Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Emergency Bag for School Nurses

Are you ready for a health emergency?

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Hopefully Helpful School Nurse Tip: This is my #1 read DOASN blog post of all time. I think it is because school nurses want to be prepared for a health emergency within their school building. Read this post to see what I keep in my medical grab n go bag.

The School Nurse Background

I've worked in 4 schools (2 JR Highs and 2 High Schools- currently at a high school)
and health emergencies tend to be similar regardless of what school I am in!
A staff member uses a 'call button' or phone to call the office responsible
for all emergencies (usually the main office of the dean's office).
In a health emergency they frantically say "We need The Nurse"....
then The Nurse is called via a walkie talkie to report to Room # for an emergency.

However, 99.8% of the time I am never told what the emergency consists of!
This used to bother me because I felt as though I was walking into the unknown;
but anymore I'm OK with not knowing- I'm ready regardless of the situation.

Here are some examples of emergencies I've been called to help with over the years:
  • broken bones
  • fainting- especially after a blood drive
  • seizures
  • fights- some are sadly really bad- unconsciousness, broken bones, bleeding- paramedics called kind of bad!
  • strokes- a couple of teachers I've worked with have had strokes @ school. both fully recovered.
  • anxiety attacks
And I'm certain there are more that my memory takes for granted and I'm failing to mention now :)

So, I have learned to be mentally prepared to walk into anything and
I also need to have supplies with me to treat a variety of situations when I arrive.
To help me feel prepared I have arranged an "Emergency Bag"
always stocked and ready to 'grab n' go!' to any emergency. 
I also always bring my walkie talkie to keep in touch
with the LPN (yes, I'm spoiled!) who stays in the nurse's office
eagerly waiting my updates. She knows that no news is good news &
something I can handle without help from the outside (ie the local paramedics).
Also, the school security office (a former EMT and firefighter- spoiled again)
 meets me at the call and typically one of the deans arrives too.
The above bag was left for me to use by the nurse I replaced when she left after 14 years service! I'm not sure where she purchased it, but it works out great!
When kids or staff members see me in the halls with this on my shoulder they know I'm headed to a situation and they make room for me in the hallways-
which as you know can be really crowded sometimes!
Here is the bag unzipped- it opens all the way open and so I can see everything I have inside. And what is "everything you wonder"...Let's see-
  I am also lucky enough to have standing orders for the emergency items mentioned above!
As for teacher classrooms- they are offered
gloves and band aids to keep on hand (no pun intended!).
We don't have an actual classroom emergency kit at this point in time-
maybe we will make something in the future;
I'm not sure what our Safety Committee will decide.

Shop for the above items & many more on The School Nurse's Amazon store- 



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    1. That is awesome! Maybe something we can look into.

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  4. Wow !! Thanks for this post -- I know you wrote it a while ago but it is soooo helpful to this brand new school nurse!!

  5. AnonymousMay 01, 2015

    This grea! I shared this site with my classmates we are LPNs transitioning to RN, this helps us to get our medical bags together.

  6. I just started working as a school nurse at a private school here in the Seychelles. Your site is truly amazing! maybe you should write a book or something.

    1. Thank You Angelique. I hope you're still enjoying your school nursing career!

  7. WOW, standing orders, that's awesome! We were just able to use Benadryl Cream and Neosporin last year! Before that all we had was soap, water, and a bandaid!

  8. AnonymousMay 18, 2017

    Where did you get the bag??

    1. The bag I posted about was left by the previous nurse. I've actually transitioned into a different bag these days- I should write an updated post ;)

  9. I would love to see your new emergency bag. I have a rolling book bag that I use for evacuations and to take outside for field day, etc. but it is not well-organized and I would love something that was easier to use.

  10. I am a new school nurse filling in on the post....nothing has been set up....what supplies will i need to set up the nurse room in school?

  11. AnonymousJuly 31, 2018

    Still waiting for your updated bag post?

    1. Maybe this year 2021 will be the year I write an update with pictures. I've actually transitioned to an emergency box!

  12. cool... I also prepared an emergency bag... But i need more supplies like yours.. thnks for sharing this