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Are you looking for the best watches for nurses on the market today? If so, you’ve come to the right place.
Watches are an essential tool for medical professionals. Whether you’re working a calm, incident-free night shift or a busy day shift, nurses are constantly checking to keep track of medications, treatment plans, and breaks.
That being said, you’ll need an excellent quality watch that will hold-up shift after shift.
There are many factors to consider like readability, functionality, and design of a watch. But how do you choose the best one?
Fortunately for you, we put together a list of our favorite medical watches for female nurses and provide a buying guide to help you know what essential features you need to look for.
Best Watches for Nurses of 2020: Quick Look
- Apple Watch Series 5
- Timex Ironman Classic 30
- Armitron Sport Women’s 45/7012 Watch
- Armitron Sport Women’s 45/7034 Watch
- Speidel Medical Scrub Glow in the Dark Watch
- Casio Women’s LRW200H-7BVCF Dive Series Sport Watch
- Casio Unisex Neo-Display Watch
Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Watch for Nurses and Medical Professionals
So, why do medical professionals and nurses wear watches, and what are the most important features nurse watches should include?
Before you start filling your online cart we’ll answer these questions to help you make the right decision before you check out.
3 Reason Why Nurses Wear Watches
Before we get to important medical watch features you need to look out for, let’s talk about why nurses should wear watches in the first place.
Taking vitals like a patient’s heart rate or respiratory rate is one of your main responsibilities as a nurse. You may have to take your patient’s vitals manually if the patient is not hooked up to a monitor, or if there is a clock nowhere to be found in the room, and you can’t do that without a watch.
As a nurse, your documentation/charting game needs to be strong and is essential for keeping your team of nurses and doctors on the same page for the well being of your patients. Having a watch lets you easily time stamp important events throughout your shift.
Keeping track of time
Yep, keeping track of time. It may sound basic but wearing a good watch as a nurse is essential to help you carry out your nursing tasks and responsibilities during your shift. From knowing when to change out a patients medication, to knowing when to get labs, or to know when you need to just check in on a patient. A quick glance at your watch, or a small vibration of an alarm, will help you stay on schedule and help you keep track of time throughout your workday.
Features to Look For in the Best Medical Watches for Nurses
Easy to read display
You’ll need a display that you’ll be able to read quickly and easily. Contrasting colors from the numbers and the background is best.
Backlighting built-in is also important. Sometimes being a nurse means you have to work in dark environments. You may have a patient that you do not want to disturb by turning on the light when you need to check your watch in a dark room.
Second hand or seconds
Make sure the watch you choose, being analog or digital, shows a second hand or the seconds for reading vitals.
Most healthcare settings and hospitals will use military time. If you’re not familiar with military time, you will want a watch that has this feature built-in.
How many times have you asked yourself what day it is and not know? It’s a helpful feature for not only yourself when documenting your day, but for your colleagues and your patients as well.
Nurses work in extremely dirty conditions, depending on where and what department they work in. You’ll need a watch that is easy to clean and that can easily be disinfected. This helps with maintaining a germ-free environment. Choosing a watch made out of plastic or rubber materials will make this possible.
Try to avoid metal wrist watches or ones with a brass case, they will be harder to disinfect and can be more uncomfortable to wear.
Many watches these days come with interchangeable bands and band colors as well. If your band starts to breakdown over time or if you just want to switch it out while you’re not working, it’s easy to do so.
Your job as a nurse entails a lot of exposure to various liquids. It’s inevitable.
For one, you wash your hands constantly. Consider how much of a hassle it would be to have to take off your watch every time you wash your hands. And second, you will come into contact with other liquids like bodily fluids, cleaning supplies, and medications.
Choose a watch that is able to handle anything you come into contact with without taking on damage or fogging up.
Size and fit
You’ll be wearing your watch through every shift, so it needs to be lightweight and non-obtrusive. Your watch should never feel like it’s in the way so try to stay away from heavy and bulky watches.
The watch you choose should also fit properly so find one that is highly adjustable and secures nicely.
Alarms and timers
These features are very important to help you keep track of your duties throughout your shift. Alarms and timers can help to remind you to switch out a patient’s medication or to follow up with a patient.
Types of Watches for Nurses
Analog Watches vs Digital Watches
Different nurses will tell you which type of watch is best when it comes to analog watches versus digital watches. In the long haul, it’s likely that most nurses and medical professionals will recommend using an analog watch. While they may seem a little old-fashioned in this technologically savvy world, analog watches are great for counting seconds and using while taking a pulse or specific counts.
On the flip side, digital watches work just as well because many of them come with second counts beside their minute display. They can be easier to read in a hurry with their numerical displays, too.
Wrist watch vs Lapel/Pin Watch
The two most popular ways to wear a medical watch is on your wrist and on your lapel. Many nurses prefer both styles for different reasons. There’s no definite way to say whether which type of watch is better than the other—it’s simply up to what you prefer.
Some nurses say that wrist watches are easier to wear and access. While you’re using your hands all day or night, your watch is right there where you need to see it.
On the other hand, some nurses like lapel watches (also known as a pin watch) that attach to their uniforms because they gather fewer germs and have less contact with various forms of fluids and hospital materials. Lapel watches also don’t get in the way when you have to wash your hands.
If you’re looking to get extra fancy, which many nurses are doing nowadays, you can also invest in a smartwatch. Smartwatches are becoming very popular because of the many awesome features they offer that regular watches just can’t compete with. Some examples include text messaging, setting multiple alarms and timers, being able to check your health stats, they can display digital or analog, and there are many different styles of bands to choose from.
They also check off all the features we listed above in what to look for in a watch for nurses.
For great tips and suggestions on how to utilize smartwatches to the fullest as a nurse, we recommend checking out Holley’s smartwatches for nurses review on YouTube. In this video, she reveals some awesome hacks to use during your busy shifts.
The Best Watches for Nurses of 2020 Reviews
Now that you are all caught up on what important features to look for in a nursing watch, you can start shopping. Below, we have reviewed our favorite watches for nurses that are on the market today.
Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS + Cellular, 40mm) – Stainless Steel Case with White Sport Band
PROS: Customizable face, OLED Retina display, easy to read, stainless steel case, can set multiple alarms and timers, write hand-free notes with Siri, water resistant, has a fitness tracker and pulse readings, interchangeable bands for personal style, has LED flashlight, comfortable and sleek design
CONS: Must charge it daily and higher price point
The high quality Apple Watch climbs to the top of our rankings for nursing watches for its many awesome features that will help elevate your nurse game.
The watch features a beautiful OLED Retina display, making the watch face easily readable in both light and dark situations. The customizable display lets you see a digital clock for quick time checks along with analog faces that are perfect for pulse readings or for taking other vitals. The case is also stainless steel so there’s no need to worry taking it off when washing your hands.
This watch comes with built-in LTE cellular, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, this smartwatch functions as a phone to help you stay connected to the outside world when you’re working a shift. You’ll never miss an important phone call or text message. Also, like your phone, this watch has a variety of apps that you can access with just the touch of a finger.
You can set a variety of alarms for your watch, either on silent or vibrate, to remind you to start your rounds or engage in certain scheduled treatments and medications. You can even do this hands-free with the Siri function. For example, you can just say, “Hey Siri, set an alarm for 15 minutes, label it change IV for room 5117”.
The Apple Watch has water resistance, up to 50 meters, which certainly means it will do just fine while you wash and sanitize your hands at work. Also, it’s built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery will give you up to 18 hours of battery life, more than enough to complete those long shifts.
Nurses also love the fitness and health abilities of this watch. It has a comprehensive health tracker that can show your daily movements, like the amount of time you spend standing and how many steps you have taken. The watch also has a built-in heart rate monitor, and if needed, it can generate an ECG.
Finally, the Apple watch comes in many different sizes, colors, and finishes. Along with that, we also love that you can buy interchangeable wristbands to customize your medical watch to match your scrubs and your style.
Timex Ironman Classic 30 Full-Size Sports Watch
CONS: Does not come with instructions and has longer watch band
This hight quality Timex women’s watch comes with a wide range of features that makes it an excellent watch for nurses. It has a great case size in that it’s not too small to read, but not large enough to get in the way. The resin band is adjustable with a buckle closure so not only does it suit any wrist size, but it stays in place through an active shift.
As a sports watch, it’s designed for performance and has water resistance up to 100m. In fact, it’s suitable for swimming, so you can be certain it can handle medical fluids as well as frequent hand washing.
The light-up crystal dial window makes it easy to read in all lighting situations, and the labeled buttons make for easy operation.
Different modes let you switch to military time, and the 30 lap memory stopwatch is great for counting seconds during a pulse reading. Available in 15 different colors and styles, you can match this medical watch to your personality or even your scrubs.
Armitron Sport Women’s 45/7012 Digital Chronograph Watch
PROS: Numbers on display light up, water resistant, affordable price, shows numerical date, quiet alarm, features two-time zone option, optional chime on the hour, stylish appearance, comfortable to wear over long periods of time, seconds counter for vitals, 16 colors
CONS: Light could stay on longer
If you are looking for a functional, reliable watch with a cool and sleek design, take a look at this Armitron Sports watch. With easy display readability, the split display clearly shows the time with seconds as well as the numerical date.
Functions of this watch include alarms, chronograph (stopwatch), lap, and countdowns. As added features, this great watch has the option of displaying a second time zone, and you can switch the display to military time.
The stainless steel case and resin band are durable, great for lasting through long, vigorous shifts and lots of movement. The adjustable feature lets you get a snug fit with a reliable buckle closure to hold the watch in place. It also has water resistance up to 165 feet, which is far more than a nurse would need on their shift, but plenty enough protection to save it from multiple hand washes and any other fluids it comes in contact with.
Lastly, this sport watch is perfect for nurses because of the light-up button that lets you see your display clearly in the dark.
