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  • 10 July 2020
  • 10 min read

8 General Practice Nurse Must Haves

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Play video: "These are just my go to things, but everyone is completely individual and different people have different ways of keeping themselves organized."

If you’re just starting out as a General Practice Nurse, a pair of comfy shoes are essential. GP Nurse, Claire, lays out 8 of the Must-Have items for nurses working in a GP.

Topics covered in this article

0.06 Introduction

#1. (0.49) Get Yourself A Decent Backpack And Fill It With Essentials

#2. (1.35) Cover Your Folder With Positive Images

#3. (2.14) Print Out Tube Guides And Immunisation Charts

#4. (3.55) Get Your General Practice Nursing Induction Template

#5. (4.45) Find A Guidebook For Wound Dressing

#6. (6.03) Make Sure You Have Some Fun Things For The Kids

#7. (7.04) Keep Hydrated With Your Own Water Bottle

#8. (7.33) Nothing Beats A Pair Of Comfy Shoes

8.14 Be The Best You Can

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0.06 Introduction

Hi everyone, and welcome back to another blog.

My name is Claire Carmichael, and I'm a newly qualified General Practice Nurse, and I'm also a GPN ambassador.

And my role as an ambassador for the GPN SNN is to spread the message and share information and support student nurses and new qualified nurses to think about becoming a General Practice Nurse, basically, but for them to have a think about that being their first choice career stop when they're qualified, because not many people will think about it.

It's something that we're really passionate about.

There's a whole team of us. There's loads of us. And we're so passionate about doing this and helping other people.

So today's blog is talking about the things you need as a General Practice Nurse.

What are my go to things to have.

#1. (0.49) Get Yourself A Decent Backpack And Fill It With Essentials

To help me go through this, I've literally got my backpack ready.

This is my backpack.

I advise get a bag, a really good bag to fit everything in, especially if you're a newly qualified nurse or newly going into general practice as well.

You're going to need a big bag for all of your notes, all of your extra materials and books and pens and everything.

This is my choice of backpack at the minute.

So let's have a look.

So the first thing I've pulled out, scissors.

I collected a whole load of these scissors as a student nurse and these, I think, are my last pair I have, because I do take them to work and use them for cutting a piece of paper for appointment cards and things like that.

Just random little things.

I will always have a pair of scissors.

I have a pen.

This is one of my newest pens.

General Practice Nursing across Wessex.

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#2. (1.35) Cover Your Folder With Positive Images

The next thing I'm going to show you is my folder.

This is my folder.

I know it's a mess guys.

Please don't judge me on this.

On the front of my folder.

When I take my paper out that I've thrown in there, I have got some quotes and this is a must have for any nurse, just to remind yourselves that you're doing amazing and to be kind to yourself because we can be very, very critical of ourselves.

So I wanted something to remind me, do you know what, I've got this, I'm going to be okay.

So that's something I look at every single day and it just keeps me on track.

So find something that motivates you and take that.

#3. (2.14) Print Out Tube Guides And Immunisation Charts

The next thing I advise you to get is this, because you're going to be doing some bloods, and this is the order of draw, so the coloured bottles, what they're for and stuff like that.

Get to know your bottles and what you're doing in general practice.

This is my go to thing every single day for bloods.

It's amazing.

If you Google this, this will come up and you can download your own version and print it off.

The next thing I have is this.

The routine childhood immunisation.

There's two lists from January 2020, and there's pre January 2020, so before that.

There's two different vaccine schedules.

So download both of those, they're all on NHS.

Look it up.

Know your baby immunisations, when they're scheduled for and yeah... Just that go to thing again, that I always have.

I'm not doing baby ‘ims’ at the minute, but I'm getting my head around it.

And not just baby immunisations, but you're going to need to know a lot about vaccines.

On the government website, if you Google the green book, government, and it'll come up, a whole vaccine list and the guidelines around vaccines and when people should be having vaccines and all of that sort of stuff.

So have a look at that green book on the government website.

And whilst we're here, of course, the NICE guidelines.

The NICE guidelines are there for everything.

Make sure you use and abuse this for wound management, for leg ulcers, things like your long-term health conditions.

What's your first line treatment for hypertension, is a really good thing on the NICE guidelines on that.

For asthma, for diabetes, all the long-term health conditions, you need to know about them and the first line treatments and what the evidence says as well behind it.

So have a look at the NICE guidelines.

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#4. (3.55) Get Your General Practice Nursing Induction Template

Next, we have my General Practice Nursing induction template.

