What are the item(s) you need most for nursing school? - page 59

I have been going through all these posts to find what items are the best things to have for nursing school. The posts are all scattered so I thought I would start a post that will contain all the... Read More

  1. by   IndyElmer
    Quote from SuzieeQ
    I'm in my 2nd year of nursing, just beginning my acute rotation of clinical... You should definitely get your hands on a good stethoscope, CUE CARDS ON A RING (write notes/skills on them that are important, and keep them in the pocket of you scrubs!!), HANDBOOKS/pocket guides (i would suggest nursing diagnosis/quick reference books), and also... comfy shoes (in my first year, i bought a $10.00 pair of shoes, and they were my WORST purchase ever... you'll be on your feet all day, and need to be comfortable!)
    I know it's been five years since SuzieeQ first posted this so she might not be following the board anymore, but I'm curious if there are any specific handbooks / pocket-guides that were especially useful that she or anyone else reading this would highly recommend?

    (I've peeked at RNotes and LabNotes from the Davis Notes series and those look promising.)
  2. by   mssjez
    Quote from IndyElmer
    I know it's been five years since SuzieeQ first posted this so she might not be following the board anymore, but I'm curious if there are any specific handbooks / pocket-guides that were especially useful that she or anyone else reading this would highly recommend?

    (I've peeked at RNotes and LabNotes from the Davis Notes series and those look promising.)
    I also am curious to know this information! Bumping up to see if anyone has some input!
  3. by   fsuandrea
    Quote from mssjez

    I also am curious to know this information! Bumping up to see if anyone has some input!
    I've kept a pharm book in my clipboard at all times during clinicals
  4. by   ORnurseCT
    I've never seen clipboards what do you do with them?
  5. by   IndyElmer
    Quote from studentnurseCT
    I've never seen clipboards what do you do with them?
    What did you put in your storage clipboards??
  6. by   Autymn
    A wonderful and helpful old thread but still applicable...

    >>>>> Nurse-To-Be-Joy said: "I'm not yet in nursing school (will probably start next fall), so I'm curious about this. Are we gonna be half naked with our lab partners? What for??? :imbar"

    and Kabin replied: "Yes, in a nutshell. We have hospital gowns that make the transition quicker and less painful. Since you will take turns with your partner doing health assessments like for the skin, you'll need to remove some clothing. You should be able to keep your under wear on."

    I am a runner - love it so much. Thinkin' though I could def use a few more sets of mountain-climbers and stomach crunches through this spring and summer !!
  7. by   PrayToTheUnicorn
    Great list!
  8. by   JSchorghofer
    A Med Deck, It is a drug guide that comes in the form of preprinted notecards. So when you get your Patient assignment you can just pull out the cards that have the drugs your patient is prescribed instead of carrying around the whole book.
  9. by   IndyElmer
    The database ate my homework! Someone asked yesterday, before the database glitch, which drug cards people would recommend so I shared some info that a friend and I had collected on the various card sets then shared with our classmates. Luckily, I still have that e-mail I can recopy and repaste here. Once I paste it, I'll add a few updates, so you might find that the verb tenses are inconsistent, but it shouldn't affect the usefulness (or lack thereof) of the information/opinions.

    We reviewed several brands of pharmacology cards [Mosby, MediQuik, Pharm Phlash, (Davis) Nurses' Med Deck, Kaplan NCLEX 300]. I suppose that for each person, it depends on why you want the cards for which is "best" but here's what I've noticed (in case you have any interest in getting cards).


