Right before I started a six-week RN Update clinical, I almost rushed out and bought a clipboard with a compartment for storing things and a calculator on top. Something told me to wait until orientation to see what the other nurses were using. I'm glad I did. Those who had that kind of clipboard didn't find them especially useful. Others stuffed worksheets into their pockets. No one had anything I thought was particularly wonderful.
I ended up going to Wal-Mart and buying a looseleaf binder. I don't remember the brand name but it's made of hard plastic (not vinyl) and has a heavy black rubber band thingie that can keep the binder closed, keep it open to a particular section, or secure loose papers at the back. The binder had flaps inside the front and back covers to hold papers. I also added half a dozen pocket files.
I made myself a worksheet for the ortho/neuro unit I was on, put it into a landscape format (long from side to side), and three-hole-punch a bunch of them. Our floor was mostly post-op patients with lots of details to remember so each patient got a full sheet.
The end result was a "chart" that opened at the top, had ample storage space for computer printouts and reference lists, and could be kept closed and protected from wandering eyes when set down.
At the end of a shift, I obliterated the pts.' name but kept the sheets for the duration of the clinical. Often, I could just update the sheet if I had the patient again. At periodic intervals, we had to write self-evaluations, listing the skills we had acquired, unusual situations we had run across, and any questions still perplexing us. I was able to retrace my steps and gather all of this information easily with the worksheets.
Once I begin working, I will keep these sheets (with names removed) in a locked cabinet. I hope to learn from them and also to have them as a refresher if, God forbid, I'd ever be involved in any legal actions.
One of the things I liked most about the binder itself was the rubber cord. I have seen patients, family members, and bold visitors, try to lift cover sheets to peek at the nurse's notes. They can't do that with this option.
Hope this helps,