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This site is for student nurses or nurses starting out. Letters to a Young Nurse are blog posts written like letters to help you find your way and make your journey as a nurse less difficult. 


Equipment needed

Nursing students often ask what equipment is needed either in clinical or on their first job. The #1 piece of equipment I tell every nurse to get is a Littman stethoscope. It does not have to be the most expensive but it should be comfortable and you should get a nametag to add to it. Some sites will charge extra to have your name engraved which is a good idea. If you have hearing issues there are stethoscopes that are made to amplify the noise. I suggest you find a medical supply or nursing scrubs store and go try out the different stethoscopes. When you find one that you like see how much it is on Amazon. If cheaper buy it from there. I advise Littman because of the durability and longevity. i have had my Littman for over 30 years. Do not leave it in your car if there are extremes in temperature and do not attach to your rearview mirror. The sun will damage the rubber quickly. I purchased a case and put it in after every shift.

2nd item needed is a penlight. They come in all colors and sizes but make sure it has the pupil sizes on it as this can help when you are trying to determine size of the pupils. It is important that you use a medical penlight and not your phone or a flashlight as those lights can be too bright for the eyes.

3rd item is bandage scissors. Bandage scissors are different from regular scissors in that they have an extra piece of smooth metal at the end that protects the patient's skin when you are cutting off bandages. That part always goes next to the patient's skin.

4th item is a quality BP cuff. The size will be dependent on the population you will be working with, but unless you are working in pediatrics an adult size is fine. Do not depend on the automatic machines as they often are not calibrated. When in doubt always use a manual cuff, and especially if you are giving cardiac medications.

Lastly always, always, always have lots of pens and carry a small notebook or clipboard that you can put in your pocket. You do not want to depend on your memory for important information. I also had different colored highlighters to help with remembering important information.

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