Nursing Blogs>Ani BurrScrubs

What’s in your pockets?


Ocean Photography | Veer

Every nurse (and student nurse!) carries around the essentials, here’s my “Top Ten” pocket-essentials for nursing and clinicals!

  1. Pens – There’s something magical about nursing – nurses can make pens disappear into thin air! Make sure you keep extras near by, but always have a black ink pen on hand. Even if your hospital has gone paper-less, you’ll need it to mark something, sign something, or make a note of something. Highlighters for your own use – marking up your papers, and a dry erase marker for your patient boards.
  2. Stethoscope – I guess this one is a given, but you want to make sure you get a stethoscope you can use effectively (i.e. the ear pieces aren’t poking your brain so hard you can’t concentrate on the sound), and also make sure you have a type specific to your patient population (adult, cardio, peds, neonates, etc).
  3. Bandage scissors – There’s always a use for these, even when you’re not cutting bandages or tape. No sense wasting time fumbling around trying to open packaging for a pulse ox, keeping a (good) pair of bandage scissors on you will save you time. Just make sure you keep an eye on them, don’t let them wander off with those pens!
  4. Penlight – A penlight is an essential for a good neuro check, and to me, this is the part of the nursing assessment that is most often glazed over in non-neuro patients. Having my own pen light in my pocket is a reminder to me that I need to use it, complete my assessment, and make sure that I don’t skip it even if the patient is alert and oriented X4!
  5. Alcohol prep pads – I know for clinical I stock my pockets full of these. You need them for IVs, you need them to clean off your pens – you need them. A lot of them. On hand, all the time.
  6. Saline flushes – I’ll never forget the instructor who would check meds with us in the morning, and then as we were leaving the med room would grab a hand full of saline flushes and shove them in my pockets saying, “you’re going to need these!” and I always thought there was no way I would need all of these flushes. But sure enough, she was right! You probably don’t need a handful (especially since they’re bulky and their packaging makes a lot of noise in your already-full pockets) but having a spare has never hurt!
  7. Tape – Taping and re-taping IV’s, taping a sign on a door, taping around a pulse-ox to keep it secure, tape is essential. Paper, plastic, satin, whatever you prefer, it will always come in handy
  8. Chapstick/lotion – I always carry a chapstick, since my lips chap easily, if you need it, keep it on hand so you’re not running back to your locker/bag to grab it. Lotion can be too bulky for your pocket, but if you can find a small tub of it, and your hands dry out (especially with constant sanitizer use and hand washing), it’s important to maintain your own skin integrity.
  9. Brain – Not the one in your head, but whatever it is that keeps you organized throughout the day. A change of shift sheet, a hospital-provided “brain” to keep track of everything that goes on is how you’re going to stay on top of it. Students, if you don’t have one, make your own! Check out this blog to find out what to add!
  10. Cash – Last but not least, carry a few dollars on you in case you need a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack or a quick cup of coffee. I know I always need my morning coffee with breakfast, and maybe something sweet in the afternoon!

Every nurse carries their supplies out of experience. These are what I’ve found to be practical and necessary when I am in the clinical setting and at work. What’s in your pockets?

Ani Burr, RN
I'm a brand new, full-fledged, fresh-out-of-school RN! And better yet, I landed the job of my dreams working with children. I love what I do, and while everyday on the job is a new (and sometimes scary) experience, I'm taking it all in - absorbing everything I can about this amazing profession we all fell in love with.

    Veteran’s Day

    Previous article

    Nursing around the world

    Next article

    You may also like


    1. Hi! I understand this is kind of off-topic but I
      had to ask. Does operating a well-established blog such as yours require a lot of work?

      I am completely new to blogging but I do write in my diary daily.
      I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my experience and thoughts online.
      Please let me know if you have any recommendations or tips for brand new aspiring bloggers.

    2. We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new
      scheme in our community. Your site provided us with valuable info to work
      on. You’ve done an impressive job and our entire community will be grateful to

    3. Hey there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a
      quick shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading your blog
      posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that go over
      the same topics? Thanks a lot!

    4. Tremendous issues here. I am very glad to peer your article.
      Thank you a lot and I am having a look forward to contact you.
      Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

    5. Hi there! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new apple iphone!
      Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts!
      Keep up the great work!

    6. excellent publish, very informative. I ponder why the opposite specialists of this sector do not realize
      this. You must continue your writing. I’m confident, you have a
      great readers’ base already!

    7. Excellent, what a weblog it is! This blog gives valuable data to
      us, keep it up.

    8. This post is priceless. Where can I find out more?

    9. I want to to thank you for this very good read!!
      I absolutely enjoyed every little bit of it. I have you book marked to look at new
      stuff you post…

    10. My brother recommended I might like this website.
      He was entirely right. This post truly made my day.
      You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this info!

      Thanks! asmr asmr

    11. It’s the best time to make some plans for the future and
      it’s time to be happy. I’ve learn this post and if I could I desire to suggest
      you few attention-grabbing things or tips. Maybe you could write next articles relating to this article.
      I desire to read even more things about it!
      scoliosis surgery scoliosis surgery

    12. Hello, I desire to subscribe for this blog to get latest updates,
      therefore where can i do it please assist. quest
      bars quest bars

    13. Hmm it appears like your site ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what
      I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
      I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but
      I’m still new to everything. Do you have any suggestions for first-time blog writers?
      I’d definitely appreciate it. cheap flights cheap flights

    14. Good day! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and starting a new project in a community
      in the same niche. Your blog provided us useful information to work on.
      You have done a wonderful job! ps4 ps4

    15. Appreciating the dedication you put into your website and in depth information you offer.
      It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same
      old rehashed material. Excellent read! I’ve bookmarked
      your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google
      account. quest bars quest bars

    16. always i used to read smaller posts which also clear their
      motive, and that is also happening with this article
      which I am reading now. scoliosis surgery scoliosis

    Leave a reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *