This page has a list of caregiver supplies for you and for your patients. Some of them are essential while others will make your duties easier.
Caregiver scrubs buying tips - If you work in a facility, these are usually a requirement. They often have to be a certain color to match your position in the field. With all of the different kinds and brands, which ones do you choose? If you give care at home, these can be useful for you as well. They are comfortable, affordable, and easy to clean and maintain.
Caregiver shoes buying tips - No matter who you are or where you work, if you have feet, you have to have a pair of these. Getting the right ones do wonders for your feet and physical health in general. What kind is best for your situation? Click to read my suggestions and recommendation. Don't worry, they are mildly affordable and well worth the price.
Smart watch buyer's guide - This is a simple buyer's guide for those interested in owning a smart watch. If you don't know what they are or have any interest in purchasing one, you should find answers to some questions you may have here. I use the Samsung gear fit 2 which is my personal recommendation.
How to use a stethoscope - As a registered nurse (RN), this piece of equipment is a must have. I carry mine with me everywhere. They are extremely useful for other types of caregivers as well. It is a tool of many uses from listening to heart sounds, lung sounds, and bowel sounds, to things such as checking a manual blood pressure. How do you use one and which one do I recommend? Click to find out.
How to use a pulse oximeter - When I was a certified nursing assistant (CNA), this little device was always with me. They are used not only to check your patient's pulse rate, they also give an oxygen saturation reading. Using and understanding one could not be simpler. That's not to mention how affordable and portable they are. If you don't already own one, I highly recommend it.
Blood pressure measurement basics - In order to check your patient's blood pressure, you used to have to do it manually. While many may argue that is still the best way to check it, there is a much easier way to do it. A sphygmomanometer machine makes this process easy and affordable enough for anyone to check even themselves. Just don't try to pronounce it.
Checking body temperature - Probably the most common vital sign device found in your average household is a thermometer. Is yours an older and outdated model or do you even own one? If you do, are you using it properly? That may sound like a silly question at first but you can't be too sure, especially with our body temperature having such a narrow therapeutic range.
Heart monitor basics and Troubleshooting - If you work in a hospital, there's a good chance your patients are wearing one of these. They constantly monitor heart rate and rhythm. There may even be a telemetry unit that constantly watches for changes in the status of your patients. If you are unfamiliar with how to set up and troubleshoot one of these machines, this page will help.
How to check a blood glucose - If your patient is a diabetic, it's a good idea to have a glucometer handy. These simple and easy to use devices are used to check their blood glucose (or blood sugar). Whether it is high or low, it needs to be addressed. If you are unsure on how to use one of these machines, click the link.
Adult diaper changing - For patients who are incontinent of either urine or stool, these are a must. I prefer to call them a brief in order to help maintain the patient's dignity, but whatever you call them, they serve the same purpose. Putting one on and changing them can be a little tricky at first, but this page should help make the process a little easier.
Incontinence pad uses - Not only is this pad useful to save the bed linens of patients who are incontinent, it also has other uses such as pulling up and turning them. It is pretty much a staple to have one on almost every bed where I work, but they can and should be used everywhere. Their usefulness is mind boggling.
Applying barrier cream - This cream is useful to treat and prevent bed sores from forming on your patients. If they are incontinent, they are prone to getting them due to moisture staying on their bare skin for long periods of time. Although it is messy, the trade off is worth it. Bed sores can be a hefty nuisance and even fatal if not treated properly.
What is a bladder scanner and how do you use one? - It is an ultrasound machine that uses sound waves to scan a patient's bladder to determine how much urine they have inside. This is typically done if there is suspicion that they are retaining urine which can cause serious issues such as a urinary tract infection (UTI) or even bladder rupture if not treated. Click for step by step instructions.
Purple Mattress Review - Best Bed for Caregivers? - This is my personal purple mattress review. Is this the best bed for caregivers and their patients? The short answer is absolutely. Note that this review is primarily for the original purple bed, which is the one I own and use. I also own and recommend other purple branded products.
