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Nurse Paraphernalia and Supplies

Updated on October 25, 2013

The Perfect Kit for Nurses on those Hours of Duty

Hi everyone! If you're here on my lens, maybe you're a nurse like me looking for nursing supplies that are good to use in the hospital. Maybe you're just getting some ideas for gifts to give to your nurse friend.

I have compiled here some if not all of the tools and supplies needed by a nurse to get through their work day. This is also to help my fellow colleagues out there who are maybe just starting their career as a nurse to know first-hand what basic things to bring to their work.

I agree to the thought that in order to give quality care to our patients, a nurse must have the appropriate and necessary tools. I, as a male nurse (yes, there are male nurses), feel great going to work knowing I have the complete set of tools needed to deliver a good work performance in the hospital. I also make sure my paraphernalia is well-fixed and is working properly because we never know when we will need them on an emergency situation.

Image credit: Christina Hinz via Flickr

You have to walk the walk before you can talk the talk.

The Nurse's Uniform

First off, you need the proper uniform to be able to look like a nurse. Patients and colleagues will respect you more when they see that you have the right attire for a nurse to wear. There is no doubt about it. No patient will want a nurse who is not well-groomed.

I remember one of my clinical instructor saying that a nurse's uniform symbolizes purity and cleanliness. I guess that's true. Nursing is a profession where you need to interact with people everyday. That being said, the nurse's uniform is an important part to include in your checklist.

Image credit: John Martin via Flickr

Nursing uniforms you might want

Here are some ideal outfits for nurses out there and people looking to find gifts.

White Swan Uniforms White Swan 3/4 Sleeve White 2 Piece Suit (20)
White Swan Uniforms White Swan 3/4 Sleeve White 2 Piece Suit (20)

Here is a nice one to use if you prefer wearing the traditional white uniform for the ladies.

 
Disposable Clean Air Scrub Suit - 10 Pairs Count
Disposable Clean Air Scrub Suit - 10 Pairs Count

This is a great scrub suit for those of us that are on duty in the emergency room, operating room or delivery room where we can get stains easily.

 

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Image credit: villagelinca via Flickr
Image credit: villagelinca via Flickr

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Nurse listen to your hearts.

Stethoscope

You see it all the time in newspapers, magazines and in televisions, the things wrapped around doctor's and nurse's shoulders.

The stethoscope, for some of you that is not familiar with its function, is an acoustic medical device used to listen to a patient's chest cavity, heart and pulse. It is used to listen for crackles and such in the lungs, listen for heart beat and many more.

It's a useful tool also used alongside blood pressure apparatuses. It is the most common tool used by nurses which come in handy all the time.

Image credit: Rinoa Heartilly via Flickr

Stethoscopes you might want

There are a variety of nice and cool stethoscopes to get if you still don't have one.

3M Littmann Classic II S.E. Stethoscope, Black Tube, 28 inch, 2201
3M Littmann Classic II S.E. Stethoscope, Black Tube, 28 inch, 2201

Littman is the most famous stethoscope brand. It is quite expensive but on the other hand, you can be sure that it is of high standard quality and it is built to last.

 
Omron Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope, Black
Omron Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope, Black

Omron is another quality brand of stethoscope. This is the stethoscope that I use. In my own opinion, I like it because of its shape and style.

 
Prestige Clinical I Black Stethoscope
Prestige Clinical I Black Stethoscope

If you're looking to buy a less expensive stethoscope, you might wanna consider getting this. It's cost-effective and has good durability.

 

The vital need for nurses.

Sphygmomanometer

The sphygmomanometer, often called blood pressure bundle or meter, is the device used to measure (you guessed it) blood pressure. Blood pressure is one of the most important vital sign we as nurses need to assess in our patients. A person's blood pressure can be indicative of underlying medical diseases and health problems.

For example, when blood pressure is too high (hypertension), the patient may be at risk for a heart attack or stroke. That is the reason why we take blood pressures immediately when a patient comes to the hospital. There are various types of sphygmomanometers. Some are manually used and some are automatic. From what I learned though, the manually used ones are more reliable than digital sphygmomanometers.

Image credit:Felbry College via Flickr

Sphygmomanometers you might want

Manual ones come in different styles of gauges and automatic ones vary from wristwatch blood pressure monitors to arm-wrapped digital monitors. You can consider on getting whatever tickles your fancy.

Omron 3 Series Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor (Model BP629) Clinically Proven Accurate
Omron 3 Series Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor (Model BP629) Clinically Proven Accurate

This is useful when taking the blood pressure of multiple patients as it is less time-consuming. Also, these types are used at home where anybody can monitor their blood pressure whenever they want to without requiring someone who can take their blood pressure for them.

 
Omron HEM-712CLC Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor with Large Cuff
Omron HEM-712CLC Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor with Large Cuff

Same as the above, this can be used as a home device for someone who needs to routinely monitor their blood pressure. Large cuff provides for more flexibility and usability.

 

Every second of caring counts.

