What do you take to clinicals?

  1. I know this question and/or similar questions have been asked, because I searched. Most of those threads are a couple of years old, though. I think this could benefit many of us entering nursing school in the fall. Thankfully, clinicals don't start (for me, anyway) until about the 8th week of classes. I'm just curious about what real life nursing students take to clinicals. According to my program, I must take

    - tablet (Kindle, iPad, whatever)
    - stethoscope
    - clipboard
    - hemostats
    - bandage scissors
    - penlights
    - black ink pens

    Where do you put all of this stuff? Where do you leave it? Do you stuff it all in your scrub pockets? I only have four. Four! And not huge ones, either. Do you use pocket organizers? Overnight bags? Do your patients mind holding all of your stuff while you assess them. (Calm down, I'm just joking.) What about personal stuff like Chapstick, and anti-nausea medication, and food? Besides all of this, do you have to carry patient charts too?

    I want the details: what you bring, where you put it. Many thanks.
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    About i♥words

    Joined: Nov '11; Posts: 567; Likes: 381


  3. by   LoriRNCM
    Good post, and I'd be interested to know as well, since I start in August with absolutely no clue whatsoever.
  4. by   SilleLu
    Most of us took a small bag (think small bookbag size or smaller) and were allowed to leave them in the staff lounge. Don't take anything you can't afford to lose. But the things you'll have listed you'll carry with you anyway. Pt charts are either on the computer or at the nurse's station, we never carried them away from there. I sometimes took my NANDA book, but for the most part that was used at home the night before clinicals. We had to prepare drug cards for any meds we were passing so had those with us as well. You might also want a little notepad in your pocket.
  5. by   DisneyNurseGal
    My scrubs have cargo-type pants and that is where I put most of my things. you can clamp your hemostat on the hem of your scrub top and let it dangle.

    Most of my things stay in my backpack, because at my hospital you can't take in clipboards (or anything that gets set down), into rooms because once something is set down in the room, it can not be taken out. Many hospitals have rules about electronics because of possibility of HIPPA violations with pictures and what not, so I would guess it would be unlikely that you would bring a tablet into a patient room.

    Don't stress, it will all work out in the end!
  6. by   Mandy0728
    I'm honestly worried about my stethoscope overall, because I plan in getting the littmann cardiology III and have my name engraved, but I still don't want anyone to swipe it!
  7. by   springchick1
    Quote from Mandy0728
    I'm honestly worried about my stethoscope overall, because I plan in getting the littmann cardiology III and have my name engraved, but I still don't want anyone to swipe it!
    Keep your stethoscope around your neck. You'll need it all the time anyway. As for everything else, I have a clipboard that opens up so I store pretty much everything else in there. You can get it at Staples or Office Max or somewhere like that.
  8. by   ambitiousBSN
    I'm with Aubgurl- when I worked in clinic, it became routine to have my steth around my neck. I now have a Littmann Cardiology III that is engraved as well, but I'm not too concerned about it growing feet because I treated my Classic II like my child, so my CIII isn't leaving my side!
  9. by   Tinkx RN
    As everyone have already said most of that stuff you listed will be with you at all times.

    My program stress not to bring any personal items because you don't want to loose them but if you have to you can either keep them in your pocket (I.e. car keys, phone, medication, clothes, coat/hoodie/sweater etc) or if your program/hospital clinical location allows in a staff room that's usually locked.

    The scope should be around your neck (dont worry youll get used to it and wont even know its there eventually) or in your pocket if you can fit it. We not suppose to bring a clip board (but we do anyway sometimes) but in substitute for that could be a small notebook to put in your pocket. The scissors, pen light and pen could be placed in a pocket protecter which I bought mines on amazon for not that much in which all items are included! The link is below.

    I would also invest in a retractable measuring tape to measure wounds and alcohol swaps I'm sure your hospital will provide.

    Did you get some comfy shoes? Good luck in your program study hard and take it one step at a time. Remember this is your time to ask questions, make mistakes (not that many) and get messy!... as would ms frizzle would say on the magic school bus


    I hope this link works but if not go to the amazon website and type in nursing pocket organizer in the search engine.
  10. by   i♥words
    Thanks everyone!

    Quote from JerseyGirl6
    Remember this is your time to ask questions, make mistakes (not that many) and get messy!... as would ms frizzle would say on the magic school bus
    Love Magic School Bus!
  11. by   HM-8404
    Here is what we are required/suggested to take to clinicals;
    school ID
    clean scrubs
    bandage scissors
    pen light
    2 black pens
    drug book
    *no electronic devices of any kind*

    After 3 semesters of clinicals here is what I have actually needed;
    pen light
    1 black pen
    scissors, maybe twice, to open some stubborn meds
    drug book app downloaded to smartphone
    sheet of paper here and there

    I find it humorous when nursing students show up for clinicals with so much crap they look like combat medics headed for a dust off, or they make as much noise as Inspector Gadget when they walk.
  12. by   Tinkx RN
    Oh and I forgot to mention about your tablet...

    My program only required us to get a program that can be used on your pc/tablet/phone so if the purpose of the tablet is for a certain app then see if it can be placed on your phone which will be a space saver.

    Some programs don't allow you to bring any electronics on the floor but in my program case it only happened once that a nurse reported a student to their instructor about them using their phone but the instructor instructed the nurse what the purpose was. So don't worry about that if your program says its ok to use a tablet or whatever on the floor then you shouldn't have any issues especially if they require it...
  13. by   Ashkins529
    We are required to wear our school uniform, and ID. (If we don't have our ID we are asked to leave and pay to make it up)

    Other things we should have is our stethoscope, bandage scissors, tape, any color pen, and any prep work (often we don't get our assignment till 30 minutes before). We typically print out the one sheet kardex that we make notes on. BUT you have to cut off the name, room #, and any account numbers.

    The person who said a tape measure.. awesome idea! There are many times I wish I had one.

    I always have my iphone which has drug guides and procedure guides if needed. The floor usually has an old Davis laying around or we can look up meds from the computer. (All our records are electronic).
  14. by   Tinkx RN
    The link for the measuring tape:


    You can never go wrong with amazon