The Nursing Tools Quiz

By: Teresa McGlothlin

You can almost always count on seeing a stethoscope hanging around a nurse's neck or hidden away in their pocket. They use this valuable tool to check your breathing sounds, heartbeat and your blood pressure.

When only a small sampling of your blood is needed, a nurse will use a lancet. Often used to check blood insulin levels, lancets are used to make a little prick on the end of your finger.

If you are afraid of needles, this is not the nursing tool for you! Syringes are used for administering medicine and for taking blood samples. They are one of the most frequently used tools in the field.

Nurses on maternity wards everywhere use the fetal monitor to notate the state of a baby while still in the mother's womb. The fetal monitor allows nurses to keep tabs on the baby's heart rate, blood pressure, and any signs of fetal distress.

If a nurse suspects that you are running a fever, they will use a thermometer to check. These days, thermometers can digitally read the skin's temperature, saving you from being told to bend over.

Tucked away in the pocket of nurses everywhere, you will find a pair of utility scissors. Used for everything from cutting gauze to medical tape, a nurse's job is made easier with this tool.

You might not think of pens as being nursing tools, but they are listed as a nursing essential. Nurses need to do a lot of calculations and a lot of remembering things. Having an ample pen supply is a necessity.

Along with a stethoscope, a nurse uses a sphygmomanometer to check your blood pressure. Your blood pressure numbers can indicate a lot of different things, and your nurse is highly trained to use the commonly called blood pressure cuff to see how you're doing.

Without the aid of a clipboard, it would be difficult for nurses to keep all of the important patient paperwork together. Using a clipboard also gives nurses on the go a solid surface to write on.

Specifically made for the medical field, scrubs are outfits nurses frequently wear. Cotton tops and bottoms are interchangeable, and if the medical facility allows, nurses can customize them for their own senses of style.

A good pair of nursing shoes is a priceless investment. Not only do proper nursing shoes help prevent slips on wet floors, but they also provide the much-needed support for nurses who spend most of their day on their feet.

Can you imagine the number of germs nurses are exposed to every day? Wearing a face mask helps to prevent illness, and it helps to avoid any flying fluids that a nurse might breathe in.

When nurses are in surgery or they are dealing with a messy scene, it is not uncommon for them to use a gown over their scrubs. Wearing a gown provides an extra layer of protection from any unwanted exposure.

In order to check your pulse rate or your heart rate, a nurse needs to time them. A nursing watch with a second hand is a very important tool for nurses to have.

Sometimes, nurses need to hold together things like bandages and tubes. With the use of the hemostat, it makes their job a lot easier. The hemostat might look like scissors, but its locking design is quite useful.

If your nurse needs to check your tonsils or the reaction of your pupils, they would utilize a penlight. Designed to clip onto a nurse's pocket or lanyard, a penlight really comes in handy when assessing patients.

For security reasons, nurses are issued ID cards that allow them access to certain parts of a medical building. Additionally, ID cards are helpful for identifying your nurse. To secure them, a lot of nurses use badge clips.

Shoe covers are an underrated piece of nursing equipment. Whether trying to keep a surgery room clean or working with a messy scene, shoe covers help to protect nurses from fluids. They also help to keep sterile environments free from any contaminants found on your shoes.

When nurses dress wounds, the use sterile gauze like you see in the picture. With the help of utility scissors, gauze helps keep an infection prone area clean.

From dressing wounds to holding IVs in place, medical tape is a nursing necessity. Medical tape is different from other kinds of tape because it easily removed from the skin.

Before administering a shot or taking blood, nurses will prep your skin with an alcohol swab. Using alcohol helps to remove dirt and bacteria that might cause complications like infections.

If you've recently visited the doctor, your nurse has probably placed a pulse oximeter on the end of your finger. The pulse oximeter measures the level of oxygen in your blood.

In the event that CPR needs to be administered in a medical facility, nurses often employ the use of manual resuscitators. The manual resuscitator is a bag that works like air being breathed into the lungs. It is a substitute for mouth-to-mouth.

Your nurse is often responsible for monitoring and administering your medications. They often carry a pocket drug guide to keep themselves informed about dosage levels and possible side effects.

When a medical team needs to give someone's heart a little jump start, they will use the defibrillator. A defibrillator helps to restore the heart's natural rhythm and often prevents death.

To keep fluids moving smoothly, nurses must use saline flushes to clean out the lines. Saline flushes might resemble a syringe, but they are designed to make IV tubes stay clear with no disruption to the patient.

Nurses often have to calculate things like dosages, food intake and urinary output. Using a calculator is a far more accurate way to get the numbers right than doing them in your head. In fact, nurses use calculators so much that they are sometimes incorporated onto their clipboards.

One of the most frequently used tools by nurses is gloves. In order to avoid contact with bodily fluids and to keep an environment sterile, gloves are an essential part of every nursing tool kit.

To help stop the bleeding, your nurse might cover your puncture after taking blood with a band-aid. You might not think of a band-aid as a nursing tool, but they go through dozens of them a day.

When we expel fluids from our mouths, it is called emesis. Luckily for us, nurses always seem to have an emesis basin nearby that saves you the embarrassment of making a mess.

When you require intravenous fluids, your nurse might be asked to start an IV. An IV starter is used to begin, and then it is left for your arm to be attached to other parts of the IV equipment.

Sometimes patients need extra nutrition, but they are unable to eat. In these cases, nurses use a specially designed feeding tube to get the job done.

During situations where patients are unable to get out of bed, a medical toilet will be brought into the room. Your nurse will either bring you a bedside toilet or a bedpan, but both are known as medical toilets.

Technology has changed the field of nursing. Instead of being tethered to a desk to punch in patient information, nurses can now travel through the halls with their computers.

Heaven forbid you need someone to watch your heart's function! If you do, your nurse will hook you up to a cardiac monitor like the one seen here.

During surgery, there may be a little too much blood for the doctor to see what is happening. The doctor may ask the nurse to use a suction pump to remove the excess fluid so that the surgery may safely continue.

Cutting yourself may result in the need for stitches. Nurses are prepared to help you by setting up this suture kit for your doctor.

Nurses are often on their feet for up to 12 hours a day, and it can cause some serious issues with swelling and veins. Wearing compression socks like this will help to regulate the blood flow.

Surgery rooms are sterile environments. To prevent hair from getting into unwanted places, both doctors and nurses wear hair covers.

During a hospital stay, you might require medicine for a few days. Using pharmaceutical pumps, nurses can program the machine to administer your dose without waking you up every few hours.

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Image: The Good Brigade / DigitalVision / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Although the biggest tool nurses must have is a willingness to help others, the list of nursing tools is seemingly endless. Nurses are highly trained caretakers, and mastering their equipment is only part of the job. Can you recognize and name the tools we present to you? 

From geriatric nursing to caring for those in the emergency room, nurses have one of the most important jobs in the world. It's a tough job, but nurses seem to live for making others feel better. In order to properly do their jobs, they must be properly equipped - but do you know what tools they use every day?

Everything from thermometers to saline flushes are important parts of a nurse's toolkit, but there's a lot more to being a nurse than taking temperatures or flushing IVs. If you can identify the 40 items we present, you are certain to be a member of the medical community. We haven't chosen anything too difficult, but we do think we will push your knowledge of nursing tools to the test. How many of them can you get right? Put on your nursing hat and give it shot. Then, we'll let you know! 

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