…Or the Restocking and Re-evaluating My Work “Pen Pouch” Post.
As a nurse I always need to carry around something to write with and an array of other such supplies with me while I’m at work in order to maintain my basic level of functioning and it so happened that I kept putting off restocking this “pen pouch” that I keep with me up until now. I’ve stayed prepared with regard to keeping a stockpile of my necessities at home, but have failed to replace two of my used up items for the past three days until now, so I figured that I’d take this opportunity to share my “essentials” for my workplace “pen pouch”, much like the well remember pencil cases in school, I still carry a “grown-up” version of this now and I’ll share with you my present day arsenal of supplies.
- The handy-dandy drawstring pouch: this pouch keeps my whole arsenal of items together in one place, it started out as a little light blue Korean Air toiletries bag that I’d reused for the same purpose and used to the end of it’s tattered life till I needed to find a new bag to replace it with, which I ended up finding in the party favor bag section at Target (comes in a set of 3), not the best material, but serves its purpose. What makes the drawstring bag so nice to me is that it keeps every item facing up in my pocket, keeps it organized, and keeps it from falling out while I work.
- Body shop lotion (happens to be an almost empty British Rose this time): fits well in my pouch and isn’t a sticky sort of consistency for lotion. Originally I never carried lotion, I imagined it carried to many germs and often still do, but my parched, dry hands as a nurse always needing to constantly wash my hands doesn’t give me much choice since the alternative is to let my hands get dry, cracked, and bleed instead, so the choice is quite easy. Also this lotion doesn’t happen to be my favorite from that shop, that’s part of why I use it since I don’t want to run out of my favorites so quickly, but my coworkers love the smell, so all the same.
- Lip moisturizer: I keep this on hand in case my lips get too dry, as a nurse there are days that I get so busy that I hardly drink water or don’t drink at all (rare with this, but it has happened) and my lips feel the effect of this deprivation for sure and so this is yet another item that I imagine to be crawling with bacteria, but I use it in those moments of desperation when my lips feel too parched. It so happens to be Burt’s Bees this time, not my favorite, but I’m trying to use up my existing lip moisturizers in the meantime to avoid being wasteful.
- Dry erase marker: I like this one in particular because it’s clear and so I know exactly when it’s start to run low as a kind of warning “low battery” type of comparison except in pen form. I need this item for work to keep the patient’s boards updated (this is the first of the two replacement products that I mention).
- Permanent marker: this is a semi-multipurpose item used for a variety of labeling purposes at work (from dressings to IV bags, etc.) (which accounts for my second replacement item).
- Scissors: another basic necessity (from cutting gauze to various dressings, koban, medications such as Lidocaine patches, etc.).
- Pen: this one is from the Muji store and I believe has six colors (I’ve used up the black ink and have also broken its end piece at this point), but I still like this pen quite a bit in part for the colors/how it writes, but mainly because it’s permanent for official documents and has a large grip for my patients to hold since many of them are elderly or have suffered from strokes and so their dexterity is often poor and the larger size of the pen helps them to write/sign.
- Erasable frixion pen: this along with the pouch that holds my items is likely my favorite thing. It’s the best erasable pen I’ve ever tried, I’ve already run out of two and I’m on my third. It’s just so convenient for me. I don’t want to use pencil because I know I’ll make a mess of it and I feel a little less professional not using a pen of some form, also it erases a million times better than other “erasable” pens I’ve tried in the past and rarely smudges either. It allows me to make changes on my report sheet without making it look like a complete and total mess with scribbles and x’s left and right. It’s certainly raised many eyebrows among my coworkers and certainly did for me when I first saw someone using it.
- Highlighter: rarely used items, I could probably live without it, but is occasionally utilized for me to keep track of things, but I must say I’m using it even less now that I have my erasable pens.
- Pen light: absolute neuroscience nurse essential, my workplace even supplies us with extras in the med room because it’s so often used on our unit to assess patients. So always a pen light as well.