I’m currently in my second year studying Adult Nursing, and I love getting super organised before my placements start. There’s a few items I have in my bag at all times during placement, so I thought I would share them in the hopes it helps fellow student healthcare professionals feel more prepared for their placements!
- A notebook and several pens – I keep a micro or A7 notebook in my pocket at all times when I’m on placement. Sometimes in the heat of a stressful moment, you won’t be able to ask your mentor questions so it’s a great way to write everything you want to know more about down and speak to them later. I also make a note of any abbreviations, medical conditions, or medications I’m not familiar with so I can research them when I get a quiet moment or when I’ve finished my shift. I keep two pens on me at all times, and carry at least two more in my bag. Pens have a habit of going missing in hospitals, so it’s good to carry a few back-ups so you’ve never stuck!
- A fob watch – for previous placements I have used a lovely fobwatch with a glow-in-the-dark face (very handy for night shifts), which unfortunately is in need of a battery replacement which I’ve found tricky thanks to lockdown. I recently treated myself to an Apple Watch, so I bought a fob adaptor from Amazon and now use it on placement. I’m always a little wary of having an expensive piece of tech hanging from my blouse, but I must admit it’s super handy to only need to glance down to see the time or start a timer. Plus, it makes it really easy to track my steps!
- Deodorant and perfume – I always carry a can of deodorant and some perfume or body spray with me. After twelve hours on my feet, moving patients, and getting sweaty in PPE, I’m sure the whole bus appreciates me putting on some deodorant and making some effort to smell less unpleasant.
- Lip balm – if you’re yet to wear an FFP2 or FFP3 mask for an extended period of time, you have no idea how dry your mouth and lips feel when you take it off. Walking around with cracked lips is horrible, so I always keep a tube of lip balm in my pocket. My absolute favourite is Dr Paw Paw’s original balm because it can be used on lips or any part of the body, which is great when your hands are feeling the effects of lots of hand washing and sanitising.
- A water bottle – I keep a reusable water bottle in my bag to try to reduce the number of plastic bottles I buy. A lot of hospitals have water fountains to refill bottles, or you can use the staff room.
- Compression socks – I used to hobble home in absolute agony after a shift. My ankles would swell and my feet would ache, until a friend recommended compression socks. I bought five pairs for £10 on Amazon and haven’t looked back since! No more swollen ankles.
Hopefully you found this list useful, and if you have any essentials I’ve missed let me know in the comments!
Until next time,