If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile you know I am a sucker for all things related to organizing (also a sucker for pens, post-it notes and all things laminated!). Depending on the type of unit you work in (or have your nursing school clinical) it may make sense for you to have your “stuff” organized and accessible in some way…but not necessarily on your person. This obviously isn’t for you if you work in a unit where you are never in the same spot for very long or are running hither and yon your entire shift (like in the ED). But if you work critical care,PACU, and even on the floor you may find that having your goodies in a storage tote works well, provided you have a place to actually put it. In the ICU where I work, we have WOWs (workstation on wheels) at every room and tables outside every two rooms or so. I typically put my goodie bag there and have easy access to all kinds of things I might need throughout my shift but don’t necessarily want to carry in my pockets.
- Extra pens and highlighters (yes, we are still paper charting!)
- Extra mini sharpies in case the one on my badge holder peters out. What do I use these for? Did you even have to ask??
- My custom “post-it” notes with my check-off lists, like you see here. Love these!
- A laminated list of commonly used gtts…cardizem, norepinephrine, nitro, neosynephrine, etc…
- Cute post-its with “thank you” and “you rock” messages on them, that I sneak to my awesome co-workers after they do something awesome for me (gave three of those out yesterday…woot woot!)
- A drawing one of my patient’s daughters made for me, saying I’m the best nurse ever.
- An emergency Lara Bar for those busy shifts when I don’t get my morning break until 11 or 12.
- A pack of gum, which I call “report gum” so that we are all fresh for giving report at the end of the shift.
- A few dollars in case someone goes on a coffee run or I need something from a vending machine…doesn’t happen often as we can use our badges to buy stuff, but it’s good to have just in case!
- Kathy White’s “Fast Facts for Critical Care” is in the larger middle pocket…it is a super handy reference for all things ICU-related. The 2013 version is currently available and is a must-have item for your critical care library.
I couldn’t find this exact tote online for you guys anywhere, but this one looks promising! I got mine at a craft store, just look for something made of vinyl or some other material you can easily wipe off. A fabric tote would just attract all kinds of goobers. Blech.
Be safe out there!