Work bags: What do you take and what's in it? - page 5

by PediNurse3

I am starting a new job tomorrow and and just started cleaning out my work bag...what a mess! I've carried the same huge Vera Bradley tote for a little over a year and it's filled to the brim with a bunch of old bills, lotion,... Read More


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    i've carried the same leather messenger bag since 1989. i used to have issues with books spawning in there, but since i got my ipad the book reproduction seems to be under control. i have 3 or 4 lipsticks, 3 pens, 3 pencils, 3 sharpies, callipers, an little bitty flashlight and my stethescope. also iphone and a teeny tiny wallet. we have issues with theft where i work, so the iphone and wallet go in my pockets (i can read on the iphone, too). the other miscellaneous garbage that seems to collect in bags is all lying on my dining room table. now if i could just get that table under control . . . .
    chrissypsychRN09 and Poi Dog like this.
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    I use my old leather coach bookbag from college. I have wayyyy too much stuff in it. Not even sure if I know what is in it but ill give it a shot:
    a few tubes of lotion (different ones depending on what i want/ need at the time)
    biofreeze (for when my back is killing me)
    random flushes/ alcohol wipes from end of shift
    planner that i havent opened
    feminine products
    aleve and nasal decongestant
    vaseline and vicks (from last winter)
    stethoscope
    glasses
    sunglasses
    pens, highlighters, sharpies, tape
    random pieces of paper
    chapstick
    scrub jacket
    water
    wallet
    callipers (havent used those since college)
    and im sure much more random things. I think it is time for a clean-out
    I also bring a lunchbox with snacks, dinner/ breakfast (depending on shift) and water.
    Poi Dog likes this.
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    Quote from Trekfan
    OH yes I forgot I always try to carry a valum to work because you just never know win the sh#t is going to hit the fan you might need one !
    That's it! I'm a walking pharmacy - tylenol, motrin, excedrin, pepto-bismol, and my own medications. That's what my bag is so heavy! Anxiety meds by rx of course.
    Last edit by chrissypsychRN09 on Aug 1, '11
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    Working for a nursing agency required that I bring different items depending on where I was working. I got sick of packing for each facility and began carrying everything I could possibly think of in my back pack. I carry reference manuals such as lab values and the newest drug book. I carry extra report sheets, nursing notes, vital sign sheets for each facility so I can photocopy them when I cannot locate them. I usually have some sort of textbook or manual for the current course I am taking. I also carry:
    Vicks vaporub
    Vicks menthol cough drops
    gum
    stethescope
    automatic wrist B/P cuff
    manual B/P cuff
    AA/AAA batteries
    mini-flashlight
    sweatshirt
    extra scrubs
    playing cards (to play with alert patients who can't sleep)
    gait belt
    pulse ox
    paper clips
    rubber bands
    IV stickers
    IV clamps
    pill cutter
    pill crusher
    clipboard
    date book
    journal
    hair clips and elastics
    brush
    toothbrush
    toothpaste
    deoderant
    make-up (in make-up bag)
    bag of plastic rosary beads
    book of Christian prayers
    pamphlet with common old testament stories
    colored pens
    black pens
    highlighters
    laundry marker
    sharpies
    CPR mask
    CDs (old swing music for dementia Units, relaxation music for hospice)
    list of local doctor's phone numbers and fax numbers
    badge
    non-slip socks (when my shoes get wet)
    snacks (yogurt, apples, carrots)
    ziplock with coffee (some facilities only have decaf.)
    packets of diet hot choc.
    tea bags
    one cup size french press (some facilities have no coffee pots)
    palm pilot (with epocrates on it) I will loan out the drug book but not this
    lighters (patients are allowed to smoke outside but are not allowed to carry lighters)
    tape measure
    disposable plastic wound measurement guides
    various other references (IV meds, new procedures from inservices, ICD-9 codes...)
    aspirin
    tylenol
    ear thermometer
    forehead thermometer
    thin 3-ring binder with charts of nerves, bones, & muscles and more
    multiple rolls of different types of tape
    hand sanitizer
    hand lotion
    allergy medicine and my epi-pen
    pen light
    extra-pair of reading glasses
    notebook size hole punch
    small stapler and staples
    white-out (for my notes)
    watch (don't wear one on a reg. basis)
    wallet
    cellphone
    umbrella
    In my car I keep clothes and shoes I do not like wearing my dirty uniform in my car or into my house and to do errands in after work (I think it is gross when I see nurses doing things like food shopping with their dirty uniform and shoes on), a fully stocked first aid kit, reg. size and pedi CPR masks, airways, and an ambu bag for road side emergencies and I have used them. I decided to carry these things after I came across a motorcycle crash. The man had a profusely bleeding head wound and I had nothing to hold on it. I took off my t-shirt and used that. As I was removing my shirt a few by-standers gasped! Lucky for me I had a tank top on over my bra! When the paramedics arrived they berated me for having no gloves on; as if I was not going to administer first aid without them.
    Poi Dog likes this.
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    Quote from FancypantsRN
    Wow, I am grossly unprepared. I carry no bag. Just some pens, trauma shears and a lipstick in my lab coat pocket. I would be up the creek if I needed anything else!
    I was going to ask if anyone carries NO "bag" ...