QNI have created this amazing template and it's full of resources and all stuff General Practice Nursing related.

So things like, let me just skip.

There's a competency checklist there for you.

There is some little diagrams.

It's just full of amazing, amazing things that you can sign off or get signed off and check that you're doing everything that you should be doing as a nurse going into general practice if you haven't done that before.

It's amazing.

#5. (4.45) Find A Guidebook For Wound Dressing

Next, we have the most exciting one of all, of course, a wound formulary handbook.

So this one is specific to my local area.

I'm not a hundred percent sure if you can get this online.

This is something that was given to me and I've had to Google and I can't find this online anywhere.

If you find it though, let me know.

But this is really, really good.

It's just a little handbook to show you what types of dressings should be going on what types of wounds, so really, really good for that sort of thing.

So that is my go to thing.

However, I have found something online from somewhere called Active Heal Academy.

The free book is amazing.

It is so, so, so good.

It's got types of wounds and then it'll go through all the explanations.

It's got different types of dressings.

It's got explanations of different categories of pressure ulcers.

It's so good.

There's different products as well at the back.

There's different products and what product for what type of wound as well.

It's just really, really good.

Google Active Heal Academy, you can get your free guide online.

#6. (6.03) Make Sure You Have Some Fun Things For The Kids

And last but not least, you will have patients who are young, you'll be seeing babies, you'll be seeing children.

So it's really good idea to have some fun things like stickers and certificates that you can print off for them, for being a good girl or boy or person, a little tiny person.

I have got, recently, some Unicorn scrubs.

I know, Unicorn scrubs.

Currently, they are being used for my home visits, just because I wanted an extra uniform for that extra level of protection for our shield patients during COVID.

But once all this is done and over with, and when I'm trained to do my baby immunisations, I'm going to use these.

If I know I've got children coming in, I just hope that they cheer them up, distract them a little bit, and make them love nurses, because they don't like nurses when you're giving them injections.

It's not nice.

But yes, just get some fun things for your patients.

#7. (7.04) Keep Hydrated With Your Own Water Bottle

Oh, two extra things.

Last things.

I promised, guys, and that is it from me.

Water bottle.

Make sure you stay hydrated.

It can be very easy to forget to drink.

Very fortunate where I work, as long as you have a closed water bottle or a travel cup that's got a lid on it, we can have drinks in our rooms as long as they're away from the computer.

So very, very fortunate.

I've got a water bottle and a flask that I keep on me and I sip in between patients.

So stay hydrated, guys.

Don't go dehydrated on me.

#8. (7.33) Nothing Beats A Pair Of Comfy Shoes

And the last thing, comfy shoes.

People think that GP nurses spend their life sat down, and actually you are busy.

You are on your feet.

You're up and down all of the time.

You are very, very busy, so you're going to need some comfy shoes.

So get yourself some comfy shoes.

And my shoes at the minute, I've changed from the ‘Clarks’ to these ‘Toffeln’.

If you have a Google of that, they do amazing nurses shoes.

These are specifically designed for nurses.

They come in a range of different insoles to protect your feet and your legs.

They are incredible and they are the comfiest things I've ever worn.

And I've had these for a couple of months now, and they're just brilliant.

8.14 Be The Best You Can

So that's it from me guys.

Thank you so, so much for joining me and as always, I hope I've given you some little tips or hints to what you might need if you're going into general practice, what sort of things to take with you and fill your bag up with.

These are just my go to things, but everyone is completely individual and different people have different ways of keeping themselves organized.

So just do whatever makes you happy, basically, and it's going to keep you going as a General Practice Nurse.

And every single practice as well is completely different, so everyone will have different stuff that they can and can't do.

So it's really important to look up your own practice as well and see if you can do these things, like the scrubs, for example.

Can you wear scrubs?

My practice is really supportive of stuff like this.

It's amazing.

So yeah, find out what they do and be the best nurse you can be, regardless of what's in your bag.

Let me know in the comments your thoughts on my GP Nurse must haves and what you essential items are - let's chat there!

Oh, and please Like this article to let me know you enjoyed it - thank you!

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About the author

I am a Registered Nurse with over 12 years healthcare experience including: elderly care, orthopaedics, sexual health / family planning, qualified GP nurse, transgender healthcare and now in my new role as an assistant lecturer (as of Nov 2022). I believe that nursing gets a lot of bad press, so I create blogs and vlogs to help anyone considering their nursing career and to create positivity surrounding our profession as I'm so passionate about nursing.

    • Mat Martin
    • Matt Farrah
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Richard Gill
    • Waheeda Saleem
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