Organizing your medical/nurse bag can seem like trying to bring calm to a chaotic mess, especially when it’s packed full of items like your stethoscope, notebook, smart phone, writing utensils, dressing scissors, money, saline drips, wires, snacks etc…
A well organized medical bag will allow you to easily access all of your stuff when you need it without having to dig through everything else to find it.
It also allows you to carry only what’s essential for you that day, while leaving anything you don’t need at home.
The tips, strategies and tactics we’ve put together will help you easily maintain an organized medical bag without requiring too much effort, and may even lighten your bag so you’ll have less weight on your shoulders, literately!
Consider getting an insert organizer
If your medical bag lacks sufficient compartment spaces or you have a lot of different items that you’d like to keep well organized consider getting an insert organizer that would fit nicely into your nurse bag and help you keep your items separated and grouped by their function/utility.
A good insert organizer will have a spacious main compartment with additional inside dividers and exterior pockets for accessory items.
The large dividers are a great place to house big items such as a stethoscope, notebook, clipboard, PDA/tablet and medical pocket guide.
Choosing a bag that comes with with additional external mesh pockets is also a great way to keep everything organized and visible for quick access including items like your money, phone, gum, writing utensils, wires, ID tags and other small items.
Travel cases are also a great option
These fit nicely inside of your medical bag and can be easily taken out and carried around without having to carry your bag everywhere.
You can use these cases to house your phone, personal medicine, writing utensils, stethoscope ear tips, hand wipes, saline flushes, wires & lines, ID tags and other small medical items.
Best of all these portable travel cases allow you to store your items in a case that easily fit into your bag or be carried separately with an attached lanyard, so you can leave your bag in one room while working in another.
Alternatively travel cases allow you too store items that you can remove from your bag when they aren’t needed for work.
In other words use these bags interchangeably and only use the ones you need for work that day while leaving the ones you don’t need home, so that you can save space and free up weight.
Just make sure you choose a travel case that’s large enough to contain the items you’ll need to keep closest to you.
Mesh bags keep items organized and visible
These bags can be a lifesaver if you have an overflowing nurse bag with lots of small items.
Having your items organized and visible is a great way to speed up time and prevent making a mess since you’ll only be taking out what you need instead of opening bag after bag to search for that one item you’re trying to find.
As with travel cases these mesh bags can be used interchangeably and you can pack the ones you need while leaving the ones you don’t need home.
Don’t waste your bags valuable space with items you don’t need to carry with you daily.
Lighten up your shoulder and keep things to a minimum 🙂
Purchase a dedicated medical bag
When a standard nurse bag simply won’t do you can always purchase a “dedicated” medical bag.
Dedicated medical bags have the benefit of being designed to carry the most essential medical items and often have dedicated pockets for your primary medical equipment such as stethoscopes, notebooks, blood pressure cuffs, tablets, saline flushes, dressing scissors and other important medical equipment.
These bags are often made out of super durable materials so they are able to stand up to daily abuse and may also be waterproof to help protect your gear, which can save you tons of money in the long run.
Dedicated medical bags also allow you to carry your medical items easily as they often feature sturdy handles and shoulder straps.
When choosing a medical bag go with a sturdy bag that has dedicated compartment spaces for your items and is easy to carry around as you’ll likely be using your bag on daily basis, even if it’s simply to carry your gear to and from work.
A good medical bag can be fairly inexpensive, so don’t be afraid to shop around and find one that fits your personal needs.
If a medical bag doesn’t work for you, you can also consider buying a durable backpack.
Keep vs Toss
When your medical bag becomes overwhelming packed full of unknown items it may be a good time to take some time and go through your bag.
Find a flat surface such as a table or bed and empty out your bag.
Having some mesh bags, a travel bag and/or an insert organizer with you so that you can wade through all of your items and reorganize them in these separate organizer bags.
Look for items that you no longer need or don’t use and toss them aside.
Also look for items that may have expired or gone bad such as gum, lipstick, bandages, medicine and any other items with an expiration date.
Make a check list of the things that you absolutely need to bring with you and make sure that anything that isn’t a must have item goes into a separate mesh or travel bag, which will allow you to easily remove those items before heading into work if you aren’t going to need them that day.
This will save you space and lighten your bag for the things matter the most.
Lastly, take the time to clean your bag before you restock it with all of your items.
Hand wash your bag or take it to the cleaners if the material is sensitive.
Congratulations you now have a cleaner and much more organized medical bag!