Thursday, July 15, 2021

SUPPLIES TO STOCK THE SCHOOL NURSE'S OFFICE


The School Nurse's Supply List

*this post contains affiliate links*

The majority of the links used in this article will go to The School Nurse's Amazon storefront. 
A small commission is made only when an item is purchased; so, feel free to click and browse. 
The lists are frequently updated- check back often!


Helpful School Nurse Tip: Understanding your office budget and figuring out what supplies to purchase is always a challenge. Hopefully this list helps you decide what items you need v. what items you want.

GENERAL OFFICE SUPPLIES

When you think about stocking your school nurse office, general office supplies might not make your first list. However, having the right office supplies to keep all of yourself organized throughout the year will actually save you time throughout the school year. You'll be amazed at the amount of paperwork and piles that go along with the paperwork! Try to come up with an office organization system that works for you. If what you're doing isn't working then give yourself permission to change and try something new until you find a system that works. 

Are you wondering what my #1 recommended general office supply is? It is the DOCUMENT SORTER!  I first shared this time saver on my Instagram account in 2019, but I had been using the device for many years prior. I purchased this one with my own money years ago and use it daily. I organized papers that I've reviewed and are ready to be filed by last name. This provides easy access to locate a paper if I need it again before I have time to actually file. This happens and before I had this document sorter I would have to thumb through stacks and stack of papers trying to find what I was looking for- can you related?  With this document sorter my "let me find that" time decreases- a lot!

Some school nurses have more than one of these time saving devices. You can sort by grade level, teacher, item (school physical, sports physical, emergency action plans, etc). Whatever works for you. The possibilities are endless. 

Purchase your very own document sorter time saver HERE.  

View other general office supplies HERE and HERE.


FIRST AID SUPPLIES

What first aid supplies should you keep in your office?  This is such a hard question to answer because it varies from state to state and from school to school.  As the school nurse, you'll want to make sure you are practicing within your scope. You'll want to find out if your school district has physician standing orders for you to follow. You'll want to read up on your school district's policies and procedures for various health scenarios. Once you have all of those questions answered, then you'll know what sort of first aid supplies are appropriate for your school nurse's office. 

You can view some basic ideas here, but again- you'll want to make sure you know what you are allowed to use and what you are not allowed to use in your specific school.




                                          Power of a Peppermint

BLOOD PRESSURE CUFFS

Should I check their blood pressure?  There may be times when you receive a doctor's order to check a blood pressure. There may be times when someone asks you to check their blood pressure. There may be an emergency when you want to check someone's blood pressure. Regardless of the situation; will you be prepared?  Do you have the proper size blood pressure cuffs to use and are they in good working order?  I personally purchased this one HERE and still use it!  I also have a large cuff available if needed; HERE.  This manual cuffs work great for me (coupled with my favorite stethoscope of course!). However, if there was an unlimited budget I would for sure order something similar to one of THESE! How about you?


STETHOSCOPES

Yes, school nurses use stethoscopes and I recommend having a good one too. My preference is Littmann. I appreciate how well the ear buds fit into my ears and how easily I can hear what I am listening to. What stethoscope is your preference?

Purchase the pictured Littmann stethoscope HERE and the colorful bracelets HERE.



THERMOMETERS

Assessing temperatures was one of the top duties during the 2020 -2021 school year. During the pandemic this responsibility was not reserved for school nurses only, it was shared with school administration, classroom teachers, and other school personnel too. Prior to the pandemic my favorite thermometer was the oral Welch Allyn SureTemp found HERE. I found this product to be accurate and very easy to use and clean. During the pandemic though, everyone seemed to make the switch to touchless forehead type thermometers, the one I used can found HERE. This one seemed accurate, but I found myself following up with an oral temp if I wanted to verify. 


ICE PACKS

I'll keep this section short because it should come as no surprise that ice packs are a staple in any school nurse office! There are a variety of ice packs available for purchase or to DIY. I prefer a countertop ice maker in my office with baggies wrapped with a paper towel. What is your preference?

MEDICATIONS &MEDICATION STATIONS

Medications! There is so much to say that I'm not sure where to start. Again, each school and school district might be a little different. First, know your nursing scope of practice within the state you are licensed and work in. Then, figure out your paperwork process for administering medications in the school setting. You can check out these digital resources on my Teachers Pay Teachers store HERE:


You'll also want to spend time defining a medication storage space in your office, spending time thinking about storage safety too. Also, do you have water available in your office for administration? Are there plenty of cups available too? These are all things to take into consideration when planning your office" medication station. Check out some traditional and unique storage supply options that might work in your office HERE.  In addition, here is a FREE training that might come in handy for you - it is editable too :)

PERIOD PRODUCTS 

Many states require the school provide period products to students for FREE. Is this a requirement in your state? In Illinois this is a requirement and you can read all about it HERE:  IL Public Act 100-0163  
I will link to several other articles with information you might find helpful:
  1. NEA Period Poverty Article
  2. P&G School Programs
  3. Edweek.org Article 
  4. FREE Teen Essentials Products- (please check availability) 

HYGIENE SUPPLIES

Besides period products, my school is lucky enough to never have to spend a penny on any sort of hygiene supply!  This luxury is made possible by the amazing volunteer group- Moms Who Care! If you have anyone in your community looking for a way to really make a difference then you should urge them to start their very own Moms Who Care in your school- you will not regret it. Contact them for more information :)

Thank you for reading! Stay safe & healthy!




 

      


   

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