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Time on Feet/Area of Nursing

wugfun wugfun (New) New

wugfun specializes in None.

The one part of becoming a nurse that I am concerned about is spending a lot of time on my feet. I can handle working the 12 hours; I have before in different jobs - but on my feet?!? My feet are aching at the thought of it. I just need a realistic expectation of what I am in for.

What percentage of time do you spend on your feet and in what area of nursing are you in?


When I worked in the ER, 92-100% of the time was spent on my feet. The other 8% was when I got a lunch break and got to sit down for an hour, which was most of the time. But I did not sit down for the other 11+ hours. This was in a level 2 ER with 80,000-100,000 patient visits per year.

Now, I work in community health and spend only 15-20% of the time on my feet. This suits me much better. I'm only 22 years old, but those non-stop hours were too much for me to handle. I consider myself to be in excellent shape- I do step aerobics and run 6 days/wk. However, nothing compares to a nursing shift in the ER. I think it has something to do with the mental stress that goes along with the job and contributes to the fatigue that you feel at the end of the day.

AimeeJo RN specializes in ltc and med surg.

A few suggestions of where you may be able to spend less time on your feet... Doctor's office for example at group health. Assisted living. In home care. Telephone consulting nurse.

I don't know what is available in your area and the pay may not be as good but there are options. I myself work in home care. Being on my feet all day is not appealing to me either.

It will definitely depend on what area of nursing you choose. I worked ER and there were days when I never sat down unless it was on the toi-ty.

DutchgirlRN specializes in OB, M/S, HH, Medical Imaging RN.

When I worked days on Med/Surg I NEVER sat down except to use the potty or woof down lunch in 10 mins while beeper continued to go off and off again. We did a study at work. We all wore pedometers, we averaged 18 miles in a 12 hour shift. After 6 years I gave up. I'm 51 can't do it anymore.

Lorelai22RN specializes in Med/Tele.

I work med/tele and am usually running the whole 12 hour shift except for charting and lunch if I get time for a lunch break! I'm 22 years old but I feel worn out at the end of my shift and for days later because we are so busy! I feel like KatRN about the mental stress.....lol but I am going PRN at my job after Friday and I will be working for an insurance company......busy in some ways but not nearly as much stress on my feet/body! My feet hurt just thinking about it!

NurseCard specializes in Med/Surge, Psych, LTC, Home Health.

I worked as a Med/Surge RN for three years, and some nights I rarely got to sit down, and then some nights my patients weren't as acute and I got to sit down a bit more.

Now I work psych, and I probably am sitting down about 90 percent of the time. I actually miss the physical fitness that came with being a Med/Surge nurse =), but I don't miss the mental stress.

Medic2RN specializes in ER, IICU, PCU, PACU, EMS.

I work in an ICU stepdown and am on my feet 98-100% of the time on a "12" hour shift. Charting is even in a standing position due to how the computers are set up.

My feet hurt, the next morning I can hardly walk with those puppies throbbing.

Funny I came across this today - I just made a doctors appointment for the very same reason.

jolleygirl specializes in 27 yrs in long term care, 5 yrs office.

As an LPN in a doctors office I spend 75% of my time on my feet, (The RN's jockey phone calls between pt/doc, pt teaching etc, and are not on there feet nearly as much- it may be different in different specialities.)

In Nursing home (previously), I was lucky to get 30 minute lunch, and was on my feet 90% or more.

Good Luck finding the right job for you.

I work postpartum. On my feet at least 50% of the time. When in a room for teaching, I try to grab a guest chair. This also contributes to patient's feeling that I took more time with them.

I changed from wearing nursing/athletic shoes to clogs. That has made a world of difference. My feet used to hurt all the time. Especially after I took the shoes off and my feet would swell. No such problems with the clogs. I do need to wear the strap on my heel and I put arch supports in the less expensive models, but that's a small price to pay for the huge increase in comfort.

Just the reduction in the weight of the shoes alone makes a difference. And now, when I kick off the clogs, there is no swelling, no throbbing, no aching.

The side benefit is the cost. Most of mine were $9-15. I have one pair in a hard to find color (that I wear often) that I paid $30 for. That one extravagance aside, I can buy 3-5 pairs of clogs for one pair of athletic shoes. And all those colors . . . .

I wish you well in trying to fing a good fit, both in job and shoes.

RNinSoCal specializes in Home health, Med/Surg.

I have been wearing a pedometer to work recently and the shortest amount of miles I walk in a day on med/surg is 4.5 and the longest is 7. My feet do hurt when I get home.

allantiques4me specializes in Brain injury,vent,peds ,geriatrics,home.

