Shoe Covers

One of the things I do at work gets more comments (well, more neutral comments) than anything else I do, and it’s that I always wear shoe covers. Always.

I didn’t always wear shoe covers, and when people ask me why, I tell them the story: One evening I was interviewing a nice lady, and she had a half-cup of water beside her. She shifted a little and dumped that water directly into my shoe. I decided then and there that since I couldn’t predict when my shoes would be targeted, I’d just wear them all the time.

Keep 'em clean

Since I’ve started, my shoes haven’t gotten slimed in the usual way (but I’ve had to change shoe covers during a shift), and as a happy side-effect my shoes stay a lot cleaner, and I worry less about the germs from the hospital I track home.

Frankly, I don’t know why everyone doesn’t wear shoe covers in the hospital.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Reminded me of an article I read about doctors transporting germs around on their neckties.

  2. I am envious of those things…. The shoes/exposure thing led to this Haiku being posted on the dashboard of my ambulance via sticky pad and tape.

    Stab wound in the arm
    dude, you just bled on my shoes
    Someone get a mop

    The second and third lines were muttered by an intern at the local University hospital on the occasion of the christening of his new sneakers.

  3. Hehe. Yeah, I am not waiting for that cup of water; The days I work on Labor and delivery, I wear those knee-high disposable moon boots.
    Only gotten a few flecks of blood on them so far, but I am sure that the first time I forget to wear them, I will end up getting drenched in birthing fluids.

  4. The problem is, those shoe covers look pretty silly if you don’t happen to be also wearing scrubs.

  5. Good points, all. I wish I’d worn them in med school; spending the post-call day with squishy amniotic-fluid-filled sneakers was unpleasant.


  6. Hehehehe. I had to join in. We have to wear shooe covers in our animal facility(where water on the floor is way too common because of the watering system), and while I admit that it is nowhere near as bad as squelching around in bodily fluids, I do appreciate that I don’t get myself covered in gooey pooey rodent litter that inevitably ends up on the floor every day. I have a bunch stored in my office for those days when we get a “surprise” rain shower as well. You should see the jealous looks… A bunch of clean shoe covers rolled together also makes a great impromptu pillow.

  7. Nurse Kelley says:

    Because…if you push stretchers at all, shoe covers don’t provide enough traction and you’re just slip-sliding around all day long. That’s why.

  8. I don’t work in medicine, but I wear them when I have my bowling shoes on and I have to leave the pit. Does that count? (Why pay $20 for a pleather one that will wear out in a season when you can get a box of disposable medical ones for $10?)

  9. Nurse Kelly,
    You should try the ones we have now. They stick much better than the ones from a year ago.

    Or, maybe the floor is stickier. Dunno.

  10. I’m never wearing those ugly things. I have a reputation to keep.

    Future Dr. Suave,

    P.S. Would someone please tell me why I can’t get rid of this persistent cough, and why my floors are so dirty?