    I do carry a purse - a pretty small one, compared to the carry-on-bag-sized ones of my coworkers. In there is my wallet, keys, a comb, 2 makeup items, Ibuprofen, a pen or two, loose change at the bottom, a rosary, and a couple of pens. And some misc. receipts from the ATM, the gas station, & the grocery store. I toss in my badge when I'm leaving for work.

    When getting ready for work, my pockets hold lip balm, pens, a small amount of cash, and scissors. My stethoscope stays in my locker at work, along with an extra pair of scrubs and a couple of toiletry items. (you need an act of Congress to get some OR scrubs at my hospital)

    And that's it, folks. I travel light.
    turnforthenurseRN likes this.
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    Love this thread!!! I start my first job as a nurse in a few weeks this helps on what I should bring
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    I change my bag about every 3-6 months depending on mood and the state of my back. As in, when my back is good I can carry my saddleback tote which is heavy but looks good, when it's not I switch it out for either the mountainsmith bag or the freebie messenger bag my husband got when he was at some vet convention. Either way they call me mary poppins because of all the stuff in there.

    The "stuff" is fairly organized. There is a fabric pencil case with extra pens, calipers, hair things, cough drops, all sorts of weird little things I might need. There's a vinyl makeup case from goodwill with the "pocket" stuff. Hemostats, scissors (3 kinds), penlight, sharpies (which I am currently buying for myself and not loaning anymore), alcohol swabs, etc. Those two cases take care of most of the clutter.

    Other things include stethoscope, kindle, my old palm with epocrates on it and its charger (can't remember to put the program on my phone!), cellphone, ipod, various chargers sometimes, bag of dental floss picks, feminine hygiene things. I have moved my change of clothes, my gayhart IV drug book and my fast facts to my locker. Crap that medical equipment people give me for the newest invasive monitors and stuff, also goes in the locker just in case. I keep trying to remember to put a whole box or so of feminine products in the locker, and never seem to do so. I'll probably get it done shortly before menopause. Also I keep a can of soup and a package of easy mac in the locker in case of some kind of food shortage.

    Oh yes, I forgot the umbrella. That's pretty large, as I tend to randomly mangle the little purse-sized ones. One day I was getting into work. I needed to put the umbrella back on the bottom of the giant messenger bag. So I took out two cases, a kindle, a steth, a lunch bag, a coke, and a knitting project bag (never got to work on it, it was a jinx from he!!), and put the umbrella in. I heard from across the unit, "you got a lamp in there too?!" and raised my head, said huh?? Coworker says "well you look like mary poppins over there with all that stuff."
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    Almost every nurse where I work wears a nurse pack around their waist with all their nursing items in it. ( scissors, clamps, red blue and black pens, sharpie, dry erase marker, alcohol wipes, ect) I also keep my phone, ChapStick, brain , debit card, and a few pieces of gum in there. Love it! Nursepropack.com
    Other than that my lunch goes in the fridge. . Locker is empty. . Too busy for books and no need for makeup during nightshift.
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    Umm...I just have my purse with my keys, and wallet? I keep my stethoscope, and scissor pack, penlight in my locker, toss it in there, happily, at the end of my shift. It may sound weird, but I have a designated jacket that is used only for the hospital. Nowhere else.
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    I travel light...my clipboard, snacks, feminine products and my steth. One of these days I will get a lock for my locker and stash a change of scrubs in there.


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