What should I bring to clinicals?

  1. I will be starting my first clinical course this summer (OB and peds) and I was wondering what I should be bringing with me. I know my stethoscope and my RNotes books, but what else? Bandage scissors? Help
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   kimtab
    Well, we have to bring Steth, bandage scissors, hemostats and pen light. I also bring several black pens, my drug book, and a notebook that I keep just for clinical that has all the assessment forms, etc. in it. I also have a skills book that I bring because I get rusty between practiving something in lab and doing it for the first time in clinical. Some students bring their textbooks, care plan books, lab value books, etc.

    There might be something I am leaving out that would apply specifically to OB and Peds but I haven't had that course yet.

    Kim
  4. by   USA987
    Everything listed above. I created a small "cheat sheet" for lab values that I fit on a notecard and I laminated it. Also, for peds/ob you might want a reference of the norms for vitals, etc. I also carried a little pocket-size notebook for jotting down pertinent "facts".

    Have you developed a "one-page brain" yet?? I don't know how many patients you'll be caring for, but it's a great way to stay organized...
  5. by   Mrs.Yost
    What's a one-page brain?
  6. by   Furball
    Don't forget your sense of humor
  7. by   Flynurse
    A "one-brain page" is a sheet of paper, usually withan outline for jotting things down while taking care of your patient, i.e. lab values, proceedures, I&O's, medications, medical Hx, etc. I've made one for work on my computer. I also took a Highlighter with me to mark things so I wouldn't forget them. Along with a red pen to write down NEW information as it comes during the day.

    Oh, and like Furball said, Don't forget your sense of humor...even if it is a silly little joke like: "What is the one thing in the world that only elephants have? Answer: Baby elephants." That was my instructor's favorite one!

    I'll see if I can PM you my brain

    Last edit by Flynurse on May 13, '03
  8. by   llg
    What does your instructor recommend? What do the students who took the same courses (at the same schools and hospitals) recommend. That makes a big difference.

    At some facilities, you may have room to bring books, etc. At other clinical facilities, you may have nowhere to store that much stuff and be asked not to bring it all with you. You may be asked to leave most of your personal stuff behind and also your books, etc. They may prefer that you use the reference books, etc. that are on each hospital unit.

    It's best to ask for that kind of specific information at the start of each clinical rotation. For example, in some units (e.g. nurseries) they may provide the stethascopes. They don't want you using your own because they are not designed for neonates plus for infection control reasons. Some units may not want you to carry sharp objects (e.g. scissors) in your pockets for safety reasons.

    Regardless of whether or not you can bring bulky books, etc., I would recommend carrying a little notepad in your pocket that includes some common reference material (e.g. normal lab values and vital signs). It should also include blank pages so that you can quickly jot down questions that arise, etc.

    Good luck!
    llg
  9. by   Mrs.Yost
    I'll be waiting for your brain! Thanks
  10. by   Shamrock
    Don't forget your critical thinking skills!

  11. by   babynursewannab
    You know what's really weird? I have heard horror stories for 2 years now about lugging tons of books and stuff to clinicals.

    In my BSN program, all that is necessary is med cards, steth, pen light (optional) and your fine self. We have to do the care plan the night before clinical starts for the week so we bring that the first day.

    What does everyone do with all of their stuff??? I can't imagine.
  12. by   Mkue
    As llg suggested, a little notebook in the pocket is very helpful. I used one to jot all kind of notes down, very helpful.
  13. by   Love-A-Nurse
    originally posted by babynursewannab
    you know what's really weird? i have heard horror stories for 2 years now about lugging tons of books and stuff to clinicals.

    in my bsn program, all that is necessary is med cards, steth, pen light (optional) and your fine self. we have to do the care plan the night before clinical starts for the week so we bring that the first day.

    what does everyone do with all of their stuff??? i can't imagine.
    same as you, alyssa and each student would bring a different book to clinical so all would not have to carry the same book just in case we needed it in the pre and/or post conferences. the facilities too have books and didn't mind one using them, but, we [students] used each others.


    i was too impressed with the teaching most of the nurses enjoyed doing.
  14. by   TNcanNURSE
    My instructors would "inspect" us every once in a while. We were required to have a watch, hemostats, scissors, pens, drug guide, and a notebook.

    We also did the thing Stephany mentioned, every student bring a different book. Thats a very useful practice.

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