Nurse's Watch

If you are a nurse, you will know that having a strapped watch or wristwatch with seconds is also a must-have if you want to be an effective nurse. Why is this so?

We use our wristwatch when we count the pulse rate and respiratory rate of our patients. We use them to accurately know when to give a certain medication, what time a patient's intravenous fluid is due to finish or how many minutes passed since we gave that life-saving epinephrine without looking for a wall clock somewhere which may not even be available at the moment.

I would say that my wristwatch has helped me as a nurse to function completely. Thus, it is right that I share them with you as one of the tools needed by nurses.

Image credit: time shadow via Flickr

Wristwatches you might want

Here are some wristwatches I recommend having around. My advice is to have a watch that is light and waterproof so it does not get in the way of frequent hand washing.

Prestige Medical 1779 Woven Leather Band Fashion Watch, White
Prestige Medical 1779 Woven Leather Band Fashion Watch, White

This is a nice wristwatch to start with. It has a nurse-themed white color and goes great with a white uniform.

 
Head or Chief Nurse - WATCHBUDDY ELITE Chrome-Plated Metal Alloy Watch with Metal Mesh Strap-Size-Large ( Men's Size or Jumbo Women's Size )
Head or Chief Nurse - WATCHBUDDY ELITE Chrome-Plated Metal Alloy Watch with Metal Mesh Strap-Size-Large ( Men's Size or Jumbo Women's Size )

It is an expensive watch but I would agree that it really is "elite" with a little bit of nursing touch to it. This will go for those of you wanting to get a heavier wristwatch.

 
Prestige Medical 1740 Nurse Nursing Medical Lapel Watch
Prestige Medical 1740 Nurse Nursing Medical Lapel Watch

A light strap watch like this is nice to have if you are into small "barely-there" type of watches. You can hang them on your belt or on your chest pockets.

 

Write awesome nursing quote here.

Pens

Where would a nurse be without his or her handy-dandy pen? A pen is also a needed tool a nurse must also have. Nurses mostly have them in different colors (black, blue, green and red) depending on the hospital policy on documentation where color coding may be a way of making things organized.

Documentation is another important role of a nurse and the rest of the medical team. It serves as a record of care done to your patient and is also in a way a legal basis to defend a nurse's action. When a nurse gives a medication or performed an intervention, he or she should always document it as care rendered to the patient.

I guess we could say it is another form of communication between the healthcare team where every member will know what procedures and care was done to the patient even without verbally letting them know.

Pens you might want

A pen must also be light-weight and easy to carry around.

Parker Jotter Pen, Stainless Steel, Medium Point, Black Ink
Parker Jotter Pen, Stainless Steel, Medium Point, Black Ink

If you're looking for a light-weight and durable pen, this one is made for you.

 

A good thermometer is a nurse's bestfriend.

Thermometer

A thermometer is a device used which measures the temperature of the patients. It is widely used and is an integral part of a nurse's paraphernalia. A reliable thermometer is one that best fits your needs. How else will we know when a patient is having a fever?

Temperature is again, one of the vital signs and it needs to be monitored in order for us to give a safe and effective care for it often has a great impact in the treatment and diagnosis of the patient. It is always nice to have a thermometer ready in our pockets when the need arises.

Thermometers you might want

Thermometers come in different kinds. The factor you are looking for when finding the right thermometer for you is its speed and accuracy. You also have to keep in mind that you use different thermometers for different kinds of situations. For example, when getting the thermometer for newborns, you will have to use a rectal thermometer. For adults, you might wanna use oral, axillary (one that goes in the armpits), or a scanner rather than sticking it up rectally. (LOL)

Gurin Infrared Ear Thermometer With 1-Second Readout
Gurin Infrared Ear Thermometer With 1-Second Readout

Infrared thermometers offers quickness in assessing for temperature unlike traditional ones where you will have to wait three to five minutes or so.

 
Epica Instant Read Digital Meat Thermometer For Cooking and BBQ
Epica Instant Read Digital Meat Thermometer For Cooking and BBQ

This one is a good thermometer because it can be quite handy which fits in your pocket and it can get temperatures faster than you can say, "Florence Nightingale."

 
Omron MC-249 60 second, Rigid Digital Thermometer - Retail Package
Omron MC-249 60 second, Rigid Digital Thermometer - Retail Package

This is a standard digital thermometer (which I also own and use) if you want something cheaper. It's still effective but not as fast as other thermometers.

 

Effectiveness is the oxygen of the nursing profession.

Pulse Oximeter

A pulse oximeter is a device that measures both the pulse rate and the oxygen saturation of the patient. This is very reliable in emergency situations.

There are some pulse oximeters which are heavier than others and there are some versions which are portable. Although it is not so necessary that every nurse should carry one around, it is still a nice tool to have strapped in your belt.

I think it is at least convenient to immediately assess the oxygen saturation of the patient having difficulty of breathing for an immediate intervention to be made whenever possible. Do you agree?

Pulse oximeters you might want

Here are some pulse oximeters which are easy to carry around the hospital.

