EP 162: What’s In my Nurse Bag

What’s In my Nurse Bag?

What’s a nurse without their backpack? A lazy one, probably! But jokes aside, have you ever wondered what is inside a nurse’s bag? As a nurse, you have to be prepared all the time. Does this mean you have to pack your bag with nurse equipment? No, not really, but there are a few things you need to have in yours. 

In this episode, we will talk about the items that are in our nurse’s bags or backpacks. If you are a nursing student or new nurse, you are probably wondering what you will need in your work bag or backpack. Aside from your personal stuff, what are the things you bring with you? 

Items that are in our nurse backpacks: 

1. Stethoscope

This is one of the most important tools for the medical field. Nurses use this tool all the time to hear breath sounds, or heartbeats. It is also for nasogastric tube placement, equal breath sounds on intubation and the list goes on.

2. Writing items 

  • The 4-in-1 pen. Some nurses have a highlighter with them.
  • Penlight

We tend to always check pupils as part of our standard assessment. Some hospitals may provide flashlights in every room for your neuro checks.

3. Scissors and tape

Bandage scissors are for cutting dressings, bandages, and other things. Micropore tape is also essential. It should be available, for example, when your patient pulls his/her IV. If your whole unit is on isolation precautions then, there isn’t a need to carry your own tape.

4. Books

A handy reference guiding listening down common medicine, procedures, and conditions. Since we work in the ICU a reference book for critical care is what we like to carry. You’ll have patients you haven’t taken care of in a while. These could be patients on paralytics and you need to perform a train of four. This makes to look information up without panicking or needing to ask.

5. Nursing documents/folder

This includes report sheets that you use to take notes of patient care. While traveling nursing you may want to hold onto all documentation.

The nursing documents must be in a reliable folder. Place it in a folder where you can use it for writing on it while getting a report.

6. Liquids

Usually, we are fasting during our shift, so we ingest a lot of liquids. This includes water, tea, or coffee. Usually, nurses bring two beakers. One for water and the other with their personal choice liquid.

7. Lotion and Hand Sanitizer

As nurses, we wash our hands so it’s important to prevent your skin from going dry, especially in the wintertime. Having to sanitize while having cracked hands isn’t painless, burn baby burn. Sanitizers help nurses steer clear of germs, along with other contagious agents.

8. Hair mask/bandanna

This is something we started to include during the pandemic of 2020. Since we have beards, we use PAPR’s to get into isolation rooms, the bandanna protects your hair and keeps it clean.

9. Charger and electronic accessories

Nowadays we always have the need to connect to the internet. If you’re working the night shift you listen to podcasts while charting on headphones.

10. Eye drops

The hospital always has low humidity for infection prevention measures. So having dry eyes can be a common thing. If you wear contacts during work your eyes may tend to dry up even more often.

11. Chapsticks

No one likes chapped lips, chap up! Little humidity air causes chapped lips. Another common cause of chapped lips is habitual licking. Lips don’t contain oil glands like other parts of the skin.

12. Planner/Journal

When there are a few minutes of downtime, it’s always good to plan out your schedule. This can also include taking out a journal and writing your thoughts down.

13. Miscellaneous

These miscellaneous items are not really as important as the ones listed above. However, they might come in handy at certain times. So, it’s better to have them ready in our bags in case we need to use them:

  • Protective eyewear
  • Loose bags of tea
  • Tylenol or ibuprofen
  • Alcohol pads
  • Light jacket

 

 

 

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