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worth buying this stuff?

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 6 years experience.

I'm ordering supplies at my new school, and wondering if you happy nurse shoppers have thoughts about these items :)

1) Portable ice machines - worth the $200? If so, any recommendations? (I think the last nurse was just freezing wet scraps of paper towels inside plastic baggies, and that works for a lot of the ice demands we get. But if I need actual ice I'd be making it myself in little trays)

2) Glucometers (we just keep a backup for kids with orders for glucose monitoring, CGM is wacky, they ran out of strips etc. Not for diagnosing or for curiosity questions) ....I'm thinking about just getting one of the super cheapie $20 ones, but not sure if they're unreliable or annoying in some way, and maybe it's better to spend a bit more

3) Splints - like a SAM splint. (They seem like handy things, and we stocked one at my last school. On the other, I think that realistically if it needs splinting I'm going to let the nice EMS folks do that - they're better at it, they have those nifty fold-out ones, and they're going to want to put their eyeballs on injuries anyway)

4) OPA or NPA - we were required to stock these at my last school, but I'm not sure if that's common. (I could imagine maybe popping in an NPA if a kid is really drunk or altered and you're worried about losing the airway before EMS or parent arrives... but an OPA, really, in a school?)

5) Recliners - does anyone use these instead of, or in addition to, exam tables or recovery couches? (Having worked in an ER where the entire fast track side was in recliners, I feel like I can do anything in them, including dragging someone to the floor for CPR if needed. And they take up so much less room)

Keeperofbandages, LPN

Specializes in School Health. Has 6 years experience.

6 hours ago, laflaca said:

I'm ordering supplies at my new school, and wondering if you happy nurse shoppers have thoughts about these items 🙂

1) Portable ice machines - worth the $200? If so, any recommendations? (I think the last nurse was just freezing wet scraps of paper towels inside plastic baggies, and that works for a lot of the ice demands we get. But if I need actual ice I'd be making it myself in little trays)

2) Glucometers (we just keep a backup for kids with orders for glucose monitoring, CGM is wacky, they ran out of strips etc. Not for diagnosing or for curiosity questions) ....I'm thinking about just getting one of the super cheapie $20 ones, but not sure if they're unreliable or annoying in some way, and maybe it's better to spend a bit more

3) Splints - like a SAM splint. (They seem like handy things, and we stocked one at my last school. On the other, I think that realistically if it needs splinting I'm going to let the nice EMS folks do that - they're better at it, they have those nifty fold-out ones, and they're going to want to put their eyeballs on injuries anyway)

4) OPA or NPA - we were required to stock these at my last school, but I'm not sure if that's common. (I could imagine maybe popping in an NPA if a kid is really drunk or altered and you're worried about losing the airway before EMS or parent arrives... but an OPA, really, in a school?)

5) Recliners - does anyone use these instead of, or in addition to, exam tables or recovery couches? (Having worked in an ER where the entire fast track side was in recliners, I feel like I can do anything in them, including dragging someone to the floor for CPR if needed. And they take up so much less room)

1) I would LOVE to have a portable ice machine in my office, I currently get ice at least twice a day from the cafeteria.

2) I have 3 glucometers, lancets and strips currently. They are all mix matched. I have requested a new glucometer for this coming year since I have several diabetics. If I do not get one I will go purchase one myself for a back up (it gives me a peace of mind)

3) I do not keep splints in my office, If I think there is possibly a break the parent is notified and in severe situations EMS is called.

4) OPA OR NPA- We do not have these on campus at my school

5) I have 2 recovery cots at my current school. At my previous school I had 1 recovery cot and 3 recliners. I would love to have 1 recliner and 1 recovery cot at my school (I'm k-8)

JenTheSchoolRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in School nursing.

I LOVE my portable ice maker. Best thing I ever bought for my office and it costs ~$100.

A back-up glucometer is also golden. I've used mine a lot when there are technical issues with a students or they forget theirs if they transport it back and forth. If student is using a pod and forgot it, I've even used it and done injections with their back-up insulin. Again, cost was pretty small there, to be honest. I do purchase new test strips for it each year and do also have and purchase a urine ketone testing kit.

Splints. I do have some. But to be honest, the ones that I use are the finger splints vs any other ones. Because minor finger issues are ones that might not need immediate referral care, but the splint can help protect a finger until the end of the school day (case by case and always working with the parent). Other suspected fractures/sprains, I'm referring out immediately.

I don't have a OPA or NPA (though when I got this job, I found super old ones shoved into the back of a cabinet) - if I am in a situation for those, I've already called EMS and response time for my school is usually 4-6 minutes.

I have one recovery cot. I don't see the need for more given my space. However, I have purchased several heavy duty cots for my isolation space specific for COVID needs.

laflaca, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 6 years experience.

Thanks to both of you!

ruby_jane, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing. Has 10 years experience.

What a budget! Yes to the ice maker if feasible. Yes to the glucometers but remember the strips expire and you will likely go a year and only use two strips. When I was a HS nurse one year I had a kid who always "forgot" and that was a hassle so I conveniently ran out of strips and started calling mom to bring the device.

When I started at the HS the clinic was bright and shiny and new and I had splints. In seven years, I used one. If you have budget, buy some small ones for fingers.

If you have budget I would actually recommend more PPE, more gloves, and stop the bleed tourniquets....

Have fun!!

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