    1. No set will have every drug. In fact, most sets seem to have at least one or two Amazon reviewers who say that the set is missing at least some COMMON drugs (not new or strange ones). My thought on that is that at least I don't have to write out EVERY card!
    2. When it comes to negative reviews, quite a few of them are from people who were looking for an "easy" way to learn drugs and were upset that the card was basically still all the same overwhelming info that was in their text or drug guide, so I don't think their negative reviews count. Also, some low reviews were due to the sets not having all the "common" drugs a person thought they should have, but since I'm only hoping they will have MOST drugs to save me from making cards for every drug, I'm OK with a few "common" drugs being missing. Because of this, I did not choose based on just the rating the set has on Amazon or elsewhere.
    3. Nearly every set is on flimsy stock, often only as good as a moderately heavy bond paper or perhaps the best are on a lightweight cardstock. (I think I did see one set that said it was very thin but laminated, so I guess that set might hold up better.)
    4. Most (but not all sets) are on rather large 'cards' (4" x 6" or as big as 5" x 7") often making them inconvenient for putting in a scrubs pocket and if you're like me, you don't want to fold the cards 'cause that makes them "ugly," LOL. If you're getting one of the slimline storage clipboards that others recommended in this thread, you could put the cards in there (though apparently some programs do not allow clipboards). (If your program allows digital assistants, drug cards may be unnecessary as you'll be able to just have your smartphone, ipod touch or pda in your pocket for easy reference.)
    5. It's a little tricky to compare the sets by "greatest number of drugs" because they each have their own way of classifying/sorting so one set that says 1,000 drugs may have the same number of useful cards as a set that says '400 generics.' It's not challenging to compare, but you can't just go by seeing 1,000 on the front of one set and 400 on the front of the other set.
    6. Random format issue for (I think) all sets -- the cardboard boxes seem to fall apart on all of them so if I get a set, I'll put them in a plastic index file box. Also, none seem to have any sort of index tabs to help you find cards faster, so adding a few index tabs (like A-D, E-H, and so on) would probably make it a little faster. NOTE: putting them in a larger box may mean needing to add a styrofoam (or other) spacer to help protect the cards from getting mangle by jostling around in the box during transport.
    7. Not all programs allow pre-printed drug cards during clinicals (bizarre!)

    A lot of my notes focus on MediQuik and Mosby as those were my top 2 choices. The Med Deck looked like it had the same kind of content as the other two, but there was something about the way they looked that I didn't like as much. It probably had to do with my graphic design background and so was a rather random, personal choice. I still think Med Deck is worth a look.

    1. Some sets are like a card version of a drug book page (which is what I wanted) -- both Medi Quik and Mosby seem to be this type of set (and I think Med Deck also is, but I can't remember that set very clearly and can't find online pictures). Both sets are arranged alphabetically by generic name (at least that's my understanding -- so far, every drug I've needed was under the generic name. NOTE: The index lists all the drugs by both their generic AND trade name, so you can look them up by either.). (Mosby has sample cards viewable on Amazon, but I don't think MediQuik does)
    2. Both Mosby and Medi Quik have CLASS cards too (don't know about Med Deck as it was quickly knocked out of the running for me and I didn't take thorough notes on that set). The class cards seem to have rather different content (between the two sets) but I can't say that I really liked one over the other. If I recall correctly, the MediQuick set has more class cards than the Mosby set.

      The class cards intrigued me. My summer of reviewing drugs was a lot easier when I decided to focus on drug classes rather than trying to learn all of the details about specific drugs.
    3. The Kaplan set was (I think) just their top 300 drugs. If that's true, it's far fewer cards than the other sets. I didn't give them much time as there was a LOT of "white space" on these cards, which might be nice for review, but didn't seem to be very complete for using as a drug guide alternate/supplement. (They were not at all like having a page from a drug guide which is what I wanted.) They might be very nice for highlighting "most relevant" info for the NCLEX. (sample cards viewable on Amazon)
    4. Pharm Flash cards appear to have last been updated in 2008. eek. The format is definitely not the "torn from my drug guide." The color coding is nice, but apparently they are arranged by body system rather than alphabetically by generic name. Again, eek. I didn't even consider them. (They are published by FA Davis, but do not appear to be "the" Davis cards, which may be why they have not been updated since 2008.)
    5. (Davis) Nurse's Med Deck cards -- I looked at these at B&N, but since something about their formatting was graphically displeasing to me, I didn't take detailed notes on them. The one comment that I've seen online that would concern me is that it appears that some cards are filed by generic and some by brand. (Honestly can't imagine why any set of cards would organize by anything but generic name.) They appear to be the "page torn from drug guide type" (based on Amazon review complaints), but I don't know for sure. Depsite the fact that I didn't like the look of them, I think that both of my prefered sets (Mosby and MediQuik) had reviews where the person said they didn't like whichever of my favorites and ended up getting the Med Deck and ended up liking that set a lot better, so I think they're definitely worth a look.

