I’m the first (and only) nurse in my family, so this entire road has been like a long walk in the dark. My sweet mom took care of a lot of my supplies before I actually got to school, but there were so many things I didn’t know about! What brand of scrubs should I buy? Should my stethoscope have a bell? Does it matter?
Thankfully, my teacher helped me pick out a few items that I have really loved, and the other supplies needed to be purchased along the way when I realized everyone had one! But this is a great list to get you started!
- A REALLY Nice Stethoscope
This is number one, because I can’t stress this enough! You’re going to be using it all the time for assignments, clinicals, and labs, so you should invest in one that’s high-quality, because it makes all the difference. Those who had cheaper stethoscopes could not hear all of the sounds required for passing the exam. Do yourself a favor!
- Grey’s Anatomy Scrubs
I’ve only seen a few episodes of this show, but man, am I hooked on their scrubs! Our program actually recommended these because they hold up really well over the whole course of the program. I’ve really liked mine!
- Oxygen Saturation Monitor
If you don’t know what this is, you will soon. It measures the oxygen levels in your patients’ blood! We had TWO for an entire nursing home during my clinicals, and it was impossible to share. Plus, it’s fun to use to impress your friends. I would highly recommend buying your own!
This is something that will last you a very long time, and can be used in a lot of different ways! I used it a lot my first semester for physical examinations, to look into ears, eyes, mouth, and nose (Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes, anyone?) This particular one is an Amazon Best-Seller!
A basic necessity for any household! I used this mainly for practice in labs, but it really does come in handy when a roommate is sick! Also many sure you invest in some sleeves for it, because it’s a pain to sanitize!
- Blood Pressure Cuff
This is something that you will have to replace regularly, so I would recommend going on the cheap side for this one. Plus, most facilities have blood pressure cuffs for you to use. But you will need your own for practicing in lab.
- Watch (with a second hand)
You will also need a watch with a second hand (for taking blood pressures), like this one! And now a quote from my teacher: “Let me stress this: If you do not have a watch, you cannot take accurate blood pressures. You will inaccurately diagnose a patient and you will get sued!!! Also, you will fail this course.”
- Carrying Case
Now I know this sounds like an extra item, but this is so important. My mom bought me this, and everyone in my nursing group ended up getting one, because it was so convenient to have everything all together! Otherwise, you’re trying to carrying everything in your pockets and they just aren’t big enough, let me tell ya. If you keep everything loose in your backpack, you will definitely lose the smaller pieces. It also protects your very expensive stethoscope, which is so important!
Are there any other tools that you have found helpful as a nurse? Or any other recommendations you would like to see here? Leave them in the comments below!