HELP with skill please!

Students General Students


Ok everyone I feel like a big fat loser right now. We have a videotaped skill for this section due this Friday and I cannot figure it out. I have looked in several nursing procedures books; in my lab module; have asked nurses.... and I cannot do it.

What is this mind-bogglingly difficult skill that I cannot master? Applying anti-embolism stockings. That's right, freakin' ted hose. I just can't do it. If I bunch up the end I can't get it over the toes. If I leave the foot part right side out and the rest of it inside out like it says, then I can't get it over the heel. If I try to pull it far enough to get it over the heel, then the opening is halfway down the foot instead of over the toes. Arrgggghhhhhhhh! I have tried to do it so many different ways and I feel like I'm so stupid because I can't do this simple thing.

Nobody else is having such difficulty with this. I'm usually relatively coordinated. I just can't get this. Not to mention that the dummy has huge bolts on her ankles and joint spaces that will take off a finger.

Please...... can someone explain it to me in easy to understand terms? Does anyone have tricks?

Or you could just tell me I'm not a big fat loser. That would help.

I am now in the process of soothing myself with beer and I am taking the day off from WORK tomorrow so I can learn how to put stockings on. How did they ever let such a moron into the nursing program is beyond me.


Hope everyone else is having a better time of it.


95 Posts

Try threading the foot through and bunching up at the ankle, then pull up like nylyons. As for the toes, I find it hepful to start with the opening on the under side of the foot just below the toes and by the time you have pulled it over the foot snuggly the opening has moved to the toes (treat the are a couple inches above the opening ont he top side as the end of a stocking).

There are no stupid questions.

Good Luck


24 Posts

OK, Breath in.......Breath out........

I agree with Wsiab. Put them on like you would put on panty hose.

Just stay calm and you can do it!!!!



188 Posts

Don't fret too much.

We did that last week and those dummys are not the easiest people to put those on. Ours had rubber feet that you just couldn't pull the TED hose up without almost pulling the guys leg off. Not to mention that his toes must have had a good inch between each one.:eek:

But we all got through it and you will too.


263 Posts

Hey MsPurp!

We just watched a video yesterday on the correct way to apply TED hose. We didn't actually get a chance to apply them to anyone or anything, as we were moving quickly on to physical assessments (head to toe). But here's what I remember from the video.

The hose come with a tape measure, for measuring the pt's leg circumference. Nursing stations always have one tape measure one hand, and since you need to measure the patient's leg BEFORE opening the package, get the tape measure from the nursing station to use on the patient. Then, when you get the correct size, return the new tape measure from the patient's package in place of the one you used from the nursing station.

Now, as to applying them.. The person in the video kind of placed them over her arms, all the way to her hands first, and then pulled them off inside out all the way down to the foot area. grasping the inside of the stocking with her thumb and forfingers, she slid this part over the feet first, and then pulled up from there, small sections at a time.

Hope this helps, although I think wsiab's suggestion looked easier! :)


629 Posts

Thanks everyone. I think I'm ready to try again today. I am easily frustrated right now because I'm sick (got my annual case of tonsillitis hip hip hooray for stupid ol' tonsils), so I'm going to try and squeeze in an appt with my doctor and make the video. If I can do both of those things, I'll be happy.

I don't think our instructor cares so much about the technique, I'd just like to be able to do it without ripping someone's leg off.

Think good thoughts for me today.


Ellen in Ont

26 Posts

One other trick. If there are no open areas or incisions on the patient's leg, I find they go on easier if you use baby powder on their legs first. Don't worry, you'll get it.:)

ADN 2002

155 Posts

We didn't get checked off on TED hose. They just told us, they're supposed to be really tight, you need to get them on and smooth them out. Very helpful, right?

Anyway, I put a pair on a pt just the other day. I found it easiest to not bunch them up like you do with your pantyhose, just put the pt's foot through and ease the stockings up until they're completely smoothed out (this is sort of time consuming) and then explain to the pt the need to keep them smooth.

Hope this helps! :)

jschut, BSN, RN

2,743 Posts

Stop feeling so down on your self! There's something in all of us that we just cannot do. But we plunge ahead and do it the very best we can. I'm not too hot with TED hose either... but practice, and practice again. Ask your Instructor the best way to do it. See if they have any tips or ideas. That's what they are there for...

Be patient and hang in there... and Stop beating yourself up! We are all in this to learn!

Take Care,



249 Posts

Maybe try a little powder/corn starch to make it go on more easily. You could do this because I take off ted hose a couple times a day to check skin.


29 Posts

Baby powder definetly helps and I've also heard other nurse talk about using gloves to help ease them on. ? Never tried gloves myself though.

Good Luck! It just takes practice.


85 Posts

one thing that helps me is to use the bag the teds came in. place it over the pt.'s toes / foot . put the hose on , then slip the bag out of the of the toe . the plastic makes it easier to get them started . I also turn them inside out over my hand , hold the toes and turn them right side out as i pull them up .

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