Deluxe SM-110 Two Way Display Finger Pulse Oximeter with Carry Case and Neck/Wrist Cord
Deluxe SM-110 Two Way Display Finger Pulse Oximeter with Carry Case and Neck/Wrist Cord

This pulse oximeter has an edgy look plus can be worn around your neck while on duty so you will never have to worry about misplacing it.

 
Choicemed Fingertip Pulse Oximeter with Lanyard and Protective Case
Choicemed Fingertip Pulse Oximeter with Lanyard and Protective Case

This is also a good pulse oximeter and the one I use personally. I think it comes with a transparent jelly casing but I'm not sure.

 

Nurse Paraphernalia Completeness Poll

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There are many more things you can include in your paraphernalia but those are the most important tools you should have. If you're a nurse and find this lens helpful, just give me a shoutout and have a fruitful duty.

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    • Hansoph profile image

      Hansoph 4 years ago

      Really interesting lens - Well done!

    • profile image

      DorotheaK 4 years ago

      I agree that in order to give professional care to your patients, you must have the appropriate and necessary tools. I think that your lens is very helpful to the professional nurses (no gender). I myself am marketer, but I appreciate a well dressed and equipped nurse.

    • Sara2901 profile image

      Sara2901 4 years ago

      Hmm.. I may need some of these in about 2 years after my daughter graduates.

    • PlumberJorge profile image
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      PlumberJorge 4 years ago

      @favored: Thanks, it is also good for student nurses in their first days of duty. :)

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 4 years ago from USA

      I didn't realize that some hospitals require you to have your own supplies. Good information for those who need these items.

    • PlumberJorge profile image
      Author

      PlumberJorge 4 years ago

      @paperfacets: It actually depends on the institution. In my case, the sphygmomanometer is supplied by the hospital. It comes with the trolley type so you could roll it around easy. The pulse oximeter is also supplied but it is large and not very portable unlike the one above. We bring our own steths, pens, etc. because although they're available, it's always good to have your own.

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 4 years ago from La Verne, CA

      My question about these supplies. If you an employee of a Doctor's office or hospital does the nurse need to buy these or does the employer supply them? Maybe the watch and the uniform would be the only thing the nurse would have to bring to work?

      A nurse, I imagine, would want all of these at home, though.

    • PlumberJorge profile image
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      PlumberJorge 4 years ago

      @LadyDuck: That's good to hear LadyDuck. :) Thanks for visiting the lens.

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      LadyDuck 4 years ago

      My brother is a doctor, I am quite familiar with all these instruments.

    • PlumberJorge profile image
      Author

      PlumberJorge 4 years ago

      @ScentsWithBling: Wow, that's great, then you're pretty familiar with these instruments. Regards to your husband. :)

    • profile image

      ScentsWithBling 4 years ago

      My husband is an ER Tech/EMT at our local hospital and he uses all those things. Really great lens.

    • PlumberJorge profile image
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      PlumberJorge 4 years ago

      @merfzel: Thanks. I'm glad my lens was helpful. :)

    • Klaartje Loose profile image

      Klaartje Loose 4 years ago

      I am a maternity nurse and I never wear a wrist watch; it's always in my way when changing or bathing a baby, or when washing my hands for the 40th time that day, and so on... So I have a watch you can pin on your belt, that's my favorite paraphernalia ;-)

    • PlumberJorge profile image
      Author

      PlumberJorge 4 years ago

      @Klaartje Loose: That's a cool watch, I should get one of those too. Thanks for commenting. :)

    • merfzel profile image

      merfzel 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I am not a nurse, but I think this lens is very informative... good job!

    • mel-kav profile image

      mel-kav 4 years ago

      Excellent lens!

    • PlumberJorge profile image
      Author

      PlumberJorge 4 years ago

      @gadifi lm: you're welcome, thanks for taking the time to read :)

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      well written article, shouldn't you add bondage scissors and the like?

    • gadifi lm profile image

      gadifi lm 4 years ago

      great lens great info on nursing and supplies thanks for sharing this info

    • PlumberJorge profile image
      Author

      PlumberJorge 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you for liking the lens. :) Yeah, I agree that a thermometer would be handy at home.

    • PlumberJorge profile image
      Author

      PlumberJorge 4 years ago

      @darkflowers: Thanks for the info and for liking this lens :) Some hospitals here also require you to wear their uniforms. I almost got hired by a hospital here that requires nurses to wear light purple scrubs. :P

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      really cool things i would have even if i am not a nurse.. like the thermometer

    • darkflowers profile image

      Anja Toetenel 4 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      Nice written and useful Lens, I'm a registered nurse (not working anymore) so I recognized some stuff there. As for uniforms here in my country you need to wear the one that a hospital provides you ;-)

    • PlumberJorge profile image
      Author

      PlumberJorge 4 years ago

      @SamanthaHaupt: Thanks for taking the time Samantha, you're welcome :)

    • profile image

      SamanthaHaupt 4 years ago

      Great lens! I'm not a nurse, but I learned a lot. Thanks for sharing!