If you ask any nurse what their favorite thing is about wearing scrubs (besides the fact that they are basically PJs), they will most likely say “pockets!” Scrub pockets hold all of the essential tools that a nurse needs to survive a shift. If you’re a student or a new nurse, you might not know yet exactly what you should keep in your pockets. So here is a list of 14 pocket nursing essentials:

1. Pens and highlighters

You can never have enough pens! Highlighters are also a great tool to use if you want to mark important information about a patient on his or her chart.

2. Gum

Nurses get up close and personal with lots of people, so fresh breath is a must.

3. A snack

Maintain your blood sugar and be prepared for those busy days when you may not be able to get a break!

4. Notepad

While a paper towel or scrub pants will work for jotting down vital signs, sometimes it is nice to have paper.

5. Stethoscope

Whether you choose to keep your stethoscope around your neck or in your pocket, a stethoscope is an absolute must for a nurse.

6. Lip balm

Hospitals are cold and dry. Coat your lips in lip balm to prevent the inevitable chapping.

7. Tape

Between taping up IVs and blood draw sites, you’ll certainly use a lot of tape throughout the day.

8. Alcohol swabs

Chances are, regardless of your nursing field, you will deliver at least one IV push med each shift. Make patient safety easy by keeping alcohol swabs handy.

9. Watch

There may not always be a clock in your patient’s room. A watch is essential for taking vital signs as well as knowing how many hours before your shift ends.

10. Scissors

Be the hero on your unit by having scissors. Put your name on them to prevent other nurses from holding onto them.

11. Pen light

Pen lights are not only good for neuro assessments; they also make great lights for charting at night in a patient room or finding a pill you dropped on the floor.

12. IV flushes

Save yourself time when giving medications or maintaining a line by having your IV flushes always at your side.

13. Hair ties or bobby pins

Avoid getting your hair in body fluids by having a hair tie or bobby pins in your pocket.

14. Hand lotion

After the 100th time washing your hands, your hands will be screaming for moisture. Keep your hands soft and happy with a small tube of lotion.

What do you like to keep in your scrub pockets? Comment below!

Sarah Cruzan, BSN, RN

Sarah Cruzan is a nurse on a Family Maternity Unit.

Latest posts by Sarah Cruzan, BSN, RN (see all)

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