Nurses carry a lot of things in their scrub pockets. In fact, I really don't know what I'd do without my pockets. If a lay person was to look in my pockets on any given day, I'm sure they'd be confused, surprised and horrified all at the same time.
Today I dumped my pockets just to see what was in there and here's what I found:
1. Tape-Nurses LOVE tape. If it moves and we don't want it to, we tape it. Everything from IV's to dressings need tape. To be without tape is to not be a real nurse!
2. Scissors- I've yet to meet a nurse that doesn't carry scissors. If we aren't taping stuff, we're cutting it. In the ER where I work, we LOVE to cut stuff. We use scissors to cut off clothing, cut bandages, cut, cut, cut...EVERYTHING. We have trauma scissors and bandage scissors, WE ADORE SCISSORS.
3. Clamps-A necessity for keeping things in place. The shift when you don't have a clamp is when you'll need it 100 times. That's Murphy's law. I'm pretty sure a lay person wouldn't have a clue what a clamp was and would probably think I had yet another pair of scissors.
4. Tongue Depressor- Okay, now if a non-nurse saw this I'm sure they'd believe it was there to use in a patient's mouth, but nah, it's only there for my mouth when I need a peanut butter scooper thingy! Works great!
5. Penlight- Yeah, lay folks would probably think I needed this for important "nursey stuff", like neuro checks, but they'd be wrong. I need it to see in patients' rooms at night when the lights are out. Couldn't work without it and my patients would hate me for turning on the lights every 2 minutes.
6. Saline Flush-I hope I never have to have the pleasure of being pulled over and searched by the police on my way home. They'd probably think I was a drug addict with all the syringes of normal saline I carry around. But I saline flush in my sleep and without it I probably would go through withdrawals. I'm a saline addict!
7. Pens...Oh, Gawd. How many pens are enough? 100? 1000? It doesn't freaking matter how many pens I begin my shift with I NEVER have one by the end of the shift. Nurses are thieves! So are patients! I've never stolen anyone's pen, though, (eye roll).
8. Alchohol pads-I use them for everything. Cleaning ports, cleaning skin before IV insertion, cleaning all my stuff before it goes in my pocket again.
9. Money-I always have a few dollars in cash cause the crazy cafeteria where I work hasn't heard of credit cards yet. You'd think because it's 2016 they'd have gotten that memo, but they're about 20 years behind the times. I need money to buy the $100 cup of coffee that's been sitting so long, and it's so strong that it's about to get up and walk all by itself.
10. Calculator-Okay, truth be known most nurses are terrible at math, present company included. I know that seems weird to all you non-nurses, but we learn "nursing math" and we know how to do that like the back of our hand. But calculators make it so much easier and if we're lucky everyone will get the right dose of medication because we check, double check and triple check before with administering anything. Call us crazy for doing this, but you'll be glad you had a crazy nurse when it's time to get your meds!
Have one to add to this list? Comment below!