How do you keep your nursing accessories organized during a nursing shift?
If you are like many busy nurses, you may be stuffing your pockets – which isn’t very organized at all. Not to mention, it looks very unprofessional for a nurse to be shuffling through their pockets for one of many nurse tools and accessories they need throughout the shift. (I’ve been that nurse too, believe me!)
The reality is that nursing shifts are already insanely busy as they are. Do you want to keep making a dozen extra trips around the unit for things you keep forgetting?
How many times have you had to walk back to the nurse’s station, supply room, or med room for things such as:
I can’t tell you how many times I had to leave a patient’s room to go back and find something that I had forgotten. Especially in my early nursing career days.
Until one day, it finally dawned on me that many of these supplies could be kept organized right within an arms reach at all times. I can’t even tell you how much time that saved me!
I was never a fan of the “fanny pack” look (although, believe it or not, fanny packs are coming back into style here in Los Angeles!). But my goal has always been to provide excellent care to may patients, so if a “fanny pack” helps me achieve that, then I was all for it!
Besides, as a new nurse grad, I needed all the help and support I could get. And now, almost eight years into my nursing career, I still use a nurse pocket organizer just like #3 on this list!
Have you ever thought about using a nurse pocket organizer or a fanny pack?
These are simple solutions to preventing unnecessary trips back to the supply room for random things you forgot to grab.
Being a great nurse involves managing your time well. Nurses already have enough on their plates when taking care of patients during their shifts. Less unnecessary trips for supplies = more time for patient care.
Nurse pocket organizers also help keep nursing shifts less stressful. Knowing you have the supplies you need within your reach at all times will not only keep you calmer in stressful situations, but you will appear more professional as well.
(This post contains affiliate links. You can find my disclosure page here.)
This is product is also highly rated by customers for durability. It is a more compact nurse pocket organizer – however, it still has nine pockets, including one zippered pocket (great for keeping cash & credit cards). You can see from the photo that it is still large enough to hold a cell phone.
More about this product:
Specifically designed for nurses
9 Pockets (one zippered-two netted)
Belt length: can extend to 42 inches
Organizer size: 6 x 8 inches.
Double-Sided/Reversible- so you can wear on either side
(Items in the photo do not come with this product).
Keep in mind that this product does not come with a belt, but it fits easily in most scrub top pockets or the cargo pocket of most scrub pants. May work better for nurses who prefer not to have the traditional “fanny pack” appearance. It does have a belt loop on the back that fits most belts.
This cute pink nurse pocket organizer is very compact- but just might be the right amount of space you need for your supplies.
This particular product also makes an excellent gift for a nursing student or new nurse graduate because it also comes with the products shown in the photo.
For the nurse that wants a lot of storage – this is a nurse organizer, you may want to consider. Many of the reviews mention that it can fit a cell phone as well as keys – along with other important nurse supplies needed during the workday.
Keep in mind that although it is made of durable material, the more you put in, the heavier it will get. Also, it does not have skinny “pen-style” pockets – if that is important to you. (Supplies in photo not included)
More about this product:
Sits on the waist
Has 9 mesh pockets so you can easily see everything inside
Elastic belt adjusts to most waistlines and moves with your body throughout the day -made of breathable, machine-washable canvas
Fits close to the body
Dimensions: 9 × 8.5 × 2 inches, belt measures 24 inches at its shortest, 37 inches fully extended, weight 6.5 oz
This product is a true pocket protector – it does not come with a belt, but it fits easily in most scrub top pockets or the cargo pocket of most scrub pants.
It also fits very well in lab coats – it is simple, and keeps your pockets clean and organized! You won’t lose your pens with this nifty organizer. It fits essential items that you need in your packets and makes them easy to find versus digging around in your pockets.
More about this product:
Snap open belt loop reinforced with hook and loop adhesive
This product had a lot of great reviews- and it comes in several other colors as well. This apron-style nurse organizer easily helps to organize pens, highlighters, flushes, scissors, and alcohol pads right at your fingertips. The belt is adjustable and fits unobtrusively on the hip.
