Ranch dressing in a breast milk container

by adventure_rn adventure_rn, BSN Member Nurse

Specializes in NICU, PICU.

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Mavrick, BSN, RN

Specializes in 15 years in ICU, 22 years in PACU. Has 30 years experience. 1,578 Posts

My workmates have saved for me hundreds of those big zip-lock baggies that Ambu bags are packaged in. They are a little bigger than the 2 gallon baggies and have a built in handle. I pack food: lunches, salads, vegetables, ears of corn. Vacation items that might spill: sun block, shampoo, bug spray. Organize garage stuff: strings of Christmas lights, extension cords, garden gloves & shoes (my wife is terrified of spiders getting in her gloves or garden shoes).

Leftover suture removal kits have those cheap hemostats that are incredibly useful around the house from pulling hair out of drains to picking cholla cacti balls and ticks off dogs.

Leftover sterile OR towels are great "dog towels" and car rags.

Leftover sponges from central line or LP trays: Touch up painting then throw away.

Nasal cannula tubing: Cut off the nasal end and use the tubing to tie up plants.

Sterile pack wrap: Package wrap for gifts and cushioning for mailed items.

Empty 500ml or 1 liter NS irrigation bottles. Water bottles for camping or freeze and use in coolers.

Styrofoam coolers and "blue ice" packs: Lab gets some kind of reagents packed in them and just throw them away!

Edited by Mavrick


148 Posts

Just Friday, I went to a liquidation sale at a closed-down school, and bought two adorable old enamelware emesis basins, which I thought might make funny little candy dishes, unless somebody else has a better idea.


26 Posts

My mother used to work as a unit clerk in a hospital ER in suburban Chicago. She tells me that, during the winter, hospital personnel would fill syringes with alcohol and shoot them into their car door locks to get them unfrozen. She's also a big crafter, and she loved using suture removal scissors (with the curved tip on the end) to rip out erroneous stitches in her counted cross-stitch.


fulitarn, BSN, RN

Specializes in Developmental Care. 51 Posts

We frequently have sterile blue towels left over from central line insertions, they work great for cleaning the house or other projects. If we have sterile gloves that were opened and never used, they are amazing when using paint thinner or turpentine, because they are thicker and don't breakdown as much.

We had a bunch of medi-honey that was at a pts bedside but never opened or used. We couldn't put it back in the supply closet, so it ended up in my first aid kit. (I have quite a few of these things, and other "expired" supplies in my first aid kit).



Specializes in NICU. 1,334 Posts

Coffee creamer in a breast milk bottle is even grosser.



29 Posts

Lap sponges left over from surgery (I work OR) are awesome for doing dishes, dusting or cleaning... and you just throw them away when you are done!

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, Nursing Professional Development. Has 17 years experience. 5 Articles; 11,142 Posts

Lap sponges left over from surgery (I work OR) are awesome for doing dishes, dusting or cleaning... and you just throw them away when you are done!

One of the reasons new scrubs in my OR find themselves with a lot of new best friends...

"Hey, you wanna do a mock setup of...."

And everyone leaves with goodies.

Daniel Curtin

Daniel Curtin

2 Posts

Depending on the size of the mushrooms a wire whisk actually works great.



Specializes in Aged care, disability, community. Has 20ish years experience. 140 Posts

I've currently got a sterile water bottle in the fridge that's filled with home made tomato sauce.



Specializes in ICU. 22 Posts

These are great!

I love the blue scrub towels. They are my best cleaning rags.

I also love the specimen cups that come in the straight cath kits (we do a lot of straight caths in L&D). My 6 year old stores her 1,000,000 beads in them! And I keep one in my purse with a mixture of rubbing alcohol and betasept and my clear nose ring spacer/nose ring (depending on if I'm clocked in or out).



Specializes in retired LTC. 7,735 Posts

A metal bedpan as a planter