Congrats on starting clinicals -- it was my first clinical day that I knew I was exactly where I belonged, and that was the best feeling in the world! Now I'm getting ready to graduate in May, and I'm kind of sad to see school coming to an end.
So, to answer your questions:
1. Actually, our school doesn't
recommend a sprague stethoscope (and of course, right after being accepted, I had run out and bought one b/c I was so excited...). The spragues are hard to hear softer sounds out of. The stethoscope our program recommends is a Littmann Classic II S.E. I tried taking a BP with my sprague and then tried a friend's Littmann, and the difference was unbelievable! You could hear everything! I really didn't realize what I was missing, and needless to say, I went home and ordered my Littmann. I got a really good deal from www.estethoscope.com
- I got it for between $50-55 and they threw in the name tag (a $6 value) and I had that engraved; it's really nice. (But I haven't let myself listen to anything with a Littmann Cardio - I'm afraid I'll want one -- but if you're thinking of going into cardiology, you might look into those...but they're really expensive.)
2. I have a pair of Nursemates, but I'm not sure of the style name. It looks like a regular walking shoe (similar to a Reebok), except it's all white except for Nursemate's signature blue heart. They give me a lot of support (and I'm overweight) and my feet rarely hurt after a 12 hour clinical.
3. Actually, my college carries malpractice insurance for the nursing programs, I think it's a $5M policy, and I believe our teachers each have a policy on themselves. You might make sure you aren't already covered.
Hope all this helps, and let us know if there's anything else you'd like to know! Good luck with clinical! I'm starting mine about the same time you are.