Clinical Supplies For First Year Students

  1. Hello!

    I will be starting clinicals very soon, and other than the stethescope and BP cuff, my school has not given us too much info on what we will need for clinicals. This is what I have so far:

    Bandage scissors

    Pen Light

    Pupil/Wound Gage

    Watch with second hand and military time

    Pouch that holds these things

    Small notebooks that will also fit in my little pouch

    Of course I also have the shoes and still need to purchase my textbooks, but are there any other things that may be helpful to me? We are not allowed to wear our stethescopes around our necks. I have seen those clips to put on your pants to hold a stethescope. Has anyone ever tried one of these before?
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    About Jen2

    Joined: May '03; Posts: 937; Likes: 32
    Registered Nurse


  3. by   Jennerizer
    Pens......have plenty of pens just in case you forget where you put it. Also be sure to disinfect them on a daily basis as they can carry a lot of germs--especially in a hospital setting. I've never used the clip for the stethoscope. If you don't handle foul odors too well, have a small container of Vick's Vapor Rub handy. Put a little under your nose when you find it necessary. That was probably the best advice I got in first semester clinicals.
  4. by   RNIAM
    Make sure you have a red pen, a pencil and a black ink pen. Also might be handy to have a yellow highlighter for charting.
  5. by   RNIAM
    You know what else might be handy is a clamp for IV"s. We all got form school but if you don't it might be one of the best things you ever have.
  6. by   NICU_Nurse
    Off of the top of my head, hemostats and a Sharpie black marker (fine point works for me) are good to have. Hemostats, as the previous poster said, for obvious reasons, and the marker for marking visible date/time on dressing changes or for id'ing IV fluids on a multi-drip patient.

    I've used the steth clip before- it works well, IMO. Plus, when your stethoscope is around your neck, the oils from your skin get on it and it's pretty gross. Be sure to grab alcohol preps on the unit and stick those in your bag, also...never can have enough of those. Clean your stethoscope between patient use!! Be vigilant about that- don't want to spread the yuckies from person to person.

    Last thing I can think of off the top of my head is a little bottle of alcohol gel for between handwashing (like Purell- you can get sample bottles for about a buck at the drugstore). CDC has shown that this is as good as handwashing unless your hands are visibly soiled.

    Good luck!
  7. by   NICU_Nurse
    Oops! I thought of one more thing!

    You might want to have something handy to measure wounds/decubiti/etc. and a tape measure isn't always around when you need it, so when I was in school I took a blank piece of paper and marked off little rulers on it that measured up to six inches each (one side in inches, the other side in cm). I filled up a regular piece of paper with these, then photocopied it a couple of times and cut them out and always had a couple in my pocket. This comes in handy when you're measuring wounds or bedsores- you usually have to write down how big they are so that you can figure out if they're getting better or worse. The paper rulers are best because if you have a plastic one you run the risk of contaminating your patients- the paper ones can just be thrown away after using them, and you can use them to measure depth as well without worrying about getting them dirty (since they're cheap and disposable).

    Again, good luck! Let us know how it goes!
  8. by   Anna57
    I am 2nd semester and wish someone had told me about the vick's thing! GREAT IDEA! I put it on my grocery list just now! LOL!
  9. by   Jen2

    Terrific idea about the paper wound gage. I would have never thought of that. I have a plastic one, but think I will trace it on paper and copy like you suggested. Thanks so much for that suggestion. Also I think I will purchase a steth holder. Our instructors don't want us to wear them around our necks because of the whole skin and oil thing. They also say that a combative patient may grab us and choke us with them. I'm just afraid that if I keep it in my pocket that it may slip out or something, because we have very shallow pockets in our pants and wear a pocketless polo for a top. Need hemostats also. Great advice everyone. Thanks!
  10. by   NICU_Nurse
    If you don't want to actually buy the plastic steth holder (which is only about five bucks or so, really), you could do what some of the other nurses on my unit have done. They took a piece of matching-color elastic and sewed a little loop on the seam of their uniform tops. It serves the same purpose- you just slip the head of the stethoscope through and it hangs at your side, and it solves the problem when you don't tuck your shirt in (if you don't tuck, you have to keep lifting the hem of your shirt to access your stethoscope). Some people do two loops side by side for more security, some only have one, but this seemed to be quite popular on the unit I used to work in. I've never seen it anywhere else, but it's a good idea if you don't want to hang the steth off of your neck. Since you said you're wearing a pocketless polo, you could try doing it on the seam of your pants- sort of like the cargo pants, that have the big pockets and steth loops on the leg? I don't know if that makes sense...I'd draw you a picture but that doesn't work when you're online!
  11. by   PlanetCaroline

    I have a related question. A sales rep will be at my school early in the semester with clinical equipment (steths, etc.). Am I better off shopping around by myself or should I wait to meet the rep, who might help me make a choice?

    Just don't want to be ripped off. Thanks.

  12. by   NICU_Nurse
    Well, I think the reason they have a rep is usually to make it easier and more convenient for new students to get all their shopping done in one fell swoop, but you have to be careful. Some places give a discount to students, others charge a little more as a fundraising opportunity for the school. If you don't know what they'll have available, it makes the choice more difficult ahead of time- if they only offer one type of scope, for instance, you might end up buying one you wouldn't necessarily choose if you were shopping on your own. If the school REQUIRES you to use a certain type of instrument, this is a plus because you can get it directly from the rep when they visit. As I understand though, you have to order it- they don't usually have the stock on them. I've read here that some students have complained that it takes longer to get the items, or that they won't get them until the first week or day of classes. So, it all depends on what your school requires and how soon you need the items, really.

    If they've given you a list already, there's no harm in shopping around. Personally, I wouldn't buy a stethoscope without testing it out and looking at all of my choices, but as a first-time student it may not make much of a difference if you don't know what you're listening for. If you've never used a stethoscope before, you won't know what you're evaluating...does that make sense?

    If you already have your list of items, you could post them on here and get suggestions, or go to a large uniform/supply shop and see what they have in this before the rep visits so you have an idea of prices before you have to make a decision.
  13. by   Mariannsi

    Just a note to let you know that I've ordered and just received Pocket Nurse a clip board from the Nurses Station (on-lineweb-site). Well besides the fact that it comes with a caculator on top it also comes with great information such as medical abreviation, lab values, Acid/Base Balances, etc. I Love it! My best friend (who is a nurse) was over last night and said she was definately ordering one for herself. Well, I thought maybe you may want to put this on your list of supplies ("must haves").

  14. by   Jen2

    Yes, that is one of the things on my "list". I am sure that I will get much use out of it. I was waiting to ask our instructors if we are allowed to carry a clipboard during clinicals before I bought it though. They are so picky lol.