what's in your pocket?

  1. 0
    As a new ER nurse, I am curious to know...what do you experienced ER nurses carry with you in your pockets or fanny packs?

    Any and all information greatly appreciated...

    I carry...my PDA, alcohol swabs, bandaids, tape, etc., etc....

    SRKnurse
  2. 35 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    ok could someexplaine this PDA thing to me??? Knowbody in my ER has one? I carry scissors(good enough to cut off clothes), ink pens, a bottel of Normal saline, a carpuject holder, and a few alchohol preps.
  4. 0
    I carry PDA, tape, scissors, pens, highlighter, tape, alcohol preps, penlight, hemostat, and my own fresh 30 ml vial of NSS for flushing IVs ( we keep multidose 30 ml vials in with the IV stuff in each room but- if it's been used- who knows what could be in there that you're drawing up-you know what I mean??)

    PDA (palm tungsten E) is a great tool- replaced a lot of my old rubber-banded cheat sheets I kept in my pocket! I have ER /ICU tools, PICU stuff, Preg wheel, IV drips ( downloaded our hospital's standard concentration so all i have to do is type in --mcg/min or mcg/kg/min and it gives me ml/hr --easy to set my pump {our pumps don't calculate for us}) I also have ePocrates -

    It keeps my calender for scheduling- so I can see what I'm doing in the future!!
    Has a calculator and address book.

    I have solitaire and black jack too- and pics of us on vacation to keep me smiling!

    PDAs are VERY helpful!!

    Anne
  5. 0
    Quote from needsmore$
    I carry PDA, tape, scissors, pens, highlighter, tape, alcohol preps, penlight, hemostat, and my own fresh 30 ml vial of NSS for flushing IVs ( we keep multidose 30 ml vials in with the IV stuff in each room but- if it's been used- who knows what could be in there that you're drawing up-you know what I mean??)

    PDA (palm tungsten E) is a great tool- replaced a lot of my old rubber-banded cheat sheets I kept in my pocket! I have ER /ICU tools, PICU stuff, Preg wheel, IV drips ( downloaded our hospital's standard concentration so all i have to do is type in --mcg/min or mcg/kg/min and it gives me ml/hr --easy to set my pump {our pumps don't calculate for us}) I also have ePocrates -

    It keeps my calender for scheduling- so I can see what I'm doing in the future!!
    Has a calculator and address book.

    I have solitaire and black jack too- and pics of us on vacation to keep me smiling!

    PDAs are VERY helpful!!

    Anne
    Ditto! I love my Tungston E, and have Epocrates and Davis drug guide, ACLS guide, drip calculator, etc as well. It makes it quick too when a patient is on a med you are not familiar with and you can look it up at bedside or in triage instead of having to get a med book from the med room.

    In my pockets......I keep the same thing in each place so I always know where things are in a hurry. I keep pen and marker in right scrub pocket. If I have meds that I plan to repeat later, I will have the carpojet or vial with patient label on it in that pocket. I don't put more because I want to be able to get to my pen without digging around. My left scrub pocket is my calculator, alcohol swabs, tourniquet and a few extra angiocaths. On the back of my calculator is a card with frequent numbers I need on it, like the main hospital number, taxi, poison control, animal control, CT, lab, pharmacy, locker combination, passwords etc. It is a great cheat sheet and saves lots of time.

    I have hemostats with a roll of tape on it hanging from the lower part of my scrub top on the left. In my cargo pants I keep my PDA and scissors in the left pocket and misc. stuff in the right lower, like car keys, butterflies, and stuff I may pick up during the shift like bandaids, steri strips, neosporin packets, stuff I end up putting back in the bins at the end of the shift.
    I have my nametag and stethescope hanging around my neck. I have made a habit of NEVER putting my stethescope down. If you do, you will lose it. If you have a cheap one, you may not care, but I have a great Littman Card 3 that I do not want to lose.

    Another very helpful hint is to have a bag for all you stuff and clean your pockets out at the end of every shift. I use a clear make up case that is large enough for my stuff, but not too big. That way you never go home with unwasted meds, and if you have the patient label on it, you know who it belonged to. It is amazing how much you accumulate during the shift. You can return angiocaths, tournequets etc to the lab tray or you end up with all that stuff at home. Then you will always have your stuff at hand and can quickly reload your pockets.

    I keep the plastic bag in a larger totebag that I can leave in my locker every day. You may need to take your PDA home to charge and use for other uses, but everything else stays in the locker. In the tote bag goes the stethescope and misc supplies. I keep a bottle of Ibuprofen and some sudafed if the right season. I also keep a nail file, eye glass repair kit, small tape measure, in my bag cause you don't know when you might need it.

    You will develop your own personal inventory of what is important, but this is what works for me.
  6. 0
    Just an observation but in my 17 years of emergency medicine there seems to be a corrlation between length of time as a ER nurse vs how much one carries.
    To that end the longer one has been a nurse the less they carry. There are a few exceptions - myself generally its a pen or two ( ones the throw down pen ),
    the PDA- cuts down on having to find the IV/Drug book(they tend to be pretty ratty looking w/ missing pages anyway), trauma shears and tape.. and some ETOH pads. I dont include the stethoscope as almost everyone has that. Also means less crap falls out when one bends over or is doing CPR.

    Rj
  7. 0
    Ugh...I am so adamantly against PDA's. I think I am afraid of them being hard to use and such, but it sounds like they are really helpful. I may have to get one. I'm not as bad as my husband though...he refuses to get a cell phone!! :chuckle
  8. 0
    The 'cleaning out of the pockets' is an important part of LEAVING work. Funny how I go to work with some pens, while I'm at work I never have one, and when I come home I have 3 or 4!!

    Regarding tape- my hubby says that my hospital would probably give the nurses higher raises but they need their money to keep buying tape ! ( I usually come home with more than 1....:chuckle )

    Happy 4th!

    Anne
  9. 0
    I carry 2 pens-also the throwawy kinds-in my right pocket. In my left I carry a lip balm.

    We have scissors, tape, and alcohol pads all over the place, as well as flushes, etc., so we really don't need to carry them around. If I had a PDA, I'd carry that in my left pocket or my cargo pants pocket.
  10. 0
    I worked at one hospital that had a bin at the department door to dump all the hospital's stuff in it as you left work, tape, swabs etc. I figured after awhile it did add up in saving the hospital money.

    Chet
  11. 0
    I'm a newbie, but here's what I carry so far: A few pens, b/c I always lose one or two. Penlight, calculator, sometimes a tourniquet, flushes go in cargo pockets. Tape goes on the scope. -andrea


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