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Should Nurses Wear Wristwatches?

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Written by:

Jacky Chou

Should Nurses Wear Wristwatches

A nurse was first a human being before becoming the life-saving hero that they are now. As a result, every nurse has the full right to wear a wristwatch if they wish.

However, we all have our preferences – people close to me can tell you; I don’t like wearing wristwatches on every outfit. But for some people, an outfit without a wristwatch is incomplete.

Most healthcare regulations prevent a nurse from wearing a watch in the ‘bare below the elbows’ rule. This is to ensure the wristwatches don’t get in the way of administering healthcare and carrying out the nurse’s duties or collecting bacteria that can infect the nurse and the patients that they attend to.

Can nurses wear wristwatches?

Of course, nurses can wear wristwatches.

If you know any nurse that doesn’t wear a wristwatch, it’s probably a personal decision and not a golden rule.

Now, I’m not saying a wristwatch can’t sometimes hinder a nurse from carrying out their duty the right way.

For instance, if a nurse has a small wrist and wears a big wristwatch, it may affect how they administer some injections. Likewise, watches on the wrist can be an avenue for bacteria and diseases to contaminate and pass on to a patient.

If you think about it, though, not all wristwatches come in big sizes. Furthermore, watches do much more work than merely tell the time these days.

From the information I gathered, there are specific wristwatches that aid nurses in performing their duties. So, while it may be improper and unsafe for a nurse to wear a watch on the wrist while on duty, it’s not taboo for a nurse to wear a wristwatch.

Five reasons why nurses should wear wristwatches

From telling the time, setting alarms, to meeting deadlines, watches have their importance. Looking at nurses specifically, I have put together five reasons why a nurse should wear a wristwatch:

Patient inspection

Nurses have to complete ward rounds and inspect patients periodically. Asides from ensuring patients take their medications at the due periods, a nurse is more like the best friend of the patient.

These regular checks are especially important, because a patient’s condition may worsen if they are not monitored. Without these checks, the relevant specialists will not know the progress of the patient’s health and how to act accordingly when necessary.

With a watch, a nurse can set alarms to schedule timely checks for the patients under their supervision.

Medication Administration

With patients, there’s a schedule for medications.

In fact, for a patient, the timing is much more important and rigid than a regular pharmacy prescription. Failure to administer the medication on time can worsen the patient’s health or increase their recovery timeline.

As such, a wristwatch comes in handy to help the nurse keep track of time.

Work Scheduling

If you ever thought that a nurse’s duty was only attending to patients, you’re not alone. I thought so too until I realized we were wrong. Nurses are superhumans!

A nurse can assist their doctor, administer medicine to patients, attend to new patients, check the pressure, attend a meeting or occasion, join antenatal sessions, and many more – all in a single day!

Every one of these duties is essential. However, nurses are humans like too; and there’s a limit to what they can remember at a time. That’s where a quality smartwatch for nurses comes in to act as the personal assistant that helps them stay on top of their day.

Record keeping

Of all the many duties of a nurse, one that surprises me is record keeping.

In a good hospital, there has to be a record of everything and anything that goes on in the hospital. These records will help other professionals understand the history of each patient even in the absence of the nurse or doctor.

Record keeping is a task mostly left on the desk of a nurse. After taking a sample, administering a drug, admitting a new patient, attending meetings, the nurse has to take records. Honestly, I think the nurse has just too many duties to record everything instantly!

Nurses can take notes with their smartwatches on the fly. Opening up the recording app and logging data in with timestamps gives them a faster way to take preliminary notes which they can then formulate into formal documents when they get back to their desks.


Did you ever think nurses don’t love fashion? Sorry to break it to you, but you’re wrong! I think nurses rank amongst the professionals with a great fashion sense.

If you can wear a wristwatch to look good, what stops a nurse from wearing one? Watches come in different colors and designs, and they have their ways of specifically adding spice to whatever outfit nurses wear.

So, in some cases, nurses wear wristwatches to at least remind the environment that aside from their jobs, they can be fashionable and classy.

What kinds of watches are good for nurses?

If you are a nurse looking to invest in a good watch, or you’d like to buy one for a nurse in your life, you’re in the right place.

Here are some of the best watches that nurses would appreciate.

Traditional Watches

A traditional watch is the conventional analog timepiece – with the main function of telling you the date and time. These traditional watches can be deployed as dress watches to formal events, double as jewelry to adorn the wrists when not at work, or something to complete the outfit when simply hanging out during the weekends.

Breast Watches

As the name implies, a breast watch isn’t worn on the hand, but pinned on the breast of your outfit. In most cases, the outfit here is the scrub. These breast watches come with a clip for easy attachment to the scrubs.

A breast watch helps reduce the spread of germs since it is not on the wrists where it could come in contact with the patient, or other things the nurse does with their hands.


A smartwatch moves the conversation beyond the conventional time-telling units. This time around, you’re using sophisticated technology to track time and perform many other functions.

Smartwatches will help a nurse to carry out the duties quickly, accurately, and efficiently. This watch is more like a phone on your wrist.

Oh, did I just say wrist? Yes, I did – Most smartwatches at this moment are designed for the wrist. But technology improves every day, so I expect the new set of smartwatches to have the design of a breast watch.

Fob watches

Many people refer to a fob watch as one of the standard watches for nurses. A fob watch comes with a clip that allows you to hang your watch on your shirt. However, the most fascinating thing about fob watches is that the clock is made upside-down.

So, unless you are looking at the fob watch from the nurse’s view, you can’t exactly tell the time correctly. Before now, a fob watch was a compulsory accessory for a nurse’s outfit, but today, it’s optional.

Final Words

When on the job, nurses stand to gain a lot from wearing wristwatches. When off the job, they can also enjoy all of the offerings of wristwatches without hindrance.

Before taking a wristwatch to work, though, make sure the hospital/ healthcare center policy supports that. While we would prefer that every nurse that wants to wear a watch at work gets one, the internal policy might be limiting.

Otherwise, it remains your personal choice whether or not you would be wearing something around your wrist, choosing to clip on a carabiner, or buying a fob watch instead.

Jacky Chou

Jacky Chou is the co-founder of Uberwrists and has gotten into watches from his father from a young age. His first watch was a black G Shock that was comedically large for his wrist. He appreciates watches from Seiko to a Patek Philippe.

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