When you are just starting out as a nurse, it can be hard to figure out what you need to bring into a facility to begin working. Sure, facilities do supply most job-related tools and supplies for you, but there are a few extra things nurses like to have handy and in their pockets. Whether you’re a certified nursing assistant (CNA), a registered nurse (RN), or any other type of health care professional, these are the nurse tools you’ll want to invest in.
This is the most important tool needed to be a successful nurse and it will last you for years to come. Your specialty will play a role in deciding what type of stethoscope will work best for you. It’s best to take your time and compare options and fit and try a few out in person. Pick one that has ear tips that properly fit your ear to drown out ambient noise. Other options to consider are the length of the tubing and material.
New models have included digital clocks on the bell which work well when you need a clock around or in an emergency situation. It’s a great idea to spring for the engraving as well when buying new. For around $10 you can have your name engraved on your stethoscope so that it can be returned to you if it makes its way to another unit.
2. Good Shoes
Long gone are the days where nurses are forced to wear all white shoes. Now you can go for what provides the most comfort. This is the second most important “tool” nurses need, being that you will be on your feet all day long. Having good supportive shoes will help with fatigue and also protect you from back pain from those hard surface floors.
Select a pair that are supportive, breathable, and comfortable, since you likely will be wearing them for 12 hours a day. You don’t have to invest in nursing clogs, though. While lots of nurses find them comfortable, they don’t work for everyone, but cross-trainers might work well for you.
All nurses are obsessed with good pens, right? Find ones that you like, preferably ones that cap with the click of a button, and always carry a few of them in your pockets. Since nurses are constantly in need of pens for notes, and charting and a plethora of other tasks, they tend to be a picky group on what type they like. Click pens tend to be a general favorite as you don’t need to keep up with a lid and worry about them staining your scrubs.
4. Foldable Clipboard
A lightweight foldable clipboard seems like a very niche tool but it is so helpful. It folds up and can go right in the front pocket of your scrub top. It can hold documents and also provides a great hard writing surface. This clipboard makes it so much easier to be HIPPA compliant, as you can flip it closed and keep it on your body.
5. Comfortable Scrubs
Scrubs have come such a long way. There are so many different styles and fits these days, the options are endless. As long as your workplace doesn’t have any limitations on scrubs you can wear, pick the ones that suit you best and choose what makes you feel confident and comfortable. Your scrubs can reflect your personality and personal style and always look for sales once you find a brand you enjoy.
Label a pair of scissors and keep them with you at all times. Finding a pair on a unit is always time-consuming. They don’t have to be anything fancy, just be the nurse who isn’t always looking for scissors.
7. Hand Sanitizer
While facilities are required to provide hand sanitizer, most nurses would agree that it’s best to carry some of your own in your pocket. This way, you will always be able to grab it right away when it’s needed or when you aren’t able to wash your hands immediately.
As a nurse, you need to get close to people quite often. It’s just as polite as washing your hands so they don’t smell after you eat, your breath should also be fresh so you feel comfortable talking to patients and providing patient care.
9. Pocket Protector
Dorky right? But it’s so useful! Where are you going to store all your pens, sharpies, gum, and scissors? Plus it makes emptying your pockets so much easier at the end of a shift. Then you can just pop your pocket protector neatly back into your clean scrubs the next day and off you go. They also keep your scrubs looking fresh and ink stain free.
10. Activity Tracker / Smart Watch
Nurses should always have a watch on — they’ve trained you for this since nursing school. Some of the basic reasons nurses need a watch include checking pulse and respirations, setting alarms, and time management. Often clocks around the facility or in patients’ rooms may not be reliable.
Now you can combine your watch with your fitness tracker so you can take control of your own health and fitness sats. That insight may help you navigate your fatigue levels and monitor or motivate you to achieve new activity goals. Also, make sure to get one that can easily be washed with soap and water as well as wiped down to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases.
Most nurses often dedicate a bag to carry back and forth from work, any washable bag will work. Some other items to consider include a pulse oximeter, compression stockings, and a blood pressure cuff. If you are interested in picking up per diem shifts at local facilities in your area, apply at Clipboard Health today, and you could pick up shifts tomorrow!