Armitron Sport Women’s 45/7034 Digital Chronograph Resin Strap Watch
PROS: Cool, sleek, out of the way design, excellent sized, day and date window display, military time setting available, backlit screen, two different time zone settings, water resistant, resin band is durable and easy to clean
CONS: Does not include instructions – hard to set up and band discolors quickly
This Armitron Sport Women’s digital watch offers a narrow, sleek design with a lightweight feel that makes it feel like nothing’s there. During a long shift at the hospital, this watch won’t weigh you down or distract you.
With six different colors ranging from classic black to pinks, blues, and white, you can adapt this watch to match your style without going overboard with crazy designs.
The display showcases the time large in the middle with the day of the week and the numerical date at the top. The bottom shows the second count, which is perfect for a nurse on the job. The backlight feature lets you easily view all of these features in the dark.
Other useful tools included with this great watch are the alarm, a second time zone setting, and chronograph.
With a resin case and acrylic watch dial window along with a water resistant design, this sport watch is built to last.
Speidel Medical Scrub Glow in the Dark Watch
PROS: Highly visible face including military hours, red second hand, 3 hand quartz movement, easy to clean, comfortable silicone band, water resistant, engravable back cover, 12 colors to match any scrubs, adjustable for a wide range of sizes, and has backlight
CONS: Does not display the date, the silicone strap not as durable as watches listed above
The improved version of the Original Speidel scrub watch did the hard work for us here and put their specialty right in their name. This great scrub watch was designed for medical professionals and hard-working nurses like you.
This simple nurse watch has clean design makes it super easy to read. With a white dial watch face, a red second hand, and black hour markers, the time stands out for a quick look. In addition to the standard analog numbers, this display has 24-hour numbers lining the inside in red for fast access to military time. This new version also comes with a backlight.
Also printed in red are the seconds above every number of the analog clock, counting up by 5’s. This along with the red second-hand help nurses easily count seconds while taking pulses and performing other medical operations.
This Speidel scrub watch features a silicone band and this watch is made to be comfortable enough to wear throughout the entirety of your shift without becoming uncomfortable or stiff. It has several holes to adjust the size of the band with two straps to hold in the excess. On top of that, it has water resistance.
The Speidel scrub watch is made with quality in mind and even comes in a variety of color options to match any scrubs you have and showcase your personality. Its basic design also makes it suitable for both men and women alike. This is an excellent wrist watch for anyone in nursing school.
Casio Women’s LRW200H-7BVCF Dive Series Sport Analog Watch
PROS: Water resistant, includes a military time inner clock, displays numerical date window, Japanese quartz movement, aesthetically pleasing, reads easily, several sizing holes to fit anyone, comfortable band, design matches every color scrub, lightweight, and adjustable bezel
CONS: No backlighting, case diameter is a little small for analog display, and the wrist strap is on the shorter side for larger wrist sizes
The Casio Women’s Dive Series Sports analog watch is an all-white watch that sports a feminine and Japanese quartz movement design with analog display. The clean watch face/analog dial window shows colorful hour markers all around with smaller inner numbers to show 24 hours.
At the 3 o’clock position, you will find a small date window that shows the numerical date. Large numbers mark the 15, 30, and 45-minute positions for quick reads. It also has a rotating bezel that lets you adjust your starting point.
The case encloses the white dial window, keeping it protected from water up to 330 feet. The molded band is comfortable to wear over long periods of time and secures closed with a reliable buckle closure.
This Casio women’s watch may not have a lot of bells and whistles, but with its simple operation and design, it functions well and is perfect for someone who wants a no-fuss watch. It’s a great starter watch for anyone just starting their nursing career.
Casio Unisex Neo-Display Analog Watch
PROS: Durable and long-lasting, affordable price, good size for men and women, Japanese quartz movement, water resistant, easy to set and use, and lightweight.
CONS: The face is not backlit, the face scratches easily, and the wristband is not as durable as the rest of the watch
Casio watch company is certainly a trusted name in watches, and the Casio Unisex Neo-Display analog watch doesn’t disappoint. This cool black watch features blue accents throughout its face, clearly displaying an analog face that showcases luminous hour numbers and military time along the inside ring.
The watch face includes a ticking second hand, perfect for nurses who need to take pulses regularly. In place of the 3 o’clock tick, you’ll find a date display that gives you both the day of the week and the date.
Finally, the outer rotating bezel boasts 15, 30, and 45 seconds markers that can be rotated to your starting time, assisting you with tracking pulses along with other recreational activities you may participate in.
The resin case and band make this watch comfortable, and durable, and the design is one that suits both men and women alike. With a long-term battery of up to three years, you won’t need to switch out the battery or buy a new watch for quite some time.
Although all of the watches listed above are unique in their own way, the best overall roundup winner is the Apple Watch. Thanks to its sleek customizable watch face (analog or digital), the ability to be cleaned easily, and the fact that it comes with all the other essentials features to look for in a great medical watch for nurses, takes this watch to number one on our list.
Coming in second place is the Timex Ironman Classic. This watch comes with all the features we listed above but is more of a budget-friendly option that everyone can afford.
What do you think are the best watches for nurses? Let us know in the comments below.
For more of our favorite gear recommendations, have a look through these popular HeyScrubs Gear Guide links: