Nurses work hard and often in challenging conditions.
That’s not a secret.
So it goes without saying if something isn’t going to make their life more efficient, then it is a waste of time.
Smartwatches can do just that in a number of ways, but you will want to be sure to look out for a few characteristics and features in order to get that efficiency.
Below we discuss the features you should look out for and why, along with a list of what we think the best smartwatch for nurses could be.
Let’s get things underway!
Smart watches have seen a huge increase in sales, especially in the last year
Not surprisingly, smartwatches have found a huge market in the health sector.
In fact, the Apple Watch is now recognized by the FDA as a medical device.
There are many ways smartwatches can make the lives of medical professionals just a little bit easier.
The Importance of a Smart Watch for Nurses
Smart watches are more than timekeeping devices.
The huge uptick in their sales proves they are more than a fad.
Many people now use them for business and fitness purposes.
And, they are especially useful for medical professionals like nurses.
If you are a nurse, I don’t need to tell you about the fast-pace and hectic environments you work in.
Smartwatches enable you to save precious time by inputting appointments, events, timers, and schedules directly from your watch.
Being a nurse it is important your smartwatch be fast, consistency, battery life, and resistance to water and dust.
It is no secret nurses operate in an environment that offers little time to waste.
A smartwatch should provide efficiency and convenience to the user.
Look out for the features below when looking for a smartwatch for nurses.
Nursing is a very stressful job.
According to the Royal College of Nursing in London, nearly 62% of nurses contemplate quitting their job due to the high stress.
How can smartwatches help with stress?
Well, there a couple of ways.
First smartwatches are able to track your heart rate.
Being aware of your stress levels can be an important step in managing stress.
What’s a quick and easy way to manage stress?
Breathing (and meditation.)
Most smartwatches have apps that provide breathing exercises and meditation techniques.
This can help reduce stress.
If even a little.
Reminders and Alarms
Nurses generally operate on tight schedules.
In fact, the American Nurses Association suggest having clear schedules and operating in a more systematic way is a good way to improve productivity and lower stress.
With many smartwatches, you can add events, reminders, alarms and more, directly into the watch.
Even by voice dictation.
No more messing around with pens, papers and phones
Most smartwatches come with applications to do this.
Nurses work with fluids all day.
All kinds of fluids.
Not to mention sweat.
I imagine if I saw what nurses see in an average day, I’d sweat a lot too.
This means a lot of contact with fluids and water.
Hence, any smartwatch nurses wear, should, at a minimum, be water resistant.
Nurses have enough to worry about while saving people’s lives without having to make sure their smartwatch stays dry.
So be sure this feature is top of the list when you perusing!
Long Battery Life
A study published by the American Public Health Association found that the average shift length for nurses in the US was 12-13 hours.
That means any smartwatch for nurses should have a long battery life.
At least 12 hours between charges, minimum.
In fact, battery life should be a “deal-breaker” feature for any nurse considering a smartwatch.
Shifts are often long and demanding.
Up to the minute information and split-second, decision making is absolute necessities.
Being concerned about the battery life of their devices while on duty should not be a concern.
Be sure to read reviews before you purchase as not all watches have great battery life.
An example is the Fossil Gen 4.
Although it is a beautiful looking watch and has some great features, it is notorious for its limited battery life.
Minimalist Design and Light Weight
A nurse’s life is complicated and hectic enough without needing to memorize instructions and what button to push when.
Minimalist design helps navigate the software of the watch without much hassle.
Consider a few things when looking for a watch.
Size and UI.
Some smartwatches are very large.
If you have small wrists, this could cause many issues you don’t want.
Getting you watch caught, and stuck in things is certainly not ideal!
Now, UI is important for quick, efficient and easy navigation.
Along with that, having fewer knobs would reduce your watch getting caught on things.
For example, the Samsung Gear S3 (which we review below) has a bezel for navigation rather than knobs.
It is a rated feature from many who own or have used the watch.
No knobs sticking out the side.
The Apple Watch is the best selling wearable in the world.
Not only does it rank first in the smartwatch category, but the entire watch category overall.
It also ranks first in Wareable’s list of best smartwatches.
The Apple Watch Series 4 ships with a 1.78-inch display, Apple’s WatchOS 5, 16 GB of internal memory and various sensors to monitor your vitals including an ECG electrode for heart rate and an optical heart rate sensor.
The Apple Watch is definitely in the top class of wearable devices in both hardware and software, but its lack of compatibility and high pricing can make it a hard sell.
Pros of Apple Watch Series 4
Has a heart rate monitor
Has an always-on Siri function to quickly access various features like launching apps and taking calls
Has alarms and reminders apps to help keep track of assignments
Has dictation feature with support for various languages
Is Dust & Water Resistant with an integrated microphone and speaker so you won’t have to worry about working with fluids
Has an 18-hour battery life for long shifts
Cons of Apple Watch Series 4
If you don’t have an iPhone, the Apple Watch is pretty much useless. Hence, if you’re an Android user or have a simple feature phone, the Apple Watch isn’t for you.
