April 1, 2018

My Nursing Badge Cards


I know all nurses don't carry this much stuff on their badge reel. But where I work, nurses are often in remote locations with critically ill patients. I'm talking about nurses in MRI with a patient who has already coded four times, and you need to know some random piece of information stat for some unknown reason. It's not a contest about who has the most stuff. It's about making your life easier and making you more productive. These items allow me to get rapid answers, chart real-time and clock out on time. I don't always have time (or limbs) to look in my brain book or ask someone for assistance.


The first set of cards are my cardiac cards. My unit accepts many patients who have experienced cardiac arrests (status post code blues) or patients who are actively in a cardiac crisis. These cards educate me on the known sites of injury and help me to identify current cardiac issues or trends. Cardiology consults are quick but, they want to know what you see and what's going in their lingo.


The next set of cards are when I have an issue with general nursing details or information. These cards usually confirm something and reinforce a decision I've made. I know the answer but, I need a card to make me confident about my choice. They are confirmation cards, I guess. I don't want to kill anyone and if a card can confirm my educated guess, I'm all for it.


Last but know least, we have the writing items and certifications badge. It doesn't fail. I bring two pens to work with me. But halfway through the shift, I've lost them (or someone stole them) and bam... I have my trusty, tiny backups. The marker and pens are tiny and weigh nothing, so they are perfect for my badge reel. Blue is for writing orders. And yes, verbal orders still occur where I work. During a code, or when someone is about to code... a provider doesn't always have time to enter orders electronically. Especially if they are the only critical care provider on for the entire night shift - which happens often). Red is for redlining at the end of the shift. It's old school but, we still do it. And finally, a black marker for medication labels and line stickers.


  • R-CAT EKG Badge Card - Buy Here
  • Nursing Badge Cards: Various Cards - Buy Here
  • Pens: Pentel Med 8/Pkg - RSVP Mini Ballpoint - Buy Here
  • Markers: Sharpie Permanent Markers Pack, Fine Point - Buy Here
  • Badge Buddy: Custom Badge Buddy Horizontal Credential Title - Buy Here

Again, this whole setup isn't for every nurse. It works for me, and these items keep me on track throughout my shift. Find a method that works for you. I honestly don't have the time or energy to carry my brain book everywhere I go. I also don't have access to a computer at all times. My job is 90% running around, hanging medications and, conversing with providers. I need my resources at arm's length.