Smartphone and tablet apps can clutter your screen and bombard you with unnecessary notifications—or they can make your life as a nurse much easier and less stressful. But with literally millions of apps available, how can you tell which ones are winners and which are total duds?
Luckily for you, we’ve done all the research and rounded up 13 apps that nurses should download today.
Here are 13 must-have apps for nurses!
Ever have the name of a disease on the tip of your tongue, but couldn’t remember the term? Eponyms is for those moments. The app contains 1,800 common and obscure medical terms and offers full-text search as well as 26 categories you can browse. Plus, you can star any eponyms you constantly forget for easy reference and use the “learn” mode to teach yourself new terms.
#2. Medical Spanish
If you don’t speak Spanish, then this app can help you learn relevant medical terms and/or communicate with patients who do. The app includes over 6,000 entries over multiple categories such as subjective/questions, objective/instructions, assessment and plan, and basic Spanish. As a bonus, the app does not require Wi-Fi and works offline.
#3. MediBabble Translator
For those nurses who need to translate more languages beyond Spanish, MediBabble is a free, professional-grade medical translation tool that is currently available in five languages—Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Russian, and Haitian Creole—with more coming soon. Spanish comes preinstalled, and the other languages can be downloaded inside the app for free.
#4. NCLEX Flashcards
This app helps nurses-to-be study for all aspects of the National Council Licensure Examination test: Safe and Effective Care Environment, Health Promotion and Maintenance, Psychosocial Integrity, Physiological Integrity, and General Review. The app also offers five different learning modes—Study, Slide Show, Matching, Memorize, and Quiz—to help you learn the 2,400 flashcards loaded on the app.
#5. Skyscape Medical Library
Skyscape has partnered with more than 35 publishers to offer more than 400 “greatest hits” pieces of content from the most trusted medical resources. The free base version of the app includes Skyscape Rx (comprehensive information on thousands of brands and generics), Skyscape Clinical Calculator (medical calculator with more than 200 interactive tools), Skyscape Clinical Consult (evidence-based clinical information on hundreds of diseases and symptom-related topics) and Skyscape MedBeats™ (news and information tailored to your specialty). Other premium pieces of content are available for an in-app purchase.
#6. Pill Identifier
Drugs.com’s searchable database comes in app form, covering more than 24,000 Rx/OTC medications found in the U.S. You can search by imprint, drug name, shape and color, and the app will return information including drug images, description/indication, pregnancy category, CSA schedule, strength, and Rx/OTC availability.
#7. Nursing Central
Don’t be fooled by the old school icon. This app gets rave reviews from nurses everywhere. As the name suggests, Nursing Central combines five best-selling resources (Davis’s Drug Guide, Taber’s Medical Dictionary, Davis’s Laboratory, and Diagnostic Tests, Diseases and Disorders and Prime PubMed) all in one app. It’s an efficient, easy-to-use, one-stop-shop for many of the most common questions that nurses have.
#8. Taber’s Medical Dictionary
Speaking of Taber’s Medical Dictionary, this resource also comes as a standalone and is worth highlighting on its own merits. Taber’s contains over 65,000 terms, 1,200 photos, 32,000 audio pronunciations, 100+ videos and more than 600 patient care statements. The app also goes beyond definitions, providing nutrition and alternative therapy, medical abbreviations, symbols and units of measurement, immunization schedules, nursing diagnoses, and updates.
#9. Nurse’s Pocket Guide
Nurse’s Pocket Guide provides all the information you need to look up the signs and symptoms of medical conditions, identify the associated nursing diagnoses, and develop appropriate plans of care. The latest version of the app includes updated NANDA-I 2015-2017 diagnoses as well as NIC/NOC classifications. The app can be downloaded to your device and then used offline, so you can reference it even when you don’t have an internet connection.
The classic medical information website for clinicians can also be downloaded to your phone in the app form. The app allows you to look up medications and dosages with the Drug Reference Tool, research adverse drug combinations with the Drug Interaction Checker and find evidence-based patient care information with the Disease & Condition reference. The Medscape app also offers the latest medical news as well as other helpful resources, including step-by-step procedural articles, medical calculators, a pill ID tool, image collections, formulary information, and more.
