10 Things You’ll Always Find in a CNAs Pocket

I love my pockets. I carry all sorts of things in them: pens, band-aids, condoms (just kidding), iPhones and the list goes on! But if you ever have a chance to look inside your nurse’s scrubs pocket…well let me just say that it is what they call “the weirdest show”

CNAs are good at carrying a lot of things. If you’re caught looking in one’s scrub pocket, be prepared to see some interesting items including tourniquets and surgical gloves. I dumped my pockets just to see what was in there and here’s what I found:

1. Tape

As CNA, it’s our responsibility to make sure everything is secure and in place. We can’t have IVs or dressings moving when they’re supposed to stay still! That means we need tape. Lots of tape! Nurses are always running out of tape because they use it to secure everything from IVs and dressings. We all know the importance of having enough supplies on hand at work – that goes for medical equipment like bandages just as much as office supplies like paperclips.

2. Scissors


Scissors. What can’t they do? We use them to cut off clothing, bandages, and even your hair if it’s long enough! They’re always in my pocket when I go into work as a nurse so that you never know what might happen next. When it’s not taping, we’re cutting. Scissors are useful in the ER for everything from bandages to clothing removal. We have different types of scissors: trauma and regular shears; both loved by nurses everywhere!

Alcohol pads

3. Alcohol pads

Alcohol pads are my go-to for everything. I use them to clean the port before insertion, and then again after it’s in there; they’re invaluable when you need a quick wipe down or don’t want your hands all gross from touching something icky like an IV pole handle. Plus, have you ever noticed how much cleaner everyone is these days?

Tongue Depressor

4. Tongue Depressor

Tongue depressors are an essential tool in the medical field, but I’ve found a great use for them too! When you need to scoop out peanut butter from its container and it seems impossible, all you have to do is get your tongue depressor.

5. Penlight

I’ve been a nurse for over 10 years and I really can’t imagine working without my penlight. It’s so important to have in case of an emergency or just because the patient needs some help finding something!

My job as a nurse is one that requires me always be ready for anything, which includes never being caught unprepared during nighttime hours when all lights are off. Without my handy little tool, it would be impossible to see what was going on with patients who needed special care at night or any time there wasn’t enough light around them.

6. Clamps

A clamp is a tool for holding things in place. It’s the perfect peripheral to have on hand, especially when you’re trying your best not to resort back to old habits and find yourself without it again 100 times over! I’m sure that if we had another pair of scissors at home, people would just think they were more cutting tools–even though there are actually so many other features about them that make them even better than clamps!

7. Saline Flush

I hope the police never pull me over and search for evidence of drug use. They’ll probably find all my syringes full of normal saline, which is what keeps me from going through withdrawals while I sleep! It’s a good thing that when you’re hooked on something like this it doesn’t make much difference whether or not someone else knows about your vice because they can’t help with addiction any better than you could.

8. Calculator


Okay, truth be known most nurses are terrible at math. However, we know “nursing-math” and can do that like the back of our hand. But calculators make it so much easier which is a good thing because if you’re lucky everyone will get their right dose of medication thanks to us checking, double-checking and triple-checking before administering anything! Call us crazy for doing this but trust me when I say you’ll be glad there’s a ‘crazy nurse’ around when it comes time to take your meds!

9. Pen


The nurses’ lounge is a pen-less domain. I have one chronic insecurity and that’s pens. I never know how many to bring with me when it comes time for my shift, so whether it be 100 or 1000, there are always none left by the end of each day in this pen-less world of mine. Nurses must be thieves because patients steal them too! But don’t worry about me–I’m not stealing any more from you all since I’ve already taken enough…

10. Money


You know what they say about the power of money. It buys a lot more than just coffee, am I right? I always have a few dollars in cash because the crazy cafeteria where I work hasn’t heard of credit cards yet. You’d think, since it’s 2016, that they would’ve gotten that memo; but apparently, they’re about 20 years behind the times! The coffee is so strong you can barely pick up your phone with two hands after drinking one.

Nurses are the go-to people for carrying many things at once. Whether it’s a stack of paperwork on one arm, an IV pole with several bags of fluids in hand or a tray full of instruments and supplies, nurses know how to multitask! But what we often don’t see is all that goes into their pockets–tourniquets, surgical gloves and other items just waiting to be used. What did YOU find? Share your list below!