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I didn't use them for the first 2 years I was a nurse and I've already started to get spider veins! USE THEM! I also felt my legs were a lot less 'heavy' after work than when I didn't use them. I don't particularly like hose, I like compression knee-high socks. My favorites are from TravelSmith.com the cushion travel socks that are about $30 a pair. Most excellet!
When I've worked med-surg, and been on my feet alot at work, I've always worn "full support" pantyhose (under my uniform pants), and it makes a big difference by the end of the day. I started that in nursing school many years ago, and liked the results so much that, since then, I've worn only support hose even for everyday use outside of work (when I wear pantyhose or knee highs). I only buy support hose -- not only are they comfortable, but they're sturdier and harder to run than regular hose, so they last longer (which, to me, makes up for them being a little more expensive).
Hanes makes "active support" panty hose that you can buy in bulk through their outlets at a good price, and that's what I've always used -- they come in white and some regular colors. For everyday use, I like their "sheer energy" hose (also available in bulk through the outlets) -- not quite as much support, but sheerer and better looking for regular wear and they come in a wider range of colors.
The guys on my medsurg unit use TED hose, full length, although they don't stay up and fall to the knees. Yes we talk about this. I also use hose. When I didn't, my legs were heavy and then started to hurt at night, and my feet, forget it, they were painful. After hose and Crocs, I can walk again.
I wore full support pantyhose when I was in my twenties working the floors. That was back in the olden days when nurses wore white and I usually wore white uniform dresses to work.
When I've been on the floor but wearing scrubs, I wore 18 mm Hg knee-high compression socks that I got from a uniform shop.
But now that I am doing online classes and sitting at my computer most of the day, I wear knee-high TEDS leftover from my last surgery. I'm definitely worried about a DVT. If I ever take another online course, I will probably upgrade to even better surgical support.
i have worn Juzo knee high medium compression since day one of nursing. they are like 72% cotton so super breathable & comfy, between my support hose & my birks my feet never hurt. i have 3 pairs that i rotate thru, a pair seems to last me nearly a year before i need to replace, they are about 27 a pair but soooo worth it!!
Thanks so much everybody for your input! I've had spider veins in my R leg since I was a girl and am very concerned about DVT's. Based on your recommendations I'm going to look into the full length support hose. Thanks again!