PEPID has provided clinical and drug information to healthcare providers, hospitals, and schools for more than 23 years. The company’s app combines information about drug interactions and allergies, medical calculators, a pill identifier, a note-taking function, and more into a tool that one reviewer said: “you’ll use as much as your stethoscope.”
#12. Med Mnemonics
A mnemonic is a short rhyme, phrase, or other mental technique that makes information easier to memorize. This app comes with more than 1,900 mnemonics to help you learn terms, symptoms, and more, and it also includes the ability to add your own mnemonics to your personal version of the app. You can even submit your own mnemonics for potential inclusion in the next version of the app.
Nurses are notorious for their complicated, shift-based schedules, which is why a couple of RNs created NurseGrid, the first calendar just for nurses. The app lets you easily add shifts, share your availability with your manager, sync with your favorite external calendar, swap shifts with colleagues, add shifts from up to eight different worksites, and message both individuals and groups within the app itself.
If managing your schedule feels like a job in itself, NurseGrid can make things way easier on you and help remove some of the headache. From translation to dictionary references to calendars, these 13 apps cover a wide range of resources that nurses rely on every day. As a nurse, you’ve already got enough on your plate to juggle, so let these apps help you make your life easier. You deserve it!
HEY NURSES! Remember to sign up for your FREE COPY of “The Nurse’s Guide To Health & Self Care” E-book in the sign-up box below! (scroll down)
About The Author
Deborah Swanson is a Coordinator for the Real Caregivers Program at allheart.com, a site dedicated to celebrating medical professionals and their journeys. She keeps busy interviewing caregivers and writing about them and loves gardening.
(This post about practical gifts for nurses contains affiliate links. You can find my disclosure page here.)
Looking for a thoughtful yet practical gift for the nurse in your life?
Nurses do so much for patients without getting much (if any) appreciation for their incredibly hard and selfless work. Giving a nurse a thoughtful and practical gift that they can use on the job lets them know that you appreciate how hard they work to help others during some of the worst times in their lives. These gifts are perfect for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, Christmas, nursing school graduation, or any other special occasion.
Many nurses don’t drink nearly enough water during their 12-hour shifts and then go home wholly dehydrated. Therefore, nurses need a good water bottle to bring to work with them every single day! Water is essential for life and good health, which is why a quality Hydro Flask Water Bottle makes such a great gift for nurses of all experiences and specialties. We must encourage our nurses to take as good care of themselves as they do their patients. After all, when nurses can tend to their own self-care needs, they can give even better care to their patients.
The Hydro Flask Water Bottle is a high-quality water bottle that can be used for many years and still look brand new. It is made out of food-grade stainless steel and is BPA free. Also, it has excellent insulation, which prevents condensation from forming on the outside of the bottle.
But the best part about the Hydro Flask Water Bottle is the TempShield Insulation, which keeps beverages at the same temperature for many hours (hot drinks for 6 hours & cold drinks for up to 24 hours!).
If there is one single practical gift that every nurse needs, it is an insulated water bottle!
Regular coffee mugs just won’t work for busy nurses working with patients. For one, nurses are seldom in the same place for more than a few minutes. And it would be great if their coffee could be the same temperature when they finally got back to take a sip of it!
The Contigo Coffee Mug is a popular choice among many nurses (myself included – I have had one for the last four years). It has a leak-proof lid (when closed) for on-the-go activities. In addition, drinks stay hot up to 7 hours and cold up to 18 hours with vacuum insulation. This brand even comes with a lifetime warranty.
It is no secret that becoming a nurse is a personal calling and requires a lot of grit and compassion from those who enter the profession. Nurses deal with patients in some of the worst times of their lives and deal with both life and death situations. Therefore, it never hurts to share some inspiration with one!
Chicken Soup For The Soul: Inspiration For Nurses consists of 101 heartwarming stories that encourage, inspire, and reassure nurses that their patients and families appreciate the nurse’s compassionate service. Nurses can use all the help and encouragement they can get, and this book of personal stories helps remind nurses why they became a nurse in the first place.
