Registered Nurse Must-Haves

The work nurses do impacts the lives of the people they serve. Registered nurses must be ready for whatever lies ahead, and that can vary greatly from one day to the next. A nurse may save a patient from choking during the morning. In the afternoon, the same nurse may discover a critical mistake made by a doctor. To be better prepared for anything, there are several essential items every registered nurse should have.

1. Current Drug Guide
New drugs are constantly being added. Nurses must constantly check for medications that conflict with their patients’ prescription drugs. If nurses outdated guide books, information about new drugs that might conflict with other medications would not be there. New discoveries are also made from time to time. Having access to the latest information is critical for patients’ safety.

2. Flashlight Pen
This may sound like a silly accessory to anyone who has not yet worked as a nurse. However, many nurses witness patient falls frequently. Some patients may also bump their heads on bed rails, nightstands or doorways frequently. When a nurse learns of this, it is important to check the patient’s pupils and other neurological aspects quickly. Light pens are small enough to fit in pockets, and the beam is very bright. These pens are also useful when there is a power outage or a light is burned out in a supply closet.

3. Orthopedic Shoes
Most nurses spend between 50 percent and 75 percent of their shifts on their feet. There is certainly a great deal of paperwork and sitting involved, but the majority of the day usually includes plenty of walking. In addition to this, nurses must bend, stoop or squat frequently. To support proper posture and the curves of the feet, it is important to have orthopedic shoes. Most nursing apparel stores and catalogs sell these items. Some companies make special shoes for nurses with wide toes, narrow heels or high arches. It is even better to buy two different pairs of shoes and alter them. Wear one pair for a few days, and then wear the other pair for a few days.

4. Pocket Organizer
With so many patients and workers to supervise, registered nurses have several things on their minds. To keep theses responsibilities and thoughts organized, it is important to have a pocket organizer. Many facilities discourage the use of electronic devices, but a paper organizer will suffice. Nurses must remember to stay in compliance with privacy laws by shredding any notes that contain sensitive information at the end of their shifts.

5. Hand Sanitizer
To save money, it is best to buy a pocket sanitizer container and a large refill bottle. Every patient room has a sink, so nurses must always wash their hands after entering each room. However, nurses may stop to adjust a patient’s wheel chair in the hall or tie their own shoelaces. After doing this, it is good to use hand sanitizer until the nearest sink can be accessed.

Nurses should not have so much gear that their pockets bulge. The items mentioned previously are good to have. However, the drug book can be kept at the desk or on a medication cart. It is also important to carry a stethoscope, a few pens and a small pair of scissors inside a safety sheath. These tangible items are helpful for promoting patients’ safety. However, it is also important to promote patients’ overall wellness with a few things that are intangible: Kindness, patience, a sense of humor and a realistic perspective.