We don’t need to tell you that nursing is a demanding job – you already know!
When you’re focused on the health and satisfaction of your patients, it is easy to neglect yourself. It can feel selfish to take time to focus on your own wellbeing, and you can often overlook simple accessories that would make your work life so much better.
So to help you, here are 7 nursing accessories to help you take care of yourself while you’re taking care of others.
Pay attention to the last one, it might surprise you!
What are Nursing Accessories?
When you hear the word accessory, you probably picture a flashy pair of sunglasses or some nice jewellery. But the truth is, nurses are very restricted in what they wear. So for this article, think of nursing accessories as more than just clothing, but instead as anything that is technically optional, but can really help you through your shift.
7 Nursing Accessories You Can’t Live Without
1. Knowledge Apps
We get it…
You’ve spent years studying and absorbing everything you can and now using an app feels like cheating.
The reality is, whether you’re fresh out of university or a seasoned veteran, having a wealth of information at your fingertips is never going to hurt. We all have memory lapses sometimes! So after all, having any kind of knowledge apps as a nursing accessories helps. They can also be handy if you are moving from different workplaces and don’t have any familiar faces to brainstorm with.
Epocrates is a continuously updated encyclopaedia of medical knowledge that “more than 1 million healthcare providers rely on”. According to their site, “providers report saving 20 minutes or more a day with epocrates”.
Consider joining as a member to access tools for quickly diagnosing unusual diseases, or just to know you’ve got a safety net. You can easily download it on Google Play.
2. A Smart Watch
Another nursing accessories you can’t live without is a smart watch.
Once you get a smart watch, you’ll wonder how you ever did without it!
Not only do they help you communicate without needing to have your phone on you, but they also come with a tonne of other advantages.
First, they are a great way to track your health and fitness. Some smart watches can track your calories, your steps and even your heart rate. This can be used to monitor your health goals, but also as some much needed distraction or source of positive reinforcement during a long shift.
Second, they are waterproof and have different bands to regular watchers. Rather than having an interlinking band which can accumulate debris and isn’t very sanitary, smart watches tend to have smooth bands.
Third, their timers and alarms can be customised more heavily than even standard digital watches, making them very useful if you have to measure time during patient treatment; such as intervals between actions or tracking when medication was administered.
3. Comfortable and Supportive Shoes
Did you know that the average nurse walks 5.3kms during a shift? With that in mind, the last thing you should be neglecting is your feet! Having comfortable and supportive shoes as nursing accessories helps throughout the shift.
- Foot and back pain
- Plantar warts
- Bunions and other foot deformation
While a pricey pair of shoes may seem like a steep investment, they are worthwhile nursing accessories when considering the possible negative effects.
But what should you look for when buying nursing shoes?
Beneficial qualities to look for are:
- Strong arch support – to prevent back pain
- A sturdy sole – to prevent blisters
- Breathable material – to prevent excess sweating
- A sharps resistant exterior – to prevent accidental piercing from discarded syringes.
4. A Healthy Meal
Patients require 24/7 care, which means as a nurse you probably do your fair share of long and unsocial hours. It can be tempting to graze on snacks, or just visit a drive-thru on the way home. Unfortunately, what you put into yourself is going to affect the energy you put out at work.
Instead of eating poorly, consider using a service like Hello Fresh. Meal preparation services are optimised to be healthy, fast, and convenient, but most of all, they are customisable.
Hello Fresh offers choices based on your ideal delivery time, how long you want to spend preparing meals, and what ingredients you want your meals to be based on. This means you can eat healthy, energy rich food to keep you moving at work, while balancing it with your hectic schedule.
It is especially convenient for an agency nurse to have it as nursing accessories, because you can bring a familiar meal to your workplace, even if that workplace is unfamiliar to you.
5. A Good Pen
This one probably sounds trivial, maybe even obvious, but we can assure you that a good pen is a vital part of a nurse’s accessory arsenal.
From filling out paperwork, patient information sheets, note-taking or even scribbling down a coffee round for your colleagues; pens are used far more often than we think.
A good pen, preferably a ball-point, won’t break or leak. You won’t lose it because it is slightly too expensive to be disposable, and people who borrow it will always give it back because a ballpoint pen is your pen, not just a cheap office throwaway!
6. Hand Moisturiser
Hospitals obviously need to be kept clean and sanitised, for the safety of the patients and the nurses themselves. But all this excessive hand washing can be terrible for the health of your skin. Therefore, it will be helpful for agency nurses to have hand moisture as nursing accessories.
Many antibacterial soaps, frequently combined with hot water and scrubbing, can leave your skin dry and brittle. Not only does that make it uncomfortable to work with, but it also makes you susceptible to contracting infections through small cuts and breaks in the skin.
To prevent this, an essential nursing accessory is hand lotion. Keep a bottle with you and apply as needed throughout the day whenever your hands feel chafed or dry.
7. An Exciting Workplace
Okay…you got us.
A workplace isn’t exactly a nursing accessory, but it is perhaps the most important part of this list.
As a nurse, you spend a significant amount of your time at work. So, it makes sense that your workplace should be somewhere exciting that challenges and motivates you, right?
Obviously! But after years at one place, the novelty is always bound to wear off.
But before you start questioning whether being a nurse is worth it, why not consider a nursing agency?
Nursing agencies assign nurses to understaffed hospitals, practices, and aged care facilities. By being a part of one, you can experience different forms of healthcare provision without being locked into one location or field.
They can also give you the opportunity to travel remotely or even nationally to experience different communities and locales. You can be proud to support struggling enterprises while gaining valuable experiences and networking with other professionals.
Working for an agency is a unique and desperately needed service, and may just be the exciting step forward in your career that you didn’t know you were looking for…
Nurses Now is a nursing agency that prides us on our incredible team and the outstanding care they provide.
We offer exciting opportunities to help where you are most needed, and to learn skills across different teams and workplaces. If you, or someone you know, would be a good fit, we’re always looking for new nurses to join our family.