I’m not sure this is going to be a particularly exciting one from me today – nor do I think it the contents of my bag will be atypical to many other nursing students. As I’m peering into it, I am noticing that it is a complete mess. Time for a summer holiday declutter.
So the things that my work bag will always include are:
- My uniform – though no matter how much I iron it, it always seems to end up creased by the time I get there. I would never travel to or from placement in my uniform, and it annoys me when people do. Infection control!
- Work shoes – I wear black Schuh work shoes with memory insoles. Very comfy and back leather wipe down. Handy for any spillages that may occur.
- My name badge – which I wear with pride.
- A pocket watch – for timing observations.
- A pen torch – for neuro obs. Also, extremely handy for writing nursing notes at night.
- A notebook – I am never without my trusty notebook, and I write down everything: important information from the handover; questions to ask later if it’s not appropriate at the time; things I want to research more; reflections etc. A few people on placements have jokingly commented on me and my “notebook”, which is surgically attached to my hand, but I wouldn’t be without it and have found it invaluable.
- Lots of pens and highlighters – can you really ever have enough?
- Deodorant – no one wants a whiffy nurse.
- A spritzing toner from Lush – my skin always seems to get messed up on the wards and a quick skoosh freshens it up.
- My RCN diary – to sort out shifts with mentors and other spoke placements.
- RCN pocket guide – when I first joined as a student member, we were this fantastic little pocket sized book that contains information, advice and guidance on everything from NEWS scores, falls risk assessment, MUST assessment, communication aids, pain scores and much, much more. It is now looking a little sad and battered but has such a useful tool.
- Journal articles – I usually have a couple of articles in my bag based on conditions or treatments that have cropped up during the placement. I have often shared this learning with other members of the team who have found it helpful.
- My lunch and snacks.
- A water bottle with my name on it – very important to keep hydrated at work!
So that’s that. What’s inside my work bag. Not very exciting, it must be said, but very practical.