Looking to be ready to start work. Need some advice ...

  1. I am about to take my NCLEX and provided I pass I will seek a job at the local medical care (for seniors).
    So my question is this: I want to be ready when I get that first job. What things should I buy? I know comfortable shoes is huge but what else would you recommend for a new nurse?
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   HalfBoiled
    A fanny pack has served me well for my first 2 years of bedside care.
  4. by   MinneNurse
    I carry a small pocket sized notepad so I can write down little things I would otherwise forget but don't want to put on my brain sheet, such as - call family member of so-and-so back, patient in room X would like more ice chips, etc.
    Other than your stethoscope though I would wait until you start the job and see what you may need and what other nurses bring. When I started my current job I brought my bandage scissors and carpuject with but realized I didn't need them..
  5. by   elijahvegas
    Scrubs with Pockets.

    Many pockets.

    All the pockets.
  6. by   Karma80
    What exactly is a brain book? I keep seeing people talk about a brain book..
  7. by   klsm1968
    always bring a sharpie
  8. by   bikebro
    Quote from Karma80
    What exactly is a brain book? I keep seeing people talk about a brain book..
    Think you are just referring to the sheets of paper with patient info that you create. I always see the term brain sheet not book.
  9. by   LibertarianNurse
    I would echo that comfortable shoes are a must, as well as scrubs with a lot of pockets. It's helpful to have what I call a nurse "kit" that lives in one of the pockets. In addition to my Littman stethoscope, my little "kit" includes a carpuject, 2 black pens, 1 red pen, a penlight, a hemostat, bandage scissors, about 10-20 alcohol scrub pads, 4-5 2x2 gauze pads, and calipers (I work critical care). I think when I started I kept a small notebook where I could jot down notes about any patient situation that I wanted to look into further, whether it was a med I wanted more information about or a diagnosis, or something strange about their lab values. It helped to write it down in the moment, knowing that I would fully flesh it out later. It really helped with my learning over time. It is good to look things up that are necessary in the moment, but some times that was not possible due to work flow or patient situation. Of course, I am not referring to unfamiliar meds that I needed to look up so that I could safely care for my patient. Those have to be looked up before giving them, of course, but I am talking about really looking into a medication or condition that I had a rough understanding about, but really needed more time to learn about. Many nursing software programs these days have a medication look-up function that is very helpful, but if not, use your hospital pharmacists as resources, if they are able. I also carry an EKG reference book and a critical care reference book in my backpack, which I can access if needed, but I don't have them on my person at all times or anything. I rarely refer to either of those now, but when I was new, I used them a lot. Knowing your resources is key when you are new as well. Does your hospital have therapies like respiratory care, speech pathology, dieticians, physical therapy and such? Then learn how to contact them and access their expertise. Learn and memorize your charge nurse's number, the main number to your department, as well as how to call in sick to your unit/hospital. I hope you find this helpful. Best regards in your new adventure as a nurse!

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