As a nervous third year stepping through hospital doors for the first time, my only thought was “AM I READY”…the answer was of course “hahahahahaha no” but I knew that there was no turning back. I had my knowledge from studying REALLY hard for boards, my training from the past two years, my comfy shoes, and my new white coat (thanks ACOM for giving us new ones).
My white coat…my first impression…my safety blanket. Here’s a list of things that I keep on my at all times. So if you’re like me, a nervous third year, or looking into the future, maybe this will help you decide what goodies get to stay with you (in your pockets) as you make rounds.
This is a no-brainer. Get one you like or one that is personalized. I got mine from MDF and I love that it’s not only beautiful but well made. I’ve named her Blanche and she hasn’t let me down yet.
This, of course, depends on the type of preceptor that you have. Not everyone is big on the use of technology during the work day. I keep mine in an inside pocket and only use it when NECESSARY. You can use a phone for note-taking, medical apps (I love UpToDate), a pocket medical manual, a pocket Pharmacopeia…I even put my ACLS and BLS algorithms on my phone.
I have had mine for years and she’s as reliable as she comes. You never know when you’ll need this simple tool but it’s always good to have one rather than have to stand there looking silly with the “I didn’t think to pack it today” face.
Obviously, especially if you’re not into electronic note taking, which I am not. Don’t be that guy without a pen. Just to be safe, pack an extra one.
There are many types out there and you have to find what fits your personality and style. I actually bought a clipboard from clipboards.com. The one I have has panels with important values and equations that are important for inpatient and outpatient work. The back of it has room for my own notes and I change them out as needed.
Even though it is where people come to get well, the hospital, as we all know, isn’t the cleanest place. I keep swabs on hand just in case I need to sanitize anything…*cough cough* stethoscope…
See above. Keep clean people.
Along with keeping clean, I like to keep cute. I won’t be touching up my makeup throughout the day but I have a real life fear of walking around with chapped lips and so always always always always I have chapstick in my pocket.
I hardly ever use these but you never know…lunch breaks…bathroom breaks…and they also don’t take up much space.
Specialty Specific Tools
This might be a hammer, scissors, or a pediatric stethoscope. It depends on which rotation you’re on. You’ll figure little things like that out and if you can’t, ask. I’m sure most preceptors would be more than happy to tell you what tools they use from day to day.
Long hours and pounding migraines…not a good mix. Anyone that suffers from migraines knows how debilitating they can be. I don’t like having them at all but I really don’t like having them while I’m supposed to be working. I always travel with some extra strength Excedrin with me just in case. These babies work in 15 min and get me back in the game before anyone even notices that I’ve taken a knee.
Long hours and low blood sugar…I keep a ziplock bag of TeddyGrahms in my inside pocket. They aren’t the healthiest snack but they sure have come in handy.
And that’s it. Thanks for reading lovelies. Remember to share with all of your friends.
Are there any goodies that you like to have in your white coat pockets that I forgot to mention? Comment below. XX! I’ll see you real soon.