“What time is it?” Time to get a watch!” As juvenile as this exchange may seem to the bystander, there is no denying that for centuries on end people have in fact felt the need to get a watch. Whether for simple purposes of fashion or for measuring and telling time, the watch has become a nearly indispensable part of our daily lives. We rely on watches to be on time for meetings, to schedule appointments and set up alarms that keep us on task and on time.
As much as the need for watches is almost universal, the types of watches that we have invented for ourselves are as diverse as the careers in which they are used. Specialized watches exist for nearly every profession and can be a significant advantage to those willing to invest in them.
Specialization can mean anything from changing the manufacturing materials to be stronger or less obtrusive; to adding so many functions to the device that it could just as easily stop being a watch. Both can and have been done and to great effect for the profession for which they were intended.
A similar amount of specialization can be found in computers, which have become so popular and pervasive in our modern world that it is hard to imagine a single field where they cannot be found. Computers are an essential part of our lifestyle and come in as many shapes and sizes as the people who rely on them for every possible service.
It should only be natural that these two intersect. Indeed even early computers were able to tell time and were often used for just that purpose. A machine capable of accurately reporting the time was so obviously useful that it predated many other functions found on computers by a matter of decades.
Although clocks on computers have been a common sight since it was first possible to combine the two, the most recent iteration of these concepts has been the smartwatch. This minute device is mounted on the wrist and indeed looks like an ordinary wristwatch but contains the processing power, and in some cases the functionality, of a full computer, and can be realistically employed in a wide variety of tasks.
Smartwatches put everything from timekeeping and fitness statistics to electronic wallets and global positioning right on the user’s wrist freeing up their hands and minimizing the space they would need to carry any device.
It takes no great effort to identify a world of possibilities for this level of convenience. There are any number of tasks that one can more effectively perform with two hands than one, including those professions that require both the use of a computer and the capability to precisely manipulate both hands.
Smartwatches make their presence felt in fitness tracking, mobile or high-tech lifestyles, and allowing people to stay connected while biking or driving, to name just a few, a smartwatch is a useful companion.
Professions like law enforcement or military applications also see extensive smartwatch use. Taking advantage of the device’s ability to precisely transmit locations and messages without occupying both hands or adding undue waiting time with heavy amounts of gear.
Medical professionals find themselves using smartwatches as well. Many smartwatches include exceptionally precise stopwatches, vital sign measurement capability, and customizable alerts that can send practitioners quick and detailed alerts if a patient should be dealing with any problematic conditions.
With so much riding on one small device, one cannot blame the users for insisting on the best possible watch for their profession. For many, having an accurate smartwatch can have serious and vital implications for themselves or, more importantly, those relying upon them.
Thankfully, like analog watches, smartwatches have taken advantage of the flexibility of a digital platform to extend specialization well beyond anything an ordinary wristwatch has ever had, offering something for any profession or lifestyle that needs a smartwatch.
Using a smartwatch is growing easier all the time as well, as new interface technologies and smarter predictive algorithms become a mainstay of technological advancement. Many smartwatches include machine learning, voice recognition, and highly sensitive touch screens to produce an intuitive and user-friendly experience that makes them the ideal choice even when a more specialized tool could theoretically be used with greater difficulty.
In the medical profession, for example, doctors and nurses can often find themselves needing exact timekeeping to determine how long an injection or anesthesia should last or to more precisely regulate the frequency of treatments for patients. Some medical institutions will issue the patients themselves a smartwatch, using it to track their condition in a more general sense over longer periods of time.
Actually a nurse will not need the same smartwatch as a weightlifter. The two watches will be specialized for different applications, much of the same way their users are. Different programs and watch styles will be employed in a nurse’s job than anywhere else, making choosing a smartwatch for a nurse a unique task with its own set of requirements.
As different as nurses smartwatches may be, there are some things that remain the same in any computer you happen to buy. No matter what brand, size, or speed, there will always be a large and hectic market for any computer you are intending to use. As medical practitioners though, nurses do not have the luxury of experimenting with multiple different brands or models. They will need to choose the right smartwatch the first time to avoid consequences for both their patients and themselves.
Although there is only so much that can be different in something as small as a smartwatch, we have nevertheless identified several that stand out from the rest as being particularly useful for nurses. These smartwatches have features that will be welcome companions in any medical setting; whether in recovery, house calls, or anywhere else a nurse might be needed.
These are the devices nurses should think of when they decide that it is indeed “time to get a watch”.
Our Best Smartwatch For Nurses Reviews and Comparisons
1. YAMAY Smartwatch 2020 Ver
This watch starts off our list with a sleek black body and fitness tracker specially optimized for judging male and female anatomy separately.