Sequential compression device (SCD) info and tips - These machines can literally make the difference between life and death for patients who are on bedrest. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) are terms that should not be taken lightly. These machines help prevent such issues from happening and should be used often if recommended by a physician. I also included my recommendations on which one you should consider buying.
What are ted hose? - These leg stockings are an alternative to SCDs when it comes to the prevention of DVT and PE. Depending on your patient, they may be a better solution. I've even known physicians to recommend using both. Putting them on and taking them off can be a challenge but this page should help with those issues.
What are heel protectors? - These bulky and awkward pieces of equipment may look silly and make your patient uncomfortable, but are necessary in some cases. They help treat and prevent bed sores that can form on your patient's heels while they are on bedrest. Despite how much they may hate them, they are worth using in the long run.
How to use an incentive spirometer (IS) - If you've ever been admitted to a hospital, there's a good chance you've seen one of these. It may look like a complicated little device but it is actually quite simple to use. These instructions are written so that caregivers, as well as their patients, can understand them.
Bedpan help and Tips - These simple looking devices are a must for patients who are on bedrest. They can be used when your patient has to urinate or have a bowel movement. Setting it up for use without making a mess can be a little tricky at first, but this page goes over a few tips and tricks to make the process much more manageable.
Using a urinal - For male patients, and even female patients in some cases, these handy little bottles can be a life saver and are well worth the investment. They make it easy for them to urinate anywhere and everywhere. They also have the added bonus of keeping up with their amount of output for those who are on strict intake and output (I&O).
Using a bed alarm or chair alarm - This device has saved many patients who are a fall risk from falling. In some facilities, they are already programmed into the beds, while others can be used on any type of bed. Chair alarms are similar and just as useful for patients who are sitting in a standard chair or wheelchair. Don't hesitate to get and use these. They can save your patient from serious injury or even death.
Call light help - These devices are usually in the form of a remote control. While they are used by patients primarily to call for assistance, they may have other uses as well such as turning lights and televisions on and off or adjusting the head of the bed. Although they are mainly used in facilities, they can also be used at home. Make sure they keep them close and listen out for them.
Bedside commode (BSC) help - This piece of equipment is useful for patients who are mobile enough to get out of bed, but aren't quite able to make it to the bathroom. Setting one up and assisting your patient to use one can feel a little clunky at first, but this page will give some tips and tricks to make the process simpler. They also have a few extra uses as well.
How to use a sara stedy - This complicated looking piece of equipment can be a little intimidating at first glance, but it's usefulness is remarkable. For patients who can sit up but have difficulty walking, this device will allow them to be maneuvered to wherever they need to go whether it be the bed, chair, or even the toilet. Although it is a little pricey, it can be well worth the investment for your patient.
The basics of medical gloves - These are arguably the most widely used of items of all when it comes to medical supplies. I can't imagine how many I've gone through myself throughout the years. There's a good reason for that. They protect your hands from the many different contaminants we come into contact with as caregivers. Make sure to keep a box around at all times. You never know when you'll need them.
Isolation gown tips - These protective gowns may be used primarily during surgical procedures, but their usefulness reaches far beyond that. Wearing them is often a requirement if your patient is on contact precautions. I've also used them simply to stay clean and dry while doing potentially messy tasks such as giving a bed bath.
Using a surgical mask - Although the name implies that they are used only in surgical procedures, they can be used by anyone anywhere. Like isolation gowns, they are also often a requirement if your patient is on a certain form of precautions such as droplet. They should also be utilized while doing other tasks such as changing certain dressings or if someone has something contagious such as the flu.
What is Chlorhexidine Gluconate (CHG)? - This is a special kind of soap that has been used for years in hospitals and similar facilities to clean specific areas in preparation for surgery and other procedures. This page also explains step by step how to give a Chlorhexidine shower and bed bath.
Links to purchase these items online are directly below as well as many of the other pages this one links to. Simply use the search box to find something more specific. You can also visit this caregiver store for a quick list of common caregiver supplies that can be delivered right to your door. Be sure to post any question you have in a comment down below.