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7 Things That Always End Up In A Nurse’s Pocket

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By Rozzette Cabrera, R.N.

As a nurse, you know very well how unpredictable working in the hospital can be. One moment everything’s too quiet and the next minute, everything’s in chaos- just like your pocket.

If you’ve suddenly found some weird things in your scrubs, don’t worry. You’re actually not alone. Here’s a list of the most common things nurses find in their pockets.

1. Scissors

No matter which area you’re assigned to, having scissors in your pocket can save you a great deal of time. Nurses like taping things and then cutting them off, from bandages, clothing and even wrappers. And even if you didn’t place a pair inside your pocket, you’ll magically find one by the end of your shift.


“I work in a very busy ER. One night, we had a trauma patient. She was bleeding and so we had to cut off her top to see where it was coming from. The new nurse was about to rush to get the bandage scissor she left at the table when I surprisingly found one inside my pocket. After stabilizing the patient, the new nurse was expressing awe in how prepared I was. The truth is that I can’t really remember how her bandage scissors ended up in my pocket,” a 4-year nurse shared.

2. Tape

If you’ve had a patient who constantly pulls and tugs at his IV line, you know very well how important it is to keep tape inside your pocket. The problem, however, is that you always seem to never remember to get it out until you’re home.


3. Candy wrappers

With so many things to accomplish within a single shift, having something to snack on is essential to avoid experiencing low blood sugar. Candies are small and can fit in your pocket perfectly.

You pop them into your mouth and just push the wrappers in your pocket. You’ll be amazed at how much wrappers can accumulate in your pocket in a span of 12 hours.

4. Pens

Pens are kind of tricky since they tend to magically appear and disappear from your pocket. What makes them even more interesting is the way they change names, colors and even types throughout the day. You can have a black pen at the start of your shift and find a 4-color ball pen when it’s time to sign out.


“I was orienting this new nurse in my area about our policies, processes and forms. With so much information to process, she decided to take down notes. To my surprise, she took out a pen that has her picture glued on it. I asked her why her pen looked like that. She reasoned out that she frequently lose her pens to co-workers and even patients,” a nurse supervisor said.

5. IV tubing caps

Nurses don’t get a lot of breaks. When they do, they’ll probably get called to change IV lines or check IV tubes.

If you’re hurrying back to finish your meal or take a bathroom break, you’ll probably just stuck the cap in your pocket after and wash your hands to shorten the process.

“I can’t really remember how many caps I’m able to keep throughout my entire career, but I’m pretty sure I always end up with one or two in my scrubs per shift. In some cases, the only time I realize that I have them in my pocket is when my scrubs are already inside my washer,” a nurse shyly admitted.

6. Alcohol pads

Alcohol pads have tons of purposes which make them convenient to have inside your pocket. You use them to clean your patients’ IV ports, their skin before an injection and blood in case there’s wound. You also use them to sanitize a lot of things.


Although great for disinfecting, the problem with alcohol pads is that they always seem to find their way back inside your pocket.

7. Tongue depressor

Tongue depressors aren’t only handy when it comes to managing seizure patients or examining kids. They are also great for stirring your cup of coffee or scooping out your meal when you forgot to take your spoon and fork to work.

“One patient once questioned me why I was keeping a tongue depressor in my pocket. He was worried that I was anticipating him to have a seizure attack. I reassured him that it was just part of the ward’s protocol but, in reality, I just forgot to have my coffee that morning since the shift started out busy,” a staff nurse shared.

Do you frequently lose things at work? What things do you commonly find in your pocket?

Rozzette Cabrera is a registered nurse pursuing her childhood dream of becoming a professional writer. She spent a few years putting her profession into practice until she decided to take her chances with freelance writing over a year ago. Her life has never been the same since then.

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