Nursing Bag Essentials

Nursing Bag Essentials

You've passed your nursing exams and are about to start your first day on the job -- but what are you supposed to put in your nursing bag??? Ashley Adkins of the YouTube Channel Ashley Adkins, RN sits down to tell us what her nursing essentials and not so essential nursing bag items are. In the end though, it's personal preference!

Nursing Bag Essentials

You’ve passed your nursing exams and are about to start your first day on the job — but what are you supposed to put in your nursing bag???

Ashley Adkins of the YouTube Channel Ashley Adkins, RN sits down to tell us what her nursing essentials and not so essential nursing bag items are. In the end though, it’s personal preference!

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    Hey guys, it’s Ashley Adkins from Ashley Adkins, RN, my YouTube channel and AshleyAdkins.org, my website. And I have paired up with Nursing.org to bring you this wonderful video on nursing essentials.

    So going through nursing school and going through nursing– working as a nurse– I have kind of gathered together some things that are essentials for nursing, some things that are kind like– kind of essentials. You could do without them. And some things that you’re like, no, you don’t need that. So I’m going to start first with nursing essentials.

    The first essential item is nursing scissors, and I didn’t realize how much I needed scissors until I actually had them and I use them all of the time. To cut coban, to cut off dressings, to just cut things. I don’t know. I use them so much. They are definitely nursing essentials. I actually had an ER nurse one time who asked me, hey, do you have scissors on you? And I gave them to her and she says, that’s a good sign that you’re a good nurse, if you have scissors on you. So even if you don’t use scissors that much, carry them on you just for that.

    The next nursing essential, and this is probably obvious, is a stethoscope. You use your stethoscope to do assessments, to auscultate heart sounds, lung sounds, bowel sounds. I use my stethoscope throughout my shift. I use it every single shift. I cannot be without my stethoscope because how would you do a good assessment? So that is definitely a nursing essential.

    The next nursing essential is some pens, and I don’t know about you, but I tend to bring a bunch of pens with me and end up losing them and then stealing other people’s pens. Somehow. I always have pens on me, but I bring my own and then I lose them and I find them, and then I lose them and I steal other people’s pens. But anyways, you will use pens a ton to write on things, write down notes, write down vitals, write down assessments, write on an IV the date and time that you put it in. You’ll use a lot of pens.

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    The next nursing essential is something to write on, whether that is your report sheet for getting report or just some post-it notes that you write little quick notes on. It really depends on the unit you work in. When I’m in Med/Surg I use my report sheet. When I’m in the ER, I just write quick things down on a piece of paper or a paper towel. And I call it good, but you still need something to write on.

    The next nursing essential is some alcohol swabs. I carry those around. I use them all the time. The hospital provides them, but still I always have some in my pocket. Along with tape. Tape is another nursing essential. I use tape all the time to retape dressings, to tape down some gauze when I did a blood draw. I use tape all of the time.

    My last nursing essential is a nursing watch, and I just have a very cheap plastic watch that I got off Amazon. It was like, $15. Something that’s washable, that’s waterproof. And I use it all the time. When I don’t have it, I feel lost. I don’t realize how much I actually look at my watch until I don’t have it on me. It’s just good for if a patient’s leaving the floor or an event happened, you can really quickly look at your watch and see what time it is, write that down on your paper with the pens that you have, and call it good.

    So these next two things are things that I can live without. They’re kind of essential, but they’re kind of not.

    The first one is a nursing clipboard. And, you know, this is kind of personal preference, but some people have those really fancy nursing clipboards with all this information on them. And that’s great, but I have one of them and I never used it. It just became a pain to carry around. I’d leave it in patient’s rooms. So you know what? There’s always a surface to write on. And I never looked at all of that information on the clipboard anyway, so that’s something that I can kind of live without. But some people like it.

    The next thing that I find is kind of essential but kind of not is a pen light. And this really depends on the unit you’re in, but I don’t carry around a penlight. One because I have a little flashlight on my badge, but two, you just don’t use it that much. It depends on the unit you’re in– maybe when you’re doing a neuro assessment– but I tend to use my flashlight on my badge more so for finding things in the dark and not so much for doing assessments. So personal preference again. Depends on the unit you’re in, but I don’t find a penlight super essential.

    These next two things are things that people have told me, oh, you have to have this for being a nurse. You have to carry this around. And it ended up not being so essential. And that is a medical drug book. I’ve had people say, oh, you need to carry a drug book around. But let’s be real here. Every hospital has a drug book. If you need to look up a drug, there will be a drug book in the hospital somewhere. Or we have technology. We can look things up online. There’s so much information online. I have never used a drug book at my work. I have this resource on my work computer that actually does all of that for you. You can just look up the drug. It tells you the side effects, how it works, all that fun stuff. So I’ve never used a drug book at work.

    And the next thing that is not super essential is a pulse ox. Some people like to carry around their own pulse ox. I guess it depends on if you’re maybe a respiratory therapist. I don’t know, but there’s always pulse oxes in every room. They know it’s part of a vitals sign machine. So I don’t find it necessary to carry around your own pulse ox, but hey, personal preference. Up to you.

    Thank you guys for watching this video. You should check out Nursing.org’s other videos from other great, inspirational nurses. Make sure you head over to Ashley Adkins, RN, my YouTube channel, or AshleyAdkins.org to find out more information about me.

    As always, thank you for watching my video, and I’ll see you next time.

    Bye.

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