    I am normally a kinesthetic learner, so I tried making my own cards at first. However, I usually needed to make 20 (or more) cards at once and since I was making "page from the drug guide" cards, that was a LOT of info that I was trying to neatly speed write onto the cards. By the time I was done making a set, I hadn't learned anything because my brain was completely overloaded. For me, it seemed worthwhile to buy pre-made cards and spend all of the time I had been spending writing out cards actually LEARNING some of the info instead. That said, I know that I have seen multiple comments on AllNurses from others who swear by learning more from making their own cards, so I encourage everyone to do whatever works best for them.

    If you're seriously considering buying cards, I think it's worth a drive to a bookstore to see them in person. (I had an hour drive so I called ahead to make sure they had them all.) When you're there, if you want to look at a few cards side by side, I take the boxes up to the information desk, have a look then leave the boxes with the staff so they can re-shrinkwrap them, but to each his own on that aspect of the buying experience
  10. by   DarkBluePhoenix
    This should be a sticky if its not already.

    Hint Hint admins!
  11. by   Mrs.Priss
    GREAT LIST! AND TIME SAVER! You're awesome! Thanks!
    Quote from sandanrnstudent
    You are welcome IndyElmer.

    FOR THOSE NEW TO NURSING SCHOOL THAT DON'T WANNA READ ALL 76 pages... here is a list of all that you would find reading this thread!



    Office Supplies
    3 Ring Binder (I recommend you get 2 of them, 4 or 5")
    Loose leaf notebook paper

    (or get a 5 subject spiral bound in lieu of the above two, but you'll be using all the paper in it for notes so be prepared.)
    3 hole punch (for all the papers you'll get that aren't already punched)
    3 folders for clinical (some sware by an accordian folder that has multiple slots)
    Black Pens (you have to document in Black at clinicals. Also taking lecture notes, you need a lot of these.
    4x6 index cards (if you sware by making note cards.)

    (5x7) index cards for making drug cards
    No. 2 Pencils (need these for tests)
    Backpack (it needs to be very roomy - many sware by one with wheels!)
    stapler, small
    Highlighters (these will help bold important stuff when taking notes in lecture and highlighting as you spend hours reading books!
    calculator (for doing drug calculations)
    Clipboard (for clinical - get one that you can store stuff inside. They usually have a calc.r on the clip part...)
    Little Memo Pad (for your pocket to write down vitals and such at clinicals)
    Post Its
    Post It Flags
    Page protectors (for your syllabus and important papers)
    Thumb Drive to carry files back and forth
    Study Stuff
    Medical Dictionary (usually comes with the books you buy)
    NCLEX Review Guide (~$40 from Amazon... Saunders is the best. Get one with a CD included)
    Drug Book (usually comes with the books you buy -
    Davis' Guide is best)
    Nursing Care Plan Book (won't need until 2nd semester I think - ask for it for Christmas)
    Nursing Stuff
    White Shoes (comfy! I have shape ups... you'll be on your feet 6-8 hr/day with clinicals!)
    Blood Pressure Cuff
    Pen Light
    Medical Scissors (you don't have to have these, but people were all the time needing the pair I got)
    Home Supplies
    Coffee Maker
    Desk Lamp
    Printer Ink and Paper (you'll be printing a LOT of lecture powerpoints!)
    LOUD alarm clock!
    Travel sized items you made need at clinical in a pinch
    EX: tylenol, tums, midol, chapstick, etc.
    Baby bottle of hand lotion
    Tote Bag (to carry stuff in to clinicals)
    Mindset Stuff
    Sense of Humor
    Being Surrounded by Supportive People
    Healthy Diet
    Quiet plact to study
    a brain
    a spine
  12. by   LPN2RN2013
    This is an awesome thread!!! It has helped me alot