As more and more states emerge from lockdown, many educational institutions are finally resuming in-person clinical training — and are, unsurprisingly, being met with a lot of challenges. These include low student placements due to the decreasing number of clinical providers, the new safety protocols healthcare facilities are adopting, and the cost of students’ PPE.
Despite these bumps, a significant number of students and medical educators remain determined to go on with their clinical training in order to continue the pipeline of the healthcare workforce. If you are a future nurse who shares the same view, here are five things you would need before you start your training:
One of the most important tools future nurses must have is the stethoscope. Serving as a well-known symbol for healthcare in general, this useful tool helps examine if a patient’s heart, veins, and intestines are functioning properly. To this day, the gold standard in stethoscopes is the Littman brand. It’s known for top quality in a wide range of models and prices.
During your clinical training, you will be asked to assess a patient’s pupil from time to time, which is why you have to have a penlight or a small flashlight. At the moment, the best brands out there are Nite Ize and Streamlight Stylus due to how portable and stylish they can be.
These devices are created with flex circuit materials like woven fiberglass, polyimide, and other highly tolerant components, allowing them to last for years. Plus, if you get ones with C4 LED technology like Streamlight’s, know that they’re wired with extra foil, so the light beam is more concentrated.
A pair of nursing scissors
Another tool that you would need all throughout your clinical training is a pair of nursing scissors. Unlike your everyday scissors, this pair is specifically designed to cut through anything such as dressings, tape, gauze, tubing, and even gown strings that are knotted too tight to be untied.
When picking a pair of nursing scissors, go for something like Physician Care from First Aid Only. These 7-inch shears with blades bonded with titanium boast a blunt tip and a bent handle that can provide comfort, safety, and of course, a reliable cut.
A blood pressure cuff
Although most hospital units already have a blood pressure cuff you can use, there is no harm in having your own — especially if you plan on working in a home setting in the future. The best blood pressure cuff brand out there is the Omron Platinum Upper Arm. It is validated by the American Heart Association for clinical accuracy and is tagged as one of the most high-tech ones with its Bluetooth capability.
Digital sphygmomanometers like this use the oscillometric method to detect the oscillometric signal on the brachial artery that’s being processed by the device each pressure step when the cuff is gradually deflated.
The right pair of shoes
As a future nurse in training, you would find yourself standing up and walking around a lot. This is the reason why you have to invest in a good pair of shoes. According to New York-based podiatrist Howard Friedman, clogs are a good choice since they can accommodate the feet as they naturally expand throughout the day.
But, if you are not a fan of clogs, you can opt for a pair of Naturalizer Marianne Slip-On Sneakers, which features a contoured and dual-dense footbed, providing adequate support to the arches of your feet as well as your heels.
Getting a stethoscope, a penlight, a pair of nursing scissors, a blood monitor cuff, and the right pair of shoes are a good way to set yourself up for successful and educational clinical training. To be on the safe side, look into clinical nurse liability insurance for students to ensure that you are protected all throughout your training.
Exclusively written for cmfgroup.com by Raizel Jaime