. Boy, what a difference! No swelling and my legs feel great!

    My work wife Eleanor gave me a new pair of cheap New Balances she had purchased and didn't want, last December. Belinda and I went on about a mile Christmas walk and I wore those New Balances Eleanor gave me. My feet were tired after that walk, even with Birkenstock inserts! So, I only wear them for puttin' around the house or for riding my bicycle. If I'm going to be walking any distance, it's either the expensive New Balances or my Keen hiking boots.

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