Many nurses I work with in the emergency room have the Raptor Shears, and we use them frequently in emergency situations. You can hook it to a belt or secure it using the pocket clip. Also, the Raptor Shears have a 25-year limited warranty, which could last through a nurse’s entire medical career or longer. This tool is an amazing and practical gift for a nurse.
Starting IV’s is one of the most challenging and stressful clinical tasks that nurses will learn during the first few years in the profession. A vein finder is a great gift for nursing students, new nurse graduates, and even seasoned nurses who need a little extra help with starting an IV.
For patients who are a difficult “stick” (as we call it in nursing), it is so helpful to have a vein finder in the back pocket. This is a very practical gift for nurses because many patients need an IV to receive fluids and other medications.
Compression socks must be a part of every nurse’s uniform because they help keep nurse’s legs healthy! Years of working on one’s feet for 12-hour shifts can be hard on the body and contribute to various venous issues. Luckily, wearing quality compression socks can help nurses prevent varicose veins, leg swelling, and decrease muscle soreness.
They work by squeezing the blood in the legs like a garden hose back up the leg, thereby increasing blood circulation. Many nurses even say that compression socks help keep their legs noticeably energized after a long shift.
By giving a nurse a set of compression socks, you are letting them know that you care about their health and well-being. What a great message to send!
If you are looking for a funny gift to make a nurse laugh, here it is! Any nurse receiving a Nurse Coloring Book: Sweary Midnight Editionwill find a little truth and humor within the pages. After all, being a nurse can be very stressful, and a laugh-out-loud book that can be shared with others for hours can provide a lot of well-needed stress relief. It would make a great gift for recent nurse graduates, new nurses in the field, or an experienced nurse as well!
Most nurses learn very quickly that they need to prepare and pack their own food for two reasons: 1) hospital food gets old quick and usually isn’t very tasty, and 2) packing a healthy lunch in advance ensures that the nurse will eat healthier throughout their shift. Otherwise, when lunch comes and they are so exhausted, there is a chance they might reach for some not-so-healthy options.
The Baloray Lunch Bag is waterproof & leak proof. This brand claims to keep food cold or warm for more than 6 hours. It is also super easy to clean and is very lightweight.
HEY NURSES! Remember to sign up for your FREE COPY of “The Nurse’s Guide To Health & Self Care” E-book in the sign-up box below! (scroll down)
We hope you enjoyed this list of practical gifts for nurses and were able to find something for the awesome nurse in your life. If you have any questions please leave a comment and we will get back to you!
I have a few favorite nurse essentials that I keep with me each day I go to work.
I am a registered nurse who has worked in several departments in the hospital setting taking care of ER, Med Surg, and ICU patients. As a result, I have seen it all and then some. And I still see new things that shock me every day.
I created this list of my favorite essentials I use as a nurse to help other nurses keep their professional nurse game on point.
(This post contains affiliate links. You can find my disclosure page here.)
I bought a 3M Littmann Classic in nursing school, and I have been using it ever since. They are available in many different colors and have a “non-chill” rim, so you don’t shock your patients with a cold stethoscope. Whether you are trying to obtain a manual blood pressure or listening to lung sounds, every nurse needs to have a stethoscope.
Keeping your stethoscope around your neck can get in the way sometimes. I love the Koala-Qlip stethoscope holder because it attaches firmly to my scrubs and it takes the weight of the stethoscope off my neck.
Nikes are my favorite shoes to wear for 12-hour shifts when I know I’m going to be on my feet all day long. Wearing sturdy, no-slip shoes that help cushion your feet during 12-hour shifts is an absolute must!
Compression stockings are often overlooked as a way to prevent some of the chronic issues that come from working in a profession where you are on your feet for such long hours. Wearing compression socks helps to prevent varicose veins, improve venous blood flow, decrease the risk of blood clots, and decrease swelling of the ankles and feet. I have found that compression socks with 20-30mmHg are the right compression strength for me as a nurse.
At work, I use the Apple Watch as a stopwatch, a timer, and as an alarm to remind myself of tasks I might forget when my shift gets crazy busy. I can also receive and send text messages on it without having to carry my cell phone with me.
