This article was provided by Travel Nurse Across America.
As a travel nurse, you’re used to being busy during your shifts. This is why working with an agency that supports you and prioritizes your well-being is important, as it will help you deal with the stress that can create. However, you might also get stressed when you can’t find something when you need it. That’s why it’s a good idea to be as prepared as possible. Keeping these nursing essentials on hand will help you keep going throughout your shift, even when things get a little hectic.
Extra Pens/Permanent Markers
Most nurses agree that you can never have enough extra pens and permanent markers. These are always important to have but can be easy to misplace or lose in the craziness of a shift. Bringing extras with you will ensure you always have one when you need it. Try to find pens and markers that you can easily attach to things like your badge, scrubs, or clipboards, as this will help you keep track of them. Frixion pens can be good to use since they’re erasable and let you easily color-code your patients.
Keeping bandage scissors on-hand is great because of how versatile they are, as they’ll be able to cut through just about anything. Keeping a pair with you will mean that you won’t have to try and find some scissors to use should you need to cut something. Instead, you can take care of the issue and keep things running smoothly.
Unfortunately, being a nurse can be a bit of a messy job. Since you won’t want to go through your shift with dirty scrubs, having a backup pair in your locker is great, so you can quickly change on the fly. The same goes for bringing a backup pair of socks and shoes- wearing ones that are messy or uncomfortable not only feels bad but can be dangerous as well. If you have longer hair, extra hair ties will also be useful.
Lotion & Chapstick
All the hand washing you do as a nurse will dry your hands out very quickly. With how annoying this can be, having lotion with you will help keep your hands moisturized and healthy. Since hospitals also tend to be rather cold and dry, try to keep some Chapstick with you too when your lips get chapped.
Keeping your energy levels up is crucial when you’re on the job. However, finding the time to sit down and eat isn’t always easy. Keeping something small to snack on, like a granola bar, is perfect for those times when you need a pick-me-up. Bringing a water bottle with you will also help keep you hydrated, even as you’re moving back and forth across the hospital. You might want to keep some gum in your pockets, too, so you can keep your breath nice and clean.
After a long shift, coming back to a dead phone is always a bummer, so bringing a phone charger with you will make sure that won’t happen. Having a charged phone is always useful, especially when you’re in a new area and are still getting the lay of the land.
Spare Toiletries/OTC Medicine
It helps to have a way to freshen up during or after an especially tough shift. That is why nurses will bring things like deodorant, toothpaste, and a toothbrush to their shifts. This gives them a chance to feel nice and refreshed and is particularly helpful if you’ve got a long shift. As for dealing with the aches and pains that come with the job, bringing some ibuprofen is a great solution.
When it comes to travel nursing, it’s key to prepare ahead of time. Bringing useful items like these with you will help you power through the day, even when things get hectic. Do you have any useful items you bring to your shifts that didn’t make our list? Comment them below.