Nurses are creatures of habit. The interesting thing is that nursing produces some very different habits from all facets of our profession. There are just certain things each of us must have with us when we work a shift.
It seems that my post The Indispensable Nursing Gear List fostered quite the buzz. While I think everyone agreed with my top four must-haves, in addition to the “runner-up” list included, there seem to be more “must-haves” out there.
There were many suggestions made in the comments section of that original post, so I thought I’d go another round with what I think are the more popular and needed “must-have” nursing gear items—part two!
Name badge holder
It’s taken me a number of years to accept this needed piece of gear. You don’t realize how important a good name badge holder is until you have a bad one. Or better yet, yours keeps breaking. Whether a quick-release lanyard or the retractable clip, we all have our “fave” badge holder. I’m sort of partial to the retractable clip.
A reliable drug reference guide
Okay. You need a reference guide that is up to date, accurate, reliable and, quite frankly, easy to read. Preferably one that offers an online version AND a mobile app. It’s time to get with the program, people! It’s the 21st century. While I’m a die-hard fan of real-life physical-paged books, they can be downright inconvenient while at work sometimes.
This falls under the category of whatever you wear with your scrubs. Are you the nurse who wears a scrubs coat over your scrubs (maybe the button-down type)? Or does your job require a lab coat? Maybe there are certain shirts you have to (or prefer to) wear under your scrubs (like me). Whatever the case, it goes along with my previous recommendation of having a good pair of scrubs.
Okay. Hold your horses. I know, not everyone is a coffee drinker. While this baffles me completely, I’m not referring to coffee drinkers exclusively. Maybe you’re a tea drinker. Regardless, we all have that favorite container. This could be your favorite travel mug, glass, tumbler, etc. And I’ll bet you have your name on it somewhere…or it has some sort of cool saying…or maybe it even has some nurse-type wording?
As I was writing this post, my list got longer and longer. So here are other must-haves or “favorite” items/gear that didn’t make the top list.
Watch – preferably one you don’t mind losing/damaging
Penlight – not all rooms have flashlights for the neuro exam
Sharpie pen – gotta label your IVs!
Water bottle – stay hydrated!
Stethoscope name tag – some stethoscopes have been known to grow legs and walk away
Ponytail holder – at least that’s what I’m told for those with long hair
Tape measure – also preferably disposable (need accurate measurements!)
Alcohol pads – while it’s not part of the gear you own, you wouldn’t be worth your weight in water if you didn’t have a handful of these on your person!
Care to add your must-haves to the list?