But my favorite thing about the Apple Watch is that it records how much I stand, exercise, and move throughout my shift (it breaks them down into colorful rings) and tells me how many total steps I get in a shift. My record so far is 22,000 steps during a single shift!
Comfortable under scrub t-shirts are great because it can get cold in the hospital. This brand is especially great because they have thumb holes in the sleeves. I have several so that I always have a clean one to put on under my scrubs.
As a nurse and mom, I start my days very early, usually by 0530. And then I’m usually on the road to get to work no later than 0600. Which doesn’t leave a lot of time to sit for coffee. I have used the same Contigo coffee mug for over a year, and it is still in great condition. It is 20 oz, is stainless and has a lockable lid that is leak proof. Best of all, it keeps my coffee hot for up to 7 hours!
My Hydro Cell Water bottle is another item I have with me at all times. It is 32 oz and has a leak-proof wide mouth lid. Nurses often forget to drink enough water during busy 12-hour shifts, but having this water bottle helps me stay hydrated.
I have this crossbody bag, which is technically not a bag that is just for nurses. But I love the design. I use it to hold my nursing badge, stethoscope, water bottle, coffee mug, breast pump, pens, and all work-related paperwork that I need.
Making my lunch everyday has several benefits. I eat healthier, I don’t reach for junk that is in the break room because I pack my healthy snacks, and I save a lot of money. I’m also a foodie, and hospital food just isn’t my cup of tea. So I pack my lunch in my favorite lunch bag every evening before my shifts, and I’m good to go.
The Raptor Shears look like a fancy pair of scissors. But these functional and handy shears are 6 tools wrapped into one:
oxygen tank wrench
carbide glass breaker
Many nurses I work with in the emergency room have the Raptor Shears and we use them frequently in emergency situations. You can hook it to a belt or secure it using the pocket clip. It also has a 25-year limited warranty and will last you throughout your nursing career or longer. They also make a great nursing gift for a new graduate!
These retractable four-color pens are great in case you need something to stand out in your work notes. Or use different colors for different patients when taking report. These pens are also great for color-coding notes and flashcards for when you are studying for certifications! I always have a few in my work bag and one on me while I am at work
(This post about Nurses Week gift ideas contains affiliate links. You can find my disclosure page here.)
National Nurses Week was started by the American Nurses Association 1993 to celebrate the 4 million hardworking nurses for their outstanding dedication to the profession.
Each May, there are seven days of opportunity for nurses to reflect on their patient care experiences and congratulate each other for all of their hard and selfless work. Even more importantly, this is an excellent week for management to recognize nurse achievements and genuinely say, “thank you, nurses!”
National Nurses Week should be a time that many burned out and overworked nurses look forward to each year.
Unfortunately, though, this week often comes and goes with little to no recognition for hospital nurses. On first thought, one might think that many hospital administrators just forget about Nurses Week altogether.
But there is usually a small bit of evidence that they do remember, but just don’t care to put much effort into it. Often it is in the form of a cheap gift ordered in bulk – such as a plastic lunch pail with the hospital’s logo on it. And if your hospital unit is really lucky, you might even win a drawing for a pizza party at lunchtime! (I wish I were just sarcastic, but sadly I’m not).
It’s no secret that many nurses are usually not adequately celebrated during Nurses Week.
I’m not saying that hospitals need to throw outlandish parties with catered meals and champagne (although that would be nice!). Or that we get a cash bonus or prize (also would be nice, but really, who are we kidding here?).
What I am saying is that many hospitals have an opportunity to do a much better job of acknowledging nurse’s selfless dedication to helping thousands of patients survive and thrive that year. By recognizing our work in literally the absolute cheapest way possible, those basic 50 cent gifts with the hospital logo can be perceived as very condescending and self-promoting gifts, especially to nurses who are sacrificing so much to put others’ needs before their own.
In other words, instead of sending the message: “thank you so much for working on the front lines of healthcare to ensure that our patients get the absolute best patient care they deserve. You’re awesome!” Its more like, “At some point this week, pick up your gift at the nurse’s office.” The end.
Isn’t making nurses feel unappreciated the opposite purpose of Nurses Week?
