by Susan DuPont BSN TNCC, Emergency Dept. nurse and course instructor for NRSNG.com
Ever sit down in a bathroom stall to go to potty and the tissue is out? You pray for someone to come into the bathroom. Anyone… Please…!
Then, right before you contemplate how much you like your underwear and could go commando, that one person comes to rescue you and hands you tissue under the stall.
These wonderful people are what I like to call tissue fairies. Their soul is made of love, sprinkles and pure awesomeness.
When it comes to nursing clinicals, I aspire to be like these tissue fairies and you should too.
So what things should you bring to nursing clinicals to make you the most prepared toilet paper fairy you can be?
- Stethoscope. Beside the pure official-ness of this item, it also is key to your assessment game because it allows your ears capture heart murmurs and bowel tinkles. Now when dire situations arise (You’ve gone commando for that day and nobody has walked into the bathroom to save you), it doesn’t matter if someone arrives and hands you Charmin, they could hand you one-ply sandpaper and they are saints nonetheless. This applies to being prepared for nursing clinicals. You do not need the Rolls Royce stethoscope to assess lung sounds. Be assured that if the doctor forgets their stethoscope and need one, whichever one you have is better than the one they don’t have.
- Scrubcheats! Be prepared with answers to all the questions, be on top of the game, impress your instructors, make your fellow students jealous of your mad skills. These handy little guys are laminated so you can get them dirty and just wipe them clean and they also have a ring that allows you to pick and choose what you want to have in your pocket.
- Care Plan Template and Brain Sheet. Download one off of our free database here! This keeps you on track with your assessments and helps redirect when granny remembers she needs to tell the story of how she fell two weeks ago and starts from her earliest memory 3 years ago. This also gives you an organized way to map out the details of your patient and their care.
- Pen/Sharpie/Dry Erase Marker. These are good for leaving at the desk while you walk into the patient room to adjust the monitor and they are like, “Hey I remember the 17 meds I take, Lopressor, Aspirin, Synthroid…” Anyway, pens, sharpies, and dry erase markers are good for labeling anything (like patient care board) and taking notes.
- Penlight. You know that a GOOD assessment of neuro includes pupils. Also, look awesome and check for the red reflex (Black spots=cataracts, white spots=retinoblastoma).
- Trauma Shears! I, of course, think trauma sheers are a must because in the ER you use them ALL the time. But actually, they are super helpful on the floor too, so bring them. It is always a good feeling to have the nurse ask, “Anyone have any scissors?” and you can hand them over with a small trail of fairy dust.
- Clipboard with a calculator. The nursing clinical clipboards are chock full of the bits of knowledge you need; they are easy references. Need to know what that the normal range of WBCs are quickly? Reference the clipboard. Need to calculate the proper dosage? Use the calculator in conjunction with the clipboard reference for med math.
So now that I have given you the bare minimum list of MUST haves, go out there are be someone’s tissue fairy or be your own tissue fairy and be prepared for whatever nursing clinicals throw at you!