Decompression Session: What’s in Your Pocket?

Pocket talk: As a nurse, and especially a nurse in a hectic hospital or urgent-care nursing environment, pockets can be your best friends. Scrubs brands will often even name their different scrub styles by pocket quantity: from single pocket scrubs to 12-pocket sets. Your nursing specialization has a lot to do with how many pockets you’ll want. 

The reason scrubs often have so many pockets is you really need them for work. You’ve got to stash your pens, sanitizers, gauze, OTC meds… you’re a walking, working “go bag” who needs everything at arm’s reach to stay nimble and agile on shift. 

So maybe some days all your pockets are spoken for. But if you’ve got a spare, why not designate it for yourself? Kind of like “Me Time” but in this case it’s a “Me Pocket.” We had a few ideas for what you might keep in that extra scrubs pocket for a little physical or emotional lift on shift. 

  1. A Snack: Of course, nothing sticky or messy. An energy bar is an obvious choice, but if blood sugar is an issue you can opt to keep a few hard candies or small packets of crackers in case you need a little glucose fix to keep going. 
  2. A Sentimental Object: This could be anything that brings you a little mood boost. Maybe it’s a picture of your daughter, or your dad, or your dog. Maybe it’s an ornament or a talisman associated with your faith. Perhaps it’s something as small as a worry doll so you have a little (literally) company when things get extra stressful. 
  3. A Small Notebook: Not the kind you take rounds notes in… this one’s for you. Maybe you have a little spark of inspiration, an idea, or just a memory that you’d forgotten and want to make sure you don’t again. You’ve already presumably got pens in another pocket. Nothing wrong with putting that pen to personal use on occasion. Sketching is also a good stress release and is believed to enhance your memory skills. If you prefer to think out loud, you can also get a small mini tape recorder (or just make voice memos on your phone).
  4. A Laugh: If you prefer your stress buster in the form of a gut buster, pick a bunch of quotes that delight you, write them down and fold them up. Before each shift, choose one at random and put it in a pocket. Then it’s there when you need to turn the frown upside down. We think this one by Dorothy Parker is pretty clever: “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.” 

We’re sure you have even more creative ideas and we’d love to hear them. Join us on Facebook or Instagram and share!

WCU provides career guidance and assistance but cannot guarantee employment. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or position of the school or of any instructor or student.