Saturday, August 2, 2008

What's In Your Pocket?

Every nurse has their essential supplies. These are the items that are so important to you that you have to always have them with you as you do your job. It is interesting for me to see what some people have (do you really always need to have an 18g IV needle handy? What good is it if you don't also have a start kit and an extension?) and what some people don't have (stop asking if someone has an alcohol pad and start carrying a few around with you!).

That said, here is what I carry with me in the ER:

4-5 saline flushes
5-10 alcohol preps
Assessment forms (little 1/4 sheet of paper that I put together to remind me to cover everything as I do assessments - though I use them less now that I have started taking the WOW with me into the rooms and doing my assessment straight on the computer)
Pocket PC (currently I have PEPID installed because my Davis is 3 years out of date and my Tabers is the same)
I just bought some dry-erase markers with pen clips so that I can write names on the board of who's who.
Other: Sometimes I keep a couple 2x2s or some of my coveted nitrile gloves with me (so I don't have to use the crappy ones that are in most of the rooms). I used to do the hemostat-through-a-roll-of-tape-clipped-onto-scrub-top-made-into-a-makeshift-scissor-holder thing, but that just got in the way too much.

Well, know you know what's in my pocket; so what's in your pocket?


Lisa G said...

Loved your list. Back in my open heart ICU days, I think I carried just about the same amount of stuff, even though all our patients were 1:1. These days, I have to wear business casual clothes, and sometimes they don't have pockets, which drives me crazy. I can't live without a pen, a yellow highlighter (to D/C meds), and my cell phone. The cell comes in handy, because I hate paging overhead, and have my managers carry theirs too. Thank goodness we all have the same carrier...

Prisca: said...

Hi Braden!

Thanks for the really positive, encouraging comment you left on my blog! :) Its nice to know I am not alone out here in the blogger world as a nurse.

Ok, so *I* always carry a little spiral notebook of poliies (kind of a how-to book) I made for myself, a hemostat, one of those four-color click pens; alcohol swabs, a couple flushes, my report sheet, lipbalm, a calculator and a highlighter. Around my neck goes my stethescope that has tape and a penliht-thing hanging off it.

I must look ridiculous. The worst is when I bend over and everything falls out of my top scrub pocket. I wear OR scrubs that only have a butt pocket and a breast pocket.

Great post!

NewGradNurse said...

ha! i'm not a fan of scrub tops so i usually only have two pockets to work with. in those two pockets you will find lifesavers breathmints, lip gloss, three pens, one roll of tape, the hospital phone, and my cell phone. and occasionally a few dollar bills for the coffee machine. this combination is usually enough to have me pulling up my pants every ten minutes because they are falling off....

if i'm on the floor, i also have a plain white piece of paper to take report and write essential info on. and i don't carry the roll of tape on the floor.

intersting differences in supplies.

Bianca Castafiore? said...

Three bound hardcopies of the complete 90 posts (as well as their accompanying pithy and insightful comments) that currently define the famed TWENTY out of TEN Blog, and, like most of you medicos, the sheetmusic to "L'air des bijoux" from Gounod's Faust. (Running back to laywoman's land as fast as les pieds can courir...)

Braden said...


Send me your bound 20/10 edition and I'll sign it for you and mail it back. That should make it at least 1000 times more valuable (0 times 1000 is a lot!).

I'll even sign it en Francais si tu veux.


audrey said...

Well a different persepective here from an aide, but I always carry alcohol preps, pen, permanent marker, report sheet, and gloves. I also work in a nursing home so that may not count for much either lol.

Tracey said...

In my pocket you can find: alcohol preps (though usually not until about 1/3 of the way through the shift), 2-3 pens, a penlight, chapstick, a 10cc saline flush and only occasionally a sharpie.

I keep my report sheets in my bedside books (benefits of being on a unit).

I rarely have hemostats or scissors cuz I'm not a real nurse!! (A joke around my place)

Tracey said...

In my pocket you can find: alcohol preps (though usually not until about 1/3 of the way through the shift), 2-3 pens, a penlight, chapstick, a 10cc saline flush and only occasionally a sharpie.

I keep my report sheets in my bedside books (benefits of being on a unit).

I rarely have hemostats or scissors cuz I'm not a real nurse!! (A joke around my place)

Nickie said...

I'm still a student so I'm on different wards all the time. But, my standards are stethescope around the neck, a white sheet of paper with patient info and where I jot down notes, 3 pens (red, blue and black), PDA with my drug guide loaded onto it, chapstick, a few bobby pins in case my hair starts falling into my face, and of course, the little alcohol pad. And like another commenter here, I often feel like my pants are falling down! At some point during the day, I usually end up with an extra pair of gloves in my pocket too.

Prisca: said...

PS keyboard problems make me look illiterate. sorry.

EDNurseasauras said...

Well. I like to carry my Ipod, an extra pair of socks, an Exacto knife, night vision goggles, kite string and some beef jerky. Oh, and I leave the alcohol wipes at home and just carry the alcohol.

Anonymous said...

* 4-colour pen (I hate monochromatic charting!)
* Neuro torch
* Black Nikko (permanant oil marker for marking feet pulse sites & wound ooze)
* EMT shears
* Stethoscope
* USB drive (full of useful info)
* Spare pair of nitrile gloves
* Madarin phrasebook when I have Chinese patients.

AtYourCervix said...

2 black pens
1 red pen (for chart checks)
small bottle of hand lotion
paper for report
lip gloss
something to snack on (nuts, a few pretzels, etc)
I usually add some alcohol pads throughout the shift, as well as some stickers to label my IV tubing (med labels)
Sometimes I end up with meds in my pockets (terbutaline SQ vials, since I can get 4 doses from one vial) - sometimes erythromycin eye ointment when I forget to put it in with my baby paperwork before a delivery - sometimes an amp of fentanyl if I'm waiting for anesthesia to come up to place an epidural (then, obviously, I give anesthesia the amp!)

JacquiBee said...

I use a Pick Pocket an Australian thing a bit like a fanny pack only your wear it at the front like a sporren. I carry so much I'd sink if I fell in a river. Alcohol wipes, "Remove" and "Skin prep" wipes for all the fraile skin we tend to have. Scissors, tape, a fresh interLink lever lock cannula for our needle less IV system, paracetamol tabs, coins for a snack or adjusting the heat on the radiators when someone has stolen th dial, & lip gloss. I also have 4 coloured pens, handover sheet, day plan, locker key and ID/swipecare. Oh and some times a note book. though I weigh a lot more it saves my legs in the long run.