Considerations for a nurse’s pouch

Pocket_Dump.jpgNurses need to have a number tools at the ready when on the floor to be efficient.

In general these include a roll of tape, scissors, pen, and a strip of paracetamol. In addition you may also need alcohol wipes, pen torch, note pad, and some even like to have alcohol hand sanitiser. In no time you are weighed down with more accessories than Wonder Woman. If only my abundance of tools included her Lasso of Truth!

Like a tradesman needs a tool belt, a nurse’s pouch is a clear favourite amongst many nurses for organising and easily accessing all the necessary tools while on shift. It is something you can wear and remove at the end of your shift with contents organised in place ready for the next shift.

Alternatively, if you are like me and love pockets, then deep pockets and cargo pants might be more your style. This comes with its own set of problems – when it comes to laundry day, things can get interesting.  Not to mention the entertaining and slightly frustrating pocket searching dance when wanting to find something in a hurry.

It’s known in the industry as ‘a pocket dump’: you quickly have a pile of variously useful equipment and probably someone else’s pen and some useless plastic bits from an IV fluids or line that you collected when you couldn’t find a bin handy.

So let’s consider the idea that a nurse’s pouch is something you are thinking about. 

The Pros

  1. Firstly they are very cheap at less than $30 on eBay or eNurse, and available in any colour of the rainbow you may desire.
  2. They have a strap that is adjustable to go around your waste or over your shoulder like a handbag.
  3. They are specifically designed to hold the equipment you need.
  4. If your hands are full mid-procedure then someone else can grab a tool you or they need from your handy pouch.
  5. You will be organised in a second…Shazam!
The Cons
  1. The infection control risk is high with pouches being worn at hip height – the same height of sheets, bins and patients. Also, your hands are in and out of them all day. The need to disinfect and sanitise the pouch regularly is a must.
  2. Your equipment is on display, so you can’t claim you don’t have your favourite pair of scissors when the person asking can literally see them on your person. Some pouches seclude your equipment as they wrap around you tightly.
  3. When wearing an apron a nurse’s pouch can be difficult to access.
The choice is yours: each nurse will no doubt use what works for them the best in the time, area and type of nursing care they deliver. For some great nurse’s pouch options check out eNurse – they have a great range of various types of pouches available. Just remember to decontaminate your pouch on a regular basis for good nursing practice.
By Liz Coffey
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