Student Nurse Stethoscopes and Equipment Requirements

Nursing school is a career-centric program. Students are being trained and literally groomed for immediate entry to the healthcare field. Part of their professional requirements is ensuring they are outfitted with the appropriate tools and resources necessary to perform their jobs. A few of these tools are considered a nurse’s personal responsibility—his or her on the job tools carried to work with them each and every shift they work.

  • Stethoscope
  • Pen and small notepad
  • Watch with second hand

Buying a Stethoscope for Student Clinical Rotations

A stethoscope is one of the most important items in a nurse’s arsenal. Students are required in most nursing school programs to purchase one and have it available during clinicals at all times.

  • What kind of stethoscope is best, without breaking the bank?
  • What types or styles do nursing schools usually require?

Common stethoscope requirements for nursing students:

  • Single tube
  • Bell and diaphragm, a.k.a. double-sided (for both low and high sounds)
  • Attached name tag
  • No electronics

Many nursing schools have contracts with suppliers willing to extend student discounts on equipment such as stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs, and other student needs. You may be required to adhere to other equipment protocol as well.

Buying a Blood Pressure Cuff for Nursing School

A blood pressure kit is not an across the board student nurse requirement, but highly recommended at many schools of nursing. Between listing to heart and breath sounds—stethoscope skills—you will also become masterful with taking blood pressures. For some students skill is best built outside class, in practice. The only way to really practice taking blood pressure readings is to own your own cuff.

Best advice: ask a nursing faculty member for his or her suggestion on a brand of cuff and a local vendor. You might get a discount as a nursing student with your ID.

Wrist Watch

It may sound picky to expect nursing students to wear watches, but when so much of your documentation and vital sign monitoring involves seconds worth of time you need to have ready access to this resource. Not every patient room has a clock in it. Again you are expected as a professional in training to provide the tools necessary to perform your skills to the utmost. For most RNs this includes a watch with a working second hand.

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