Medical students can feel like they are standing at the foot of an insurmountable mountain.
There are years of studying and exams ahead, with rigorous mental and physical testing. What makes it worse is that you also need to organize your future tools.
It's a lot to take in. It's even more confusing when considering that the first year of med school can cost a student almost $40,000.
Don't worry, though. Read on as we show you what tools all medical students need to start their healthcare career on the right foot.
1. A Highlighter to Remember Important Information
Before doing anything else, you're going to be digging through textbook after textbook. You'll be in so many lectures and doing so much studying that it can leave your head spinning. Going to medical school isn't for the faint of heart, and you need every advantage you can get.
With all of that information going in and out, you need a way to remember the most vital bits. If you're working with textbooks, then a highlighter is the best way to do that!
Buy a whole bunch of them and color code them. That way, you can keep track of useful tidbits for later.
2. The Bread and Butter: A Stethoscope
This is the quintessential item for any medical student. You might not be using it straight away, but there's going to come a time when it'll never leave your side.
Compared to all of the other medical student tools on this list, your stethoscope will take the biggest beating. Since you'll eventually be using it every single day, don't buy a cheap one.
No matter what technological advancements we experience, there will never be a replacement for the stethoscope. All of this combined makes it an investment with an almost bullet-proof safety. You're going to need it, and you're going to use it.
3. Equip Yourself With Basic PPE
This one might seem as obvious as the stethoscope, but you're going to need some protective equipment. Typical things like gloves and masks might be available at your school or hospital, but you can never be too prepared.
The other thing you're going to need is scrubs. You might not have reached the point where you need them yet, but this is a 100% safe investment. Most hospitals and teaching hospitals will provide them, but it never hurts to have a spare set.
You should also research potential clothing you'll need if you're in a specialist ward.
4. How to Master the Intravenous Infusion With an IV Kit
Anything involving a vein and a needle is a surefire hit with patients. Many people are scared of needles right from the get-go, and adding a vein to the equation doesn't help.
It's also a procedure you're going to have to deal with eventually, in both your exams and in the real world. That means you need to start practicing. The best way to get a head start is to purchase an IV kit.
By getting some hands-on experience early, you will guarantee your future patients a painless procedure. You're also going to give yourself some much-needed practical understanding.
5. Sowing Things Back Together With a Suture Kit
Speaking of skills that require some practical experience, the next must-have tool is a suture kit. You're going to need to master the needle in your healthcare career, so why not start practicing now?
A lot of different medical suppliers offer suture kits, but if you're a medical student, you want one that allows you to practice. Medical Creations have a kit available that is complete with a suturing pad to emulate the real thing.
If you buy one from Medical Creations, you'll also get a free eBook that details the best techniques!
6. Test Reflexes With the Reflex Hammer
This might not end up being a staple of your medical tools, but it's good to buy one. You'll need it at least once or twice during your healthcare journey, and it's a simple inexpensive item to buy.
Even though the amount of usage will vary between each medical student, almost all med schools will ask that you have one of these.
7. A Helpful Light
This is almost a two-part suggestion. The first part is the bare minimum, which is buying a penlight. These are useful for a multitude of situations and are another daily-use item like the stethoscope.
For a student that has a bit more of a budget, though, you could also buy an otoscope. Instead of only shining a light on whatever the problem in an ear canal or nose is, an otoscope will let you see it.
These kinds of problems come up more than you might think, so it is a worthwhile investment to make.
The Tool That All Medical Students Need
One tool that we've yet to cover, because it's one that you can't buy, is experience. We already mentioned this in the section recommending a suture kit, but you really can't put a price on experience.
That's why it's so important to make sure that you are both studying and practicing. One is a lot easier to do than the other for medical students not already entering their third or fourth year of med school.
If you want to get both, then take a look at the collections available at Medical Creations. You can buy some kits and textbooks right here, and start your training today!