HCP work is challenging for newcomers. Even the most well-learned students need to acclimate to the pressure and standards of their new environment. To make the process easier, there are a number of tools available to you. These implements can help with time management, make things more convenient, and can save you loads of time as you complete your shift. Whether you are starting out or a veteran, any HCP wants to show up equipped with these devices.
As an HCP, you will be cutting through a lot of gauze, casts, and clothing. You want to cut through the material while avoiding any damage on the skin. For this, you want a specialized set of bandage scissors. Their flattened blade tip prevents the risk of cutting through skin, while the upward curve points the blade away from the patient. Regardless of what department you work in, any HCP can use a good pair of bandage scissors.
HCP shifts are hectic. You are constantly juggling with a wide variety of tasks, spread throughout the facility. To center yourself and make sure you are completing everything you need to, a personal planner is a godsend. This lets you lay out important dates and tasks for the day, which lets you think things through in advance. From there, you can manage your time better and hit everything you need to do, with unmatched efficiency. You can go for a physical planner, or you can opt for the various digital planner apps available to you.
More likely, you are going to need a good bag to carry around all your tools. Bags also let you store extra clothes, drinking containers, lunch kits, and more. Find a durable, quality bag with enough compartments to fit everything you need. A nice backpack, rolling bag, or a specialized nursing bag will do the trick. Waterproof material is also a bonus for longevity .
This may seem simple, but HCPs are constantly filling out documents. Whether it is patient notes, or end-of-day reports, you want to make sure that you always have a writing tool on hand. Get a pencil case and stack it with a good number of pens. You never know when you will lose one, or when you might need to share a couple with your co-workers.
Stethoscopes are essential for reading patient vital signs such as heart rate, lung sounds, bowel movements and more. You can expect to use your stethoscope daily and on a regular basis. Although most facilities will supply you with a stethoscope, buying your own is highly recommended. You want a high quality pair that is durable enough to last for quite a long time.
You will be wearing the same clothes and shoes for your entire shift. You want to be absolutely sure that your attire is equal parts stylish, comfortable, and durable. Look for a nice set of scrubs with a good design and a comfortable fabric blend. Machine friendly sets are highly recommended, as they make cleaning more convenient. A nice pair of shoes and compression socks are also appreciated, since you will be on your feet for hours on end. Specialized shoes or even running shoes will do the trick. Additionally, it is recommended that you bring an extra set of clothes. You never know when you will end up wet or exposed to hazardous materials.
As a new HCP, most likely you will be continuing your education as you work. If you are taking up online classes, a good quality laptop is highly recommended. This lets you take notes, attend virtual meetings, and complete online assignments on the go. More and more HCP courses and continuing education units are being offered fully remotely or with a hybrid setup. Having a laptop also lets you access your facility’s nursing portal, and create work presentations when needed.