School supplies other than books? - page 2

by doublehelix 11,269 Views | 15 Comments

Hi everyone! I Offically start school August 30th for the BN program here in Canada. My college just eliminated the RN and LPN program, and they have made many changes to this year's new BN program. Our book list isn't even... Read More


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    All of the posts above are great and I also recommend most of the items they mentioned. Here's a list of the top 7 items all new nursing students should buy:
    -3 inch binder w/ dividers
    -clipboard with space in it for papers and attached calculator
    -comfortable walking shoes
    -any littmann steth. (the cheapest litt. will do fine)
    -day planner of some sort
    -watch
    -pen light
    In my opinion these are the essentials (in addition to the stuff you already know of like pens and paper).
    Teebee5 likes this.
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    The Papermate Sharpwriter mechanical pencils are absolutely the best, IMO. The way they're designed makes it so you can just slightly rotate the pencil periodically to keep that really sharp point (and the graphite won't just spin back to the dull side). The erasers are also good, not those crappy color ones that just smear all over the page. I've got cases of them.
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    There's another good "school supplies" thread at Nursing School Must Haves?? - Nursing for Nurses. I recommended a few items in that thread, the revised version of which looks something like this:

    * Large dry-erase board. Get one cheap at Walmart, Target, wherever. Divide into seven blocks and chart a week's worth of assignments at a time.
    * Large pack of black ball-point pens. Black is the only legal color for charting, and you'll have a very hard time writing on carbonless forms with a rollerball or gel pen. If you must use distinctive pens, be prepared to lose them; good pens grow legs faster than anything on a busy unit.
    * NCLEX flashcards. Get into the habit of doing ten to fifteen a night now and you'll be in great shape for the actual exam.
    * PDA/smartphone and medical software. If your device doesn't run one of the recognized platforms (iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Droid), then get a cheap Palm off eBay or Craigslist. For programs, you need a drug book and you'll probably want a clinical handbook. ePocrates is free for #1; check out Skyscape or Lexi-Comp and pick what you like for #2.
    * Clinical supplies. Cheap is good. You need bandage scissors, a measuring tape and a penlight.
    * Clinical clothing. Again, cheap is good insofar as "cheap" doesn't translate to "see-through." I recommend an extra pair beyond what your school requires; body substances have a special attraction for student whites, and I guarantee you'll trash at least one set over your SN career. Also, if you're in a cold climate or work on a cold unit, consider buying a pair of lightweight long underwear (bottoms and a short-sleeve top) for wear under scrubs. That hike from the offsite employee lot gets awfully chilly in winter!
    * Clinical shoes. Already mentioned elsewhere.
    * Your stethoscope. Please, take this old TA's advice and do not cheap out here. Spragues are fine for the lab, but try to take one into a big noisy unit and assess an agitated patient with it, and all you're going to hear is tube-rubbing and other artifacts. Get a Littmann or an ADC (it doesn't have to be cardiology-grade, the "classic" lines are fine). Or, if you have a Sprague you love and can't part with, you can try the old EMT trick where you tape the tubes together. I've never tried it personally, but heard a few people say it works.
    * Lunchbox, lunch containers and water bottle. For every one good hospital cafeteria I've been in, I can think of five nutritional nightmares. Pack a lunch. Also get into the habit of keeping a small, healthy, easily consumed snack somewhere on your person (small protein bar, bag of trail mix, whatever). You won't be nearly as tempted to splurge on chips and candy when your blood glucose starts dropping at 4 PM and you've got another three hours to go.
    * One large and one travel-size container of the OTC analgesic of your choice (aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, etc). You're guaranteed to suffer at least one headache, muscle strain or sudden onset of cramps during your clinical career. Keep the travel-size in your bag and reload from the big bottle as needed.

    What you won't need:

    * Clipboards. Yes, they look all cool and official, and they're OK in the lab, but on a unit you're just going to leave them laying around. Don't bother.
    * Tuning forks, reflex hammers and the like. You'll only use them once in lab; it's money better spent elsewhere. On a unit, you can use the head of your stethoscope as a field-expedient reflex hammer. Use a tongue depressor to check Babinskis and touch discrimination, if you really have to.

    Hope this helps!
    NiftyGirl2014, jayjaycee, aumaha, and 1 other like this.
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    I figure a Bic pen and a Mead notebook will be good.
    metal_m0nk likes this.
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    * highlighters! I am a highlighting fiend - I highlight information when I read and I tend to color-code my notes using highlighters.
    * notecards - if you study with these, then these are a great idea. Buy them in bulk if you can.
    * black clicky pens - don't have to worry about the caps.
    * sticky notes/post-it sticky flags
    * lots of binders - if your school is like mine, they will either make you print notes online or make you buy a notes packet that will fit in a 3-ring binder.
    * recorder - just make sure your instructor allows it.
    * planner of some sort - you must be organized in nursing school!

    supplies for clinical:
    * storage clipboard - I bought this at Walmart (I don't know if they those in Canada but any Walmart-equivalent would probably have the same thing) for about $10. It opens up so you can store things inside and on the front it has a little calculator that comes in handy for dosage calculations.
    * once again, pens! you can only chart in black ink pen, but I like to bring other colors (one of those pens that has the built-in 3 or 4 colors-in-one are nice to have!) because I like to write critical values/other critical things that need to be done in red, etc...
    * penlight
    * bandage scissors
    * stethoscope!
    * books - I recommend a drug guide, an IV drug guide (if you have one) and another pocket guide such as RNotes.
    * extra blank sheets of paper - just in case.
    * measuring tape
    * lunchbox - get in the habit of packing a lunch. It's a lot healthier and you'll save money, too! Also invest in a reusable water bottle.
    * travel size ibuprofen, acetaminophen or something. I also take some travel-sized Zyrtec with me during this time because I stuffer from a lot of allergies!
    * watch with a sweeping second hand OR a digital watch that is counting the seconds somewhere
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    DO NOT use a digital watch or all your pulses will end up at 60.

    Everyone pretty much has it covered, but what it comes down to is what works best for you. I started by taking everything to class and clinicals and it has slowly dwindled to what I need now.
    I come to clinicals with stuff that only fits in my pockets comfortably. Lecture I bring my printed out notes for the day and maybe the textbook with lots of pencils and highlighters.


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