What’s in Your Bag? The Must-Have Items for Home Health Nurses

Life on the open road. Endless miles, many tanks of gas, and numerous empty coffee cups, so is the life of a home health nurse. While being a home health nurse can be a satisfying and fulfilling career, there are some aspects of the arrangement that differ from working in a traditional hospital or private practice setting. Gone is the convenience and ease of a fully stocked supply closet and patient exam room. However, this situation can be easily overcome with a little planning and preparation which starts with a nurse’s work bag. So, what items should a home health nurse have stocked and ready to go in their bag?

It’s All in the Bag: The Necessary Tools You Need on the Road

1. Stethoscope

Invest in a high-quality stethoscope. Keep length in mind not only for your comfort, but for your patients, as well.

2. Scissors

Make sure to have a pair of high-grade medical scissors that can cut through medical tape, dressings, and fabric.

3. Permanent Marker or Pen

A fine-tipped marker should always be at the ready to label medical equipment and supplies.

4. A Reliable Watch, With a Second Hand

When taking a patient’s pulse or blood pressure, a clock or watch is critical. Look for a watch that is durable and waterproof.

5. Penlight

A necessary tool to make neurological assessments.

6. Hand Sanitizer

A bottle of hand sanitizer is a must on the road.

7. Alcohol Wipes

Keeping alcohol wipes on hand allows for infection control on the road. Make sure to wipe all equipment, including smartphones and all diagnostic devices.

8. Biohazard Container

A sharps container is a must for the home health nurse. When the container gets full, be sure to dispose of it properly.

9. Drug Guide and Nursing Diagnosis App

Gone are the days of the massive, door stopper PDRs. These thick tomes have now been replaced by smartphones and helpful apps. All home health nurses should have apps such as Epocrates (Android and iOS), and Medscape (Android and iOS) loaded on their smartphones. These apps allow nurses to have access to the most up-to-date drug and medical information, even while on the road.

Planning for the Future

The life of a home health nurse can be exciting and fulfilling. However, with this arrangement, many of the conveniences found in a hospital or patient exam room are gone. Thus, a well-stocked work bag is a must for nurses on the go. By having a few simple tools on hand, the day-to-day tasks of a home health nurse can be made easier and will ensure excellent patient care.

If you are a home health nurse and are looking to explore new opportunities, turn to the healthcare recruiting experts at National Recruiters. At National Recruiters, we are leaders in healthcare staffing and the placement of nursing professionals.

National Recruiters

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