A list like this almost needs no introduction. Busy healthcare professionals inevitably carry the tools of the trade around with them as they make quick rounds. So it should come as no surprise that any list of must-haves is lengthy.
In addition to these essentials nurses need, some items simply make a day run more smoothly. These nurse accessories make the workday more comfortable, and we strongly believe in the power of comfort.
If you’re not a nurse but know one and would like to give them a little something special, or you are a nurse and want to treat yourself, read on for some of our favorite must-haves for nurses. Be it functional or fun, they all show thoughtfulness and consideration for people in this field.
The eight nursing supplies that are must-haves for work
- Pens: You will be jotting down information all day, so it’s essential to have a pen (and several backups!) handy. Better yet: Make it a clip pen so you can stick it right in the pocket of your scrubs and never lose it. Some highlighters and Sharpies never hurt either.
- A penlight: Perhaps there’s a pen/pen-light combo that would allow you to combine items 1 and 2 on our list, but until you find it, you’ll need both. A penlight helps you during patient assessments, not to mention when you need to locate things in the dark.
- Scrubs: We know what you’re thinking. Of course, we’d say that scrubs are essential. But, it’s true: Nurses need great, comfortable, quality scrubs that help them feel and look their best throughout a long shift.
- Scissors: You’ll need to cut through many different materials in a day, from gauze to tubes, so carrying scissors around isn’t just handy. It’s necessary.
- Comfortable kicks: You’re on your feet all day, and if you’re not standing, maybe you’re power walking between patients (or running, even if you’re in the ER). So, you need comfortable shoes—clogs, sneakers, special nursing shoes—with supportive insoles. Read more on how to keep your feet from getting fatigued here.
- Reference guides: Have reference apps and books handy to quickly look up meds, symptoms and any other information you need when you’re with patients.
- Stethoscope: No matter what you carry with you, you need the tools of your trade, and this one’s essential.
- A place to keep it all: Cargo scrubs are one option, but if you don’t like pockets, try a fanny-pack as an organizer (we hear they’re back in style!). You can also try a larger tote to carry around all your nursing essentials.
The eight nursing essentials you’ll need every day
In addition to our curated list of musts, there are a few items that nurses should always have on hand for everyday use.
- Basic over-the-counter meds: Carry around the meds you frequently use, like aspirin.
- A thermometer: Keeping one of these on hand will allow you to take your patients’ temperature quickly and easily.
- A pulse oximeter: This one goes hand-in-hand with your thermometer and stethoscope, allowing you to take a patient’s heart rate and oxygen levels when necessary.
- A face mask: It’s part of the new normal, and if you’re a nurse, face masks are probably nothing new to you.
- Bandages: In this line of work, you’ll often change wound dressings, so come prepared.
- Medical tape: You’ll need something to keep those bandages in place, especially gauze. Plus, you never know what other uses you’ll find for tape during the day.
- Hand sanitizer: Stay as germ-free as possible while on the job by carrying around your own stock of antibacterial gel.
- Hand lotion: Where there’s antibacterial gel, there should be hand lotion. The former dries out your hands, and the latter is there to replenish your skin.
The eight gifts every nurse would love
Nurses deserve celebration—whether you’re a patient or have a friend or partner in this line of work. Check out our list of gifts that nurses will love and surprise that special person (or persons!) with a great present on their next big day.
- Personalized mug or water bottle: Two of the top things most nurses need during their day—and plenty of it—are caffeine (be it coffee or tea) and water. A tumbler personalized with a cool design, the person’s name or an inspiring quote makes for a great gift.
- High-quality hand cream: Nurses who constantly disinfect their hands with gels that dry out the skin can never have enough lotion in their bag.
- Slippers: After a long day, a nurse is looking forward to getting off their feet and sliding into some cozy slippers.
- Compression scrubs: Compression gear is one of the best gifts you can give someone who is on their feet all day—whether compression socks or scrubs.
- Comfortable face masks: As we all know, there’s certainly a comfort scale when it comes to face masks. Look for snug masks that fit well, rest gently on the face and are made from antimicrobial-finished fabric.
- Footbath: Nurses that are on their feet all day need to relax (and bring down swelling) when they get home. What better way than with a foot bath? It doubles up as self-care.
- Food delivery service: The nurses in your life may be the most selfless people you know, but they are also the busiest. A subscription to a food delivery service is a great gift for someone who may not have a lot of free time to cook.
- A light jacket: Temps at the hospital can fluctuate, but nurses can stay warm no matter what with some nurse gear. Gift a nurse a light jacket that won’t get in the way of their work.
At Jaanuu, we created a company around nursing essentials. Come for the scrubs, stay for all the informative career and #nurselife content we have to offer.
Keep calm and nurse on!