I'm really excited to share this post today from Jamie, which was first published on Reddit. It does contain some affiliate links, which means if you purchase any of the products from Amazon, Jamie will get a small cut. You may remember her previous post - The Unexpected Costs of Interviewing and Attending PA School
What’s in my medical bag?
Firstly, I carry two bags. The salmon colored bag is a little backpack by Dickies and the black bag is actually a diaper bag from Eddie Bauer. The Dickies bag was ~$23 at Sears and the Eddie Bauer bag was $39.99 at Target, but I used a 10% off coupon. On the outside of the backpack, I have a hand sanitizer (just Purell). I also carry a water bottle (Contigo brand because I hate having to bite the straw) and an umbrella. Because it’s a diaper bag, these pockets are actually insulated, which I think is funny, but awesome.
I don’t actually plan to carry both bags every day. I just don’t carry a purse and the med bag has stuff that I don’t really need on days like today or Wednesday when I only have one lecture. I do need the med bag on Tuesdays and Thursdays, though.
LET’S DIVE IN!
Medical Bag: Front Pocket(s) from left to right
- Littman Cardiology III Stethoscope - $140 (with extra ear pieces)
- Tuning forks – 128 and 512 cps $12
- Tomahawk and Taylor percussion hammers - $6.20
- EKG calipers - $9.95
- Calculator - $10
- Visual acuity card - $3.32
- Pocket medicine guide from the AAPA (free with the low-low price of membership…)
- Gauze pads - $5
- Tape measurer - $3.99
- Welch Allyn Insufflator Bulb - $12.65
- Otoscope speculums - $5.15
- Welch Allyn Diagnostic Kit- (Case, $47, Lithium Ion Handle, $230 new, Macroview Otoscope Head $85 used, Ophthalmoscope head $60.45 used)
- Bandage scissors - $5.10
- Masterlock - FREE (because an old roommate left it and the key behind, woo)
- Thermometer - $10
- Probe covers - $3
- Pen light - $3
- Alcohol wipes - $8
- Tongue depressors - $6.76
- Nitrile exam gloves - $10
- Blood pressure cuff - $20
I am horrendously guilty of forgetting to put on deodorant, so I keep a little one in my bag along with some Kleenex!!
- Sunglasses- $15, case $5
- Neutrogena Norwegian Formula hand cream (a MUST if you wear gloves a lot!)- $7
- Kleenex -$1 for 3
- Medicines (I carry Sudafed, Benedryl, Tums, Motrin, and floss)
- Microsoft Surface 3, 128GB Internal Storage, 4GB RAM ($399.99 from Best Buy) – this for me is an absolute MUST. It is lightweight, so I can carry it easily in my bag, it can be charged with an external USB power bank if the classroom doesn’t have outlets on the table, and it has the full functional Windows 10 operating system, including Microsoft Office. I live by OneNote for my notes. I use the cloud to store everything (with hard backups, of course), but it’s SO nice to be able to pull up my lectures from my phone or tablet, or my laptop at home. I can’t suggest this enough. I just hate that you have to buy the keyboard separate, and $400 is the cheapest I’ve ever seen it. I’ve had a Surface since the initial RT, though, and I’m a fan.
- Microsoft Surface Type Cover - $116
- Microsoft Surface Pen - $44.72 – I love this puppy, but you don’t need it if you prefer typing. I like being able to handwrite things easily, but it’s definitely not for everyone.
- Tablet sleeve - $14.99
- Bare Bones Anatomy textbook by Dr. Tracey Bee - $213
- Flashcards for Unit 1: Intro and Back (came with textbook)
- Folder - $1
- Planner (MY LIFE) - $10
- Pencil case - $1
- Pilot G2 Pens - $10
- Chargers, extra headphones
And again, super forgetful with deodorant, so my backpack gets one, too – remember, I said I don’t always have both bags? And hey… sometimes I go to the gym… Also lip balms and a prescription topical steroid cream for my hands – I have contact dermatitis that gets bad with excess glove usage.
What’s in my pockets?? I just wore scrubs today, but this is the contents of my lab coat pockets!
- Bath and Body Works lotion - $3
- Bath and Body Works hand sanitizer - $1.50
- Alcohol swabs
- Pilot pen
- NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Antwerp - $6
- $2 for possible snacking needs
- My locker combination
- Lab goggles - $1
- Lunch: turkey sandwich, peppers and carrots with hummus, grapes, cantaloupe, and strawberries, Goldfish crackers.
Grand total: roughly $1600
Hi all. Thanks for reading! I'm Jamie Murawski, a physician assistant student at the University of Detroit Mercy. I have a Bachelor of Science from Grand Valley State University. I'm a Michigan girl through and through.
I'm growing my online presence in the PA community through Reddit, where I moderate /r/prephysicianassistant along with some other pretty cool PA students. I also have an Instagram where I pseudo-blog about my journey (@jamienicole_pa.s). Please feel free to follow me or message me with any questions, I'm happy to help!