- IP68 waterproofing
- Nine sport modes
- iOS 8.0 and android 4.4 and above
What We Like About YAMAY Smartwatch 2020 Ver
This watch is a solid choice for nurses for its ability to measure heart rate and oxygen, both important signs to keep track of in any patient. Additionally, the screen brightness and layout can be changed quickly depending on setting and needs.
What We Don’t Like About YAMAY Smartwatch 2020 Ver
A seven-day battery is well below standard for smartwatches, most of which can last at least two weeks on a single charge. The operating system is a less recent one that may soon find itself in need of an upgrade or be entirely unsupported.
- Compatible with older operating systems
- The screen is easily visible outdoors
- Rubber wrist strap and IP68 protect from splashes
- Vital signs tracker
- Nine sport modes
- Relatively short battery life
- Less recent operating system.
2. Willful Smartwatch
This smartwatch comes with a manufacturer’s app to seamlessly link your phone and watch, regardless of the operating system or device specifications.
- iOS 8 and Android 4.4 and above
- IP68 waterproofing
- The screen is 1.5” by 1.3”
- Band size is 6” to 9”
What We Like About Willful Smartwatch
This watch supports a 30-day battery and a highly adjustable wrist strap to make it useful for nurses and patients of all sizes. Nine separate sport modes as well as general fitness and lifestyle tracking.
What We Don’t Like About Willful Smartwatch
Although it can link easily to mobile devices, this watch is not compatible with laptops, tower PCs, or tablet computers. It has a somewhat dated operating system, and the manufacturer’s app for syncing with other devices is often unreliable.
- Compatible with earlier operating systems
- The dedicated app streamlines syncing to smartphones
- Splashproof in case of accidents
- Good wristband adjustability
- A full month of battery life on one charge.
- Support app is unreliable at best
- The older operating system does not support more recent apps
3. SKMEI Women’s Smartwatch
Especially helpful for nurses treating female patients, this watch is specially programmed to account for bodily cycles when calculating vital signs and lifestyle tracking.
- 1.04” full-color touch screen
- iOS and Android compatible
- Bluetooth 4.0 and above connectivity
- Four-day battery life on a single charge.
What We Like About SKMEI Women’s Smartwatch
Trying to use a generic or unisex smartwatch on female patients leaves a lot of calculations to manual estimation or guesswork. This watch allows nurses to measure their patients with a tool preprogrammed with all the relevant adjustments for the female physiological cycle.
What We Don’t Like About SKMEI Women’s Smartwatch
Although this item claims to be IP68, it has been reported to malfunction after even minor wetting or steamy conditions. It does not have a dedicated tracker for the male anatomy and often has trouble pairing even with the devices explicitly listed as being supported.
- Feminine color palette
- Preprogrammed tracker for the female anatomy
- Pairs with a mobile device to display incoming calls and messages
- Recent Bluetooth module improves pairing range
- An extensive and detailed list of habits tracked
- Unreliable connection to mobile devices
- Waterproofing may prove faulty
4. Timex Metropolitan
This watch may look unassuming at first, but is a fully functional fitness tracker and sporting watch behind a rustic appearance.
- Fully submersible to 50m
- 42mm brass case with silver leaf
- Luminous hands
- 20mm genuine leather wrist strap
What We Like About Timex Metropolitan
In an industry plagued by cheap imitations of all kinds, it’s always nice to come across a product you can trust. Timex has been a household name in timepieces for decades, and this smartwatch is just another one in a long line of high-quality wristwatches.
What We Don’t Like About Timex Metropolitan
Unlike many smartwatches, this one does not have a touchscreen or digital interface; all fitness tracking is carried out via Bluetooth connection to the user’s mobile device. Additionally, the welcome boost in quality is accompanied by a significantly higher price tag.
- Trusted manufacturer
- Distinguished appearance
- Quality workmanship
- The highly durable watch case
- Water-resistant to 50m
- Noticeably higher price tag than competing models
- No digital screen or touch interface
5. LEKOO Fitness Tracker
The makers of this smartwatch know that no one can stay awake all the time, and have helpfully accommodated this with a dedicated sleep tracker function that accounts for changes in the body while you sleep.
- IP67 waterproofing
- 1.3” full-color touchscreen
- Proprietary fitness app included
- Address book and messaging apps supported
What We Like About LEKOO Fitness Tracker
This watch’s heartbeat detector can tell whether a patient is asleep or awake and adjust measurements and projections accordingly, making it a useful addition to a nurse’s tools. The screen is large and easily visible in daylight, and syncs calls, messages, and GPS from your mobile device for easy access and recording.
What We Don’t Like About LEKOO Fitness Tracker
This watch remains operable under wet conditions, but fails rapidly at even brief and shallow submersion. There are a few dedicated sport modes, and only the most basic Bluetooth connectivity capabilities.
