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Learning All The Names for Things in the Hospital Setting

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by HappyMeNow HappyMeNow (New Member) New Member

6,120 Visitors; 285 Posts


This might be a silly question but English is my second language. I am fluent in it but I find that in the hospital there are a lot of things (supply room espeically) that I've never heard of before. I get anxiety when a nurse or clinical instructor stands out of a patient's room and asks me to go grab something for them. There has been times when I don't know what the heck they're asking for!

So...is there a resource where I can learn what are the equipments most commonly used on patient floors, also all the terms for things in the supply room?

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dudette10 has 14 years experience as a MSN, RN.

1 Article; 25,667 Visitors; 3,528 Posts

None of us do, and it has nothing to do with English vs another language. It's industry-specific terminology! :)

You can do some research in your fundamentals book. My book (Potter and Perry) has names and pictures of equipment and steps for the skill associated with it.

If you still are requested to retrieve something you are unfamiliar with, the other thing you can do is come to terms with what you don't know and start building up your courage to ask the person who has requested the equipment. Practice saying, "I don't know what that is. Can you tell me what it looks like?" If someone acts like that's the dumbest question in the world, learn to let it roll off your back. Then, when you go to the supply room, try to change their verbal description to a visual one. You might have a label on the bin to help you, but if not, there will certainly be a label on the package itself.

Good luck. We all are a bit shaky when it comes to such things, so know you aren't alone in it. Even with a description, I've brought back the wrong thing during my first rotations. No biggie.

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CBsMommy works as a Registered Nurse.

9,699 Visitors; 825 Posts

When you have a couple of minutes of "downtime" during clinicals, go into the supply room and look at how they have it set up and where things are. Are the bins color coded, for instance, yellow for urinary?

15 minutes should cut it to get familiar with the most used items like additional socks for patients and emesis basins, etc.

If you don't know what something is, ask! You are student afterall...you can't be expected to know everything. If you are not clear on why something would be used, write it down and look it up after you get home. Good luck!!!

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