Even worse, many nurses say that Nurses Week isn’t even acknowledged at their workplace.
So sad, but true. The entire week goes by with not even a verbal “thank you for your service” or “we appreciate YOU, nurse.” Nothing.
So, with National Nurse’s Week approaching, I wanted to make a list of relatively inexpensive yet fun nurses week gifts. Because there is nothing worse than being ignored during a holiday that is supposed to celebrate the hard work and selfless dedication of nurses everywhere.
(And, by the way, nurse, you ARE awesome. Thank you for your dedication and service. The healthcare system would crumble without you!).
(There are affiliate links in this post. You can find my disclosure page here.)
As a registered nurse who has worked all over the hospital taking care of emergency room, ICU, and telemetry patients, I have seen it all and then some. And I still see new things that shock me every day. This is why it is so important to be prepared with the right nurse supplies you need to be able to perform at your best. And that includes having a quality pair of bandage scissors or trauma shears with you at all times.
I purchased a pair of cheaper white bandage scissors in nursing school and used them for my first few years as a neuroscience and stroke nurse. They came in handy while removing IV’s, changing dressings on wounds, and opening difficult packaging.
A few years later, I invested in a good pair of trauma shears when I became an emergency room nurse. Dull shears are not good in an emergency, and I wanted a great, non-disposable pair that performed well, especially while treating trauma patients.
Best Trauma Shears and Bandage Scissors For Nurses In 2021
Trauma shears vs. bandage scissors
Trauma shears are a type of scissors used by emergency medical personal such as ER nurses and first responders to quickly and safely cut clothing from injured people.
Trauma shear construction and durability enables them to cut through strong materials such as seat belts, leather, jeans, and even thin metal. Also, the wide, blunt tip on the shears is designed to slide across the skin, minimizing the risk of injuring the patient while cutting clothing. Trauma shears can also be used to cut bandages or open difficult packaging and come in handy during 12-hour shifts.
They usually consist of a handle with a metal blade, which is traditionally bent at about 150 degrees. This “lever arm” gives them an unusual appearance as compared to ordinary scissors.
Bandage scissors, otherwise known as bandage forceps, are very similar to trauma shears in that they are used for cutting. They are generally slightly less “hefty” then trauma shears; however, they are still very durable, and a good quality pair can be used for many years of service.
Bandage scissors also come with a blunt tip on the bottom blade, which helps in cutting bandages without gouging the skin. The blunt tip design of the scissor prevents accidental injury while making bandage removal very easy,
Trauma shears and bandage scissors can range widely in price. The costs can range from 15$ for an inexpensive pair of bandage shears to over $100 for a pair of engraved Raptor Shears. In general bandage scissors cost less than trauma shears because trauma shears are more durable and have more functionality.
The best trauma shears & bandage scissors for nurses:
Many nurses I work within the emergency room have the Raptor Shears, and we use them frequently in emergencies. You can hook it to a belt or secure it using the pocket clip. Also, the Raptor Shears have a 25-year limited warranty and will last through an entire medical career or longer. This is a fantastic gift for new medical graduates.
This tool has all the same features as the regular Raptor Shears, but these can be engraved to make an extra special personalized gift for medical professionals. Therefore, these make a fantastic gift for graduates, groomsmen or bridesmaids, and gifts for first responders, nurses, doctors, and other health care professionals.
I wanted to include a few less expensive options on this list. These trauma shears are a more affordable option as they are not titanium strength and do not have as many features as titanium shears. However, they are durable and will perform over time for basic and practical purposes.
About this product:
1-pack of black-handled, autoclavable, EMT Shears.
Fluoride-coated non-stick surface.
7.5-inch long trauma shears.
Sharp edge and milled serrations for cutting.
Durable,high-impact plastic handles and stainless steel blades, premium quality, long-life medical scissors.
This is a funny shirt if you do have to run with trauma shears! (As many ER nurses and other first responders do). This shirt comes in men’s and women’s sizes in 5 different colors. When paired with a great set of trauma shears, this combo would make such an excellent gift for a first responder, MD, nurse, or new graduate!
Check out these articles for more great gift ideas!