- Sleep tracking
- Large screen
- Fluid syncing via proprietary app
- Receives calls and messages
- GPS syncs with mobile devices, which is more powerful and accurate than onboard.
- Waterproofing is unreliable
- Few or no preprogrammed sport modes for recovering patients
This smartwatch brings a number of new functions into play that can make a nurse’s job considerably easier, all while keeping costs down.
- Onboard SIM supported
- Android 4.0 and iOS 8 and above
- Integrated digital camera
- High-clarity speaker built in
What We Like About CNPGD
With the addition of an onboard speaker, camera, and SIM slot, this watch has gone from an accessory to practically strapping your cell phone to your wrist. Unlike many watches that can only receive calls, you can initiate them too, as well as taking quality audio or video records of anything necessary.
What We Don’t Like About CNPGD
This watch is far more sensitive to water and temperature changes than competing models, and should not be taken into even briefly moist conditions like handwashing. Because it functions on an onboard SIM, the watch will lose many important features if you happen to be in an area without your preferred cell provider.
- Integrated camera
- High-quality speaker
- Outbound calling
- Supports and syncs all leading social media
- Expandable memory
- Serious compatibility discrepancies between iOS and Android
- Loses reception if taken outside a cell service area.
7. Yocuby Smartwatch
This watch takes wear and tear with a smile – it’s all-metal band and body make it incredibly resistant to damage.
- Metal weave band
- Three days battery life
- 1.04” watch screen
- Social media and inbound calls supported
What We Like About Yocuby Smartwatch
This watch certainly has more outward appeal than others, replacing the seemingly uniform rubber wristbands with a tougher and trendier metal weave. The watch face is similarly hardened, and fitness trackers for male and female physiology are included.
What We Don’t Like About Yocuby Smartwatch
Because this is marketed as a smartwatch for women, the wristband has been made both thinner and shorter than the usual unisex models. The watch is heavier than most others as well, and the battery life is considerably shorter than the standard.
- Stylish outwards appearance
- Tough metal band and body
- Automatic activity reminders keep you active throughout the day
- Sleeping and waking monitor
- Wristband dimensions are smaller than usual
- Battery life is not up to standards
8. FITVII Health & Fitness
This watch is intended to be a fitness tracker more than a nurse’s watch, which gives it the added features necessary to construct a long-term healthcare plan.
- IP68 waterproofing
- Android 4.4 and iOS 8.0 and above
- Up to a week on one battery
- Automated heart rate and sleep monitoring
What We Like About FITVII Health & Fitness
This watch supports longer data retention than other models, allowing it to compile larger amounts of information on a patient at any one time. The strap and face are of good proportions and relatively rugged, and there is full social media support.
What We Don’t Like About FITVII Health & Fitness
This watch focuses more on sporting pursuits than medical, making it somewhat harder to adapt for a nurse. The battery life is only barely a week on one charge, well below standard.
- Reliable waterproofing
- Long-term care plans
- Find My Phone function
- Sleep detection and analysis
- Relatively large screen
- Short battery life
- Harder to make into a nurse’s watch
9. AMATAGE Smartwatch
This watch has a relatively large screen, allowing more detail and clearer interface than other models without sacrificing the performance or integrity of the device.
- 1.4” full-color touchscreen
- iOS 8.0 and Android 5.1 and above
- IP67 waterproofing
- Remote control of mobile device via Bluetooth
What We Like About AMATAGE Smartwatch
While most smartwatches only offer reading and perhaps accepting or rejecting messages and calls, this one is outfitted for a two-way interface with your phone, sending and receiving commands for music, camera, and more. It uses a recent operating system and has dependable, if not extensive, splash proofing.
What We Don’t Like About AMATAGE Smartwatch
Along with only seven days on one charge, this watch takes almost an hour longer to charge than some other models. The iOS support is far older than the Android system, leading to serious discrepancies between operating systems.
- Large screen
- Remote control function
- Recent Android support
- Proprietary DaFit software to adapt apps to a smartwatch platform
- Strap is well fitted to shape of the arm
- Unequal support for iOS and Android
- Battery takes longer to charge than most
10. Samsung Galaxy Active
Samsung is a household name around the world for quality computers and mobile devices; it is only natural that they should also make a foray into the field of smartwatches.
- 40mm wide wristband
- 45 separate preprogrammed sports
- Gorilla Glass screen
- Submersible up to 20m
What We Like About Samsung Galaxy Active
There’s a lot to like about this device, starting with the trusted name on the box. Samsung’s usual quality is back, equipping this device with advanced contact and media syncing and a solid two-week battery life. This watch is better physically as well, with a lighter and thinner case and a Gorilla Glass screen that takes far more damage than ordinary tempered glass.
What We Don’t Like About Samsung Galaxy Active
The main disadvantage to this device is the price, which is more than $100USD above that of some competing devices. Additionally, because this device was made for Samsung’s own Galaxy series, it does not come with default support for iOS devices as well.
