What’s in My Bag

In Cherry Ames Visiting Nurse, Cherry shares her excitement about getting her first nurse’s bag. She unpacks and packs it’s contents so everything is just right before she goes out for her first visit. Maybe it had the kinds of things in it that was common to the a nurse’s bag in the 1950’s. Things like glass syringes and bottles of 70% alcohol. Or maybe her bag was like the nurse’s bag in 1935. The Visiting Nurse Services of Westchester  describes her bag:

” In her famous little black bag, the nurse carried “…a crisp white apron, scissors and pincers, two regular thermometers and one for contagious cases (which she sells or give to the family or leaves ‘til the next visit)…metal containers for boiling instruments; hypodermic needles; cotton squares, paper sheets, record cards; tincture of green soap; a bottle of alcohol…” ”

My bag is navy blue. There are two compartments in my bag. One is considered “clean”, the other “dirty”. The dirty compartment is where I can reach in and get my container of antimicrobial soap and a paper towel so I can wash my hands before touching the patient. There are also gloves I can use for protection, extra pill boxes, and a drug book.

The clean compartment carries all the stuff I use in the care of my patients. I wash my hands each time I go into this compartment. There’s a blood pressure cuff, digital thermometer, stethescope, normal saline to clean wounds, gauze pads of all shapes and sizes, q-tips to measure depths of wounds, a tape measure to measure width and length of wounds, a glucometer, lots of tape, a sterile gown, and a penlight. Goggles and a face mask are included for extra protection. I carry a few syringes to give injections and a sharps container to dispose of them. There are also spongettes to moisten the mouths of the dying, packets of antiseptic ointment, and surgical scissors.

And so the tradition continues…

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