You’ll have to download various apps on the Apple Watch even if they’re on your phone. This can be very tiresome.
However, its functions and affordability make it a contender for a spot on this list.
The S3 is comfortable to wear, and the face is easy to read
The classic design ensures that you’ll be able to do your job without any distractions from people enquiring about the watch.
If anything, that’s a plus for a nurse.
Pros of Samsung Gear S3
Comfortable to wear, and unassuming to the eye
Includes features for monitoring heart rate, marking time, activity tracking, etc.
Compatible with iOS and Android OS
1.3-inch screen displays information clearly and crisply
Bezel design / great UI
Comes with a wireless charging dock so you can charge it very easily
Has the option to pre-set calendar and time prompts
Affordable price and great value for money
Shock, water and dust resistant
Great Battery life
Cons of Samsung Gear S3
Larger and Heavier than the Apple Watch
Limited third-party app support
The Samsung Gear S3 is definitely a contender when it comes to smartwatches. However, it offers limited options. If you are dead set as a nurse to use multiple apps during the day to aid your work process, then this isn’t for you.
However, if you’re looking for a simple, smartwatch that does the job well and costs less than the Apple Watch, this is a good choice.
However, its internal workings can help you relax during the breaks in your shift.
It has relaxation timers which can help you manage stress as well as various fitness monitoring tools.
These include VO2 max and fitness age.
The all-important battery life issue is less of an issue due to the fact this watch is a hybrid and can last for up to 5 days.
The Garmin Vivomove HR is a solid, smartwatch for the price; however, it does have some caveats, namely the less than perfect touchscreen.
Also, unlike the Apple watch, you don’t have a handy assistant for voice activation of tasks and apps.
If you are entirely focussed on your wellness, this could be a good choice, but if you need all the features of a high-level smartwatch, then it may not be for you.
This particular watch is also a great watch with second hand for nurses.
Pros of Garmin Vivomove HR
Compatible with Android, iOS, and Windows OS devices. This way you won’t have to choose whether to subscribe to a single ecosystem in order to get your work done
It offers premium services like relaxation timers, fitness monitoring tools, and helps with breathing exercises
Focusses on wellness and stress monitoring
Has mid-range pricing so that you can afford it without breaking the bank
Is fully waterproof so you can take it into any environment you want without fear of damaging it
Due to it being a hybrid it has great battery life compared to other smartwatches
Cons of Garmin Vivomove HR
The touchscreen has some issues and requires multiple touches at times
There’s no GPS
No voice assistant
#4 Fitbit Ionic
It’s less known as a smartwatch and more of a fitness tracker.
That’s not to say it doesn’t do many other functions a regular smartwatch does, but it is the fitness related things this watch does best.
Recently, the brand released a study, which analyzed the resting heart rate of 10 million Fitbit users from around the world.
So it definitely is in the realm of health and wellbeing.
The Fitbit not only offers you great functionality but customizability as well.
The interior is encased in space grade aluminum, and the battery can last almost four days.
Pros of the Fitbit Ionic
Great Battery Life (4 days of moderate use)
Customizable with different bands and colors
Has world class fitness tracking abilities
Lightweight and minimalist
Built-in GPS and NFC
Cons of the Fitbit Ionic
OS is not compatible with all smartphones. Fitbit doesn’t deliver notifications if it’s not paired with a compatible smartphone. It works with pure Android on Pixel 3 but has trouble connecting with Huawei phones and iPhones
Battery life drains within 10 hours when GPS is used repeatedly
It has a beautiful design and looks more like jewelry than a smartwatch.
It has a lightweight, minimalist design and comes preloaded with Android wear 2.0.
But how does it stack against the competitors?
The LGW270 is a decent smartwatch when it comes to compatibility and especially Google assistant support, but it can’t be denied that its lack of monitoring features and average battery life knock points off its total score.
Pros of the Fitbit Ionic
Comes with support for Android 4.3 and iOS 9.0 and later versions
Offers Google Assistant Support to access features like dictation and calls, auto-responses and smart replies
Premium Build Quality with stainless steel casing
Cons of the Fitbit Ionic
Average Battery life at best
Poor water resistance
No features for monitoring sleep and heart rate
Each smartwatch has its own respective great qualities and drawbacks.
It gets old saying it, but the Apple watch genuinely is the best smartwatch as it has so many features, apps and is good quality.
Personally, I don’t really like how it looks, and the price tag is certainly not for everyone.
The Garmin Vivomove HR offers a number of great features for wellness and managing stress although it is less well-rounded than the apple watch.
Obviously, the price point is more favorable.
It also offers great battery life and a great design for the price.
Much like the Garmin, the Fitbit is a little more niche, but extremely good at what it does.
Fitness and tracking.
Think about your price point, and what you want your watch for, and that will help you determine which watch might be best for you.
Thanks for reading. Have any comments or questions? If so, comment below!