- Trusted manufacturer
- Exceptional media syncing and pairing support
- Thinner and lighter than competing models
- Smart fitness and sleep tracking with recommendations
- Fully submersible, if only for brief periods of time
- Intended for Android phones, with no iOS support
- Priced considerably higher than most competing devices.
Having a smartwatch makes nursing easier for plenty of reasons, from checking vitals and patient habits to keeping you in contact with the rest of your team with no need to occupy one hand with your phone. These tools are made for precisely the kind of conditions in which nurses so often find themselves, putting all the convenience of a mobile device in a body so small it can be worn everywhere.
Having a smartwatch is not only for the nurse, though; one can just as easily issue one to a patient in order to check that they are keeping to a predetermined lifestyle plan after treatment. This approach allows the nurse to check up on areas that would otherwise be exceptionally hard to regulate, giving empirical data instead of the patient’s personal interpretation and sidestepping embarrassing housecalls or tedious interviews.
One thing to keep in mind when using smartwatches for anything more than measuring a single individual is to export and clear the data when the device is passed from hand to hand. Because most watches create their reports by aggregating data over a long period of time, using them on several individuals without clearing them can lead to wildly inconsistent and inaccurate readings.
Ideally, the nurse or patient in question should be the only one using their particular device; barring this, try to establish a fixed schedule of data backup and removal to create a consistent
record for each user.
Given that these devices are recommended for nurses, a word of caution is in order – although many have heartbeat sensors or vital sign monitors integrated into the device, they are not medical instruments, and should not take the place of proper measuring tools if there is need for immediate medical assessment. They are meant for lifestyle tracking, and excel at it, but cannot be substituted for genuine medical equipment.
As we mentioned, the market for nearly any electronic device is by default a hectic place that can be exceptionally confusing unless you know exactly what you came for – and, on many occasions, even if you do. These tips should help you cut through the bedlam and select a smartwatch that will be a reliable and realistic answer to your needs as a nurse.
First and foremost, get a watch that is physically compatible with whatever tasks you are anticipating. The watch is supposed to be a help, so don’t let it become a hindrance. Watches that have too large a screen or wristband, or that are not properly waterproofed to stay on during handwashing, may prove unsuitable for many nurses for purely physical reasons.
If intending to pair the smartwatch with your mobile device, always check that it is compatible; such things as operating system and version can render an otherwise exceptional device unusable if the two are not suitable for one another.
It is also advisable to check the Bluetooth of near-field communication capabilities in each watch; while they tend to be more flexible than operating systems, the wrong one can still leave your smartwatch useless.
Nursing produces one consideration that most smartwatch buyers do not see nearly as much. In a medical setting, frequent handwashing is practically guaranteed, and nurses will need a smartwatch that will not be destroyed by brief wetting or even heavier periods of moisture. Choosing one with a higher IP waterproof rating, especially fully submersible, will protect your investment and keep your watch operational when needed.
Although the screen is often identified as the most vulnerable component of a smartwatch, it is no less critical to choose one with a durable strap and reliable closure that can withstand the continual tension that holds your watch on your wrist.
Checking wristband size before buying is similarly indispensable; make certain your chosen wristband will sit snugly on the wrist and not wiggle out of place, but not cinch tight enough to impair feeling, function, or blood flow to the hand in question.
Some smartwatches come with a proprietary charger, which often works faster than USB charging devices. While this is a significant advantage, nurses should consider that they may not always have an outlet available to charge from, and take advantage of the considerably greater freedom afforded by a high-quality USB-micro charger, ideally with a power adapter in case an outlet does happen to be free.
Frequently Asked Questions
It sounds like most of these watches are being recommended for the patients more than the nurses. What are the nurses supposed to do with them?
Nursing is a high-pressure career choice with a lot of stress involved, with work to be done round the clock and throughout the week. While caring for that of others, nurses can often forget to preserve their own health, and get drawn into long periods of minimal sleep, exercise, or food.
Using a smartwatch can help keep any of these from becoming unmanageable by producing an objective account of the nurse’s health; with solid facts to look at, there will be no claims of ‘I’m not tired’ or other such bravado-powered reassurances.
Using a smartwatch will keep a nursing staff on a regular schedule that prevents overwork and keeps the nurses as fresh and alert as they need to be to handle a patient population.
What if I don’t have a smartphone to go with it?
Pairing with mobile devices is an important part of making a smartwatch useful, as it gives more memory and processing power than the watch packs to store and analyze the data. If you don’t have a compatible device – or any device, for that matter – you can get around it easily enough by selecting a watch with an onboard SIM card and expandable storage; this adds most of the missing functions from your mobile phone directly to the watch, keeping it useful with no need for an external device to support it.