It definetely depends on where you work.

I must be very sleepy now that I had to erase my duplicate post here.



Pssst.. I'm about to reveal my TOP SECRET solution for your aching feet, so pay attention fellows :nono: .

I had the same agony like everybody said here. My feet were hurting for the last 3 years working in an ER. Out of desperation, I tried many ways I could think of to at least alleviate my aching feet ( like arch support, buy different shoes every month and etc, etc) but to no avail. After many trials and errors for years, I finally found a solution that works ( it might work with your too).

Here are the simplified version of my solutions:

1) I Keep two pairs of comfy shoes in my locker.

2) During my lunch breaks, I would put ice in a plastic bag and stuck it in the pair of shoes that I'm about to use for the replacement of my morning shoes. I usually keep the ice there for about 7 to 15 minutes ( the cooler the better)

3) Then before replacing my morning shoes, I would roll the sole of my feet on an empty bottle by rocking the bottle back and forth on the floor for about 30 seconds. My final strokes before slipping my feet inside of a cool, comfy shoes are gentle twists that serve like a massage or stretch.

What about the third pair in the locker? use it whenever you feel like you have to refresh your feet after you use the second pair. It may seem cumbersome to keep changing your shoes but it gets easier as you do it several times. And it is better than having the pain while working.

Sound simple? that's right but my solutions are able to rejuvenate my feet and help me to concentrate on my work without having to experience the pain I used to have in the old days. Now, I even ride a bike when I get home since I have no more nagging pain.

Why don't you all try it? You got nothing to lose but pain. The only problem

is if it does not work, I can't give you a refund since I'm not getting paid for my invention. :lol2: If it works, I'll be happy to know.

Alright, who wants to give it a try :monkeydance: ?

loricatus specializes in ED, ICU, PACU.

1) i keep two pairs of comfy shoes in my locker. wish i had a locker to put them in :angryfire

2) during my lunch breaks, i would put ice in a plastic bag and stuck it in the pair of shoes that i'm about to use for the replacement of my morning shoes. i usually keep the ice there for about 7 to 15 minutes ( the cooler the better)

this i can try- taking the shoes off during my break [hope it works].

3) then before replacing my morning shoes, i would roll the sole of my feet on an empty bottle by rocking the bottle back and forth on the floor for about 30 seconds. my final strokes before slipping my feet inside of a cool, comfy shoes are gentle twists that serve like a massage or stretch. this sounds good. great idea.

alright, who wants to give it a try :monkeydance: ?

about 95% of my shift is on my feet in the ed. make that about 93% if you count going on my knees to start ivs & draw blood on the patients waiting in chairs for a bed to open up [thinking about buying knee pads]-it's either that or becoming a hunchback.

:offtopic: now, i just need to vent a little about the lack of locker thing [came to mind thinking about the odor that will be in the trailer when i take the shoes off during my break]: get a new job that has a nicer bunch of people but way more crowded with patients. there is no place for me to put my bag. the break room is a trailer in the patient parking lot, about 500 feet from the back entrance of the hospital. tried once arriving a 1/2 hour early to put my dinner in the refrig. in the trailer; but, because i have to go through the er to get to the back entrance of the hospital (to get to the trailer), i get stopped trying to make my way through the masses and put right to work. the bag i brought now goes on a top shelf in the utility room where i forgot about until i opened the utility room on my next shift 3 days later. it was a tuna fish sandwich. couldn't decide whether to leave it there or throw it out (still can't understand why nobody else discovered and tossed it?). now, if we had a break room and/or locker within the confines of our unit (or a little respect for one's time when not officially on shift) this probably wouldn't have happened (or, at least, they would know who the culprit was). i go back to work tomorrow, 2 days after my discovery......what do you think i did with that sandwich???

bluetack specializes in medical, emergency.

I am currently in emergency, and I am on my feet the whole shift except for breaks and toilet stops. When I was working on a medical ward, as a nurse on the floor maybe got to sit down 20-25% of the time. I did an admin role for a time as well where I was sitting about 80-90% of the day, and I found that I had more problems with my back with all the sitting.

Goos shoes are an absolute godsend, and I have a foot spa at home that I can use if my feet are a bit too achy when I get home (doesn't happen that often though).

clee1 specializes in Hospice, Med/Surg, ICU, ER.

I have used a pedometer - and I average 7 miles per 8 hour shift on a busy MedSurg floor. If I sit at all, it is strictly spur-of-the moment accident.

I have had foot problems ALL my life - one visit to Good Feet for a REAL arch support and I have NO problems with my feet anymore.

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