Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pocket Rockets

Since we recently got new uniforms, I thought it would be a good time to have a look at what we carry with us and on us during our shift.
This is not a new idea I must point out, check out these two older posts for the full history

Oh, and this is my contribution to The Handover, October 2010

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My uniform, in its basic setup (no vest or jacket, no additional pouches) has 9 or 10 pockets (depending if I am wearing the jumpsuit or the two-piece).

Here is what I carry with me on a daily basis:

On arms: ball point pens: pens are awesome. You can write with them, you can reset calculators with them, you can use them for self defence if you're desperate. I usually carry in order to have a spare or two (a. hand to a relative t fill out some patient details whilst we are treating, b. in case they don't return it and I need a pen on my next job, and c. if my colleague forgets his…)
And a pupil light.

breast pockets: stay empty as of yet, I have found nothing to put in them. During the shift they get used to temporarily store stuff (med vials, patient details…all whilst moving the patient around so they don't get lost).

Waist/thigh pockets (you know, the ones you stick your hands in when its cold)
left: is the rubbish pocket. All on scene rubbish (as long as its clean and not sharp, e.g. plastic packaging) gets stuffed in that pocket, for disposal later at hospital or the depot. I don't like to leave the patient with rubbish if possible. All sharps go in the sharps bin, all dirty or wet things (alcowipes etc) go directly to a bin where possible)

right: If I come across coins for some reason or another, they go in here. I generally hate coins, and never start a day with them in my pocket.

cargo pockets
left: all my personal stuff: phone, wallet, house keys (and car keys if I happen to have driven to work that day). I am not trusting enough to leave them at the depot (although others blatantly leave their 1500$ laptop lying around…). Plus, you never know when you need them.

Right: Ambulance related stuff: Patient detail forms (hand to relatives to get some information), drugs protocol reminder card (adult and paeds dosages), what does this drug do card (the mini analogue version of Epocrates really), and a little green booklet with a few other ambulance related things).

In addition, I have my medium sized pouch clipped to my belt on the left, with 2-3 pairs of gloves, trauma shears, mini mag light, won-baker pain scale (only used twice in 18 months….should remember I have it there. When i used it it was really handy though).
Plus a permanent black marker (you never know, plus there was space left) and a whiteboard marker (write little notes on the window of your ambulance, e.g. a list of items to restock).

On my right belt side I have a mag light hoop thingy that will hold a 3 cell mag light (service issue). I always have a set of ambulance keys hooked to them, that then hang in my pocket (I can't stand hanging them from belt loops, they hang to high and rattle around, and make you look like and absolute try hard prick).

Anything else? I carry a few items in my kit bag, but nothing out of the ordinary (hi viz vest, cap with clip on LED lights, something to read in case we get ramped, spare pens).

What do you carry on you when at work?