September 30, 2010By Lance Baily

How to get FREE Sim Lab Supplies?

Since opening the Clinical Simulation Center of Las Vegas last August, we have had several donations of FREE medical supplies to the Center.  The picture below is of our largest donation so far – over 9 crates loaded with boxes full of free medical supplies!

How do we do it?  Click to learn how!

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Every time I meet a representative of a local hospital I ask them what they do with their expired medical supplies?  Nine times out of ten the response is “we just throw them away”!  Expired supplies are perfect for Healthcare Simulation & Skills Labs as we are using the supplies for educational purposes, most of the time on manikins or task trainers.  I usually offer to swing by the hospital and pick up expired supplies, making it easy for them and win for us.  Saving money on the supply budget means we can be in the black for supplies longer, and possibly even put those funds into other needed areas at the center.

Inform your coworkers to put the message out there in your community that you can take and put to really good use all expired medical supplies.  Chances are before you know it someone will be giving you a call with an offer that is too good to be true.  Not only did this method bring us a 9-crate shipment of supplies, but I have heard this working just as well for other simulation labs as well!

And if you haven’t received any strong leads yet use google to find medical suppliers in your area.  Give them a call and let them know you could take expired supplies off their hands AND support their local hospital or educational facility.  They will be happy to help, even sometimes offering to deliver it themselves!

Just remember Sim Labs have an exception to the rule that “beggars can’t be choosers”.  Don’t except hazardous waste materal as ‘part of the deal’, or other items not usable at a simulation lab, like real medications or medical liquids.  As much as possible our staff tries to check and make sure that offers are usable items at the Center before accepting the donation.

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Nothing feels better than seeing free usable high demand items show up at your doorstep!

Let us all know if this tactic has worked for your Sim Lab by sharing a reply below…

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  • May 23, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    any info on expired medical in tyler tx area

  • Ron Ulrich
    August 2, 2011 at 5:36 am

    So the next question becomes how much of those 9 crates was useful? We have gotten donations like that in the past, and by the time we sorted through it all, it looked like we were used more as trash sorters than as educators. We have had much more luck with asking any of our users who have specific equipment needs for a program to bring those needed items with them. The other benefit to this model is that they are always working with the same items that they use back in the hospital. Additionally, we have adopted a model that includes no real medications. We are using the Pocket Nurse Demo Dose items exclusively. We supplement and gaps in their product line with water filled syringes with P-Touch labels.

    • Lance Baily
      August 2, 2011 at 7:48 am

      Hi Ron,

      Thanks for your great question!

      While we did have to sort through these crates and throw away about two dumpsters full of unusable product, we did our best to sort through the packing list of what was available before receiving the order. Of course, some items slipped through the cracks like some boxes of latex gloves which we had to trash our selves. This is by no means a sustainable model for acquiring supplies, but is a great way to get free supplies for new simulation labs or when you can pick and choose exactly what you know will be put to use :)


  • Ron Ulrich
    August 2, 2011 at 10:14 am

    We also have the benefit of having the buying power of a VERY large health system behind us, so some of the “staple” items come so cheaply that once you factor in the manpower hours needed for some “dumpster diving” efforts, it’s simply easier and more economical to purchase new. I realize not all centers have this benefit, but for those who might, it’s a piece you always need to keep in mind.

    April 27, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    I have boxes and boxes of expired unused medical supplies I am looking to get rid of I am located in the Houston, Texas Area any information will help, Thank you in advance.
    You can email me info at: [email protected]

  • Carrie
    March 19, 2013 at 11:16 am

    I have many boxes of expired, unused medical/lab supplies. I am located in the Baltimore, MD area. I am willing to ship. Contact me if you would like donated supplies at [email protected]

  • Tonya J Balthrop
    August 7, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    I am a nurse educator that trains medication techs and teaches other medical classes. I am interested in any expired/ unused medical supplies that you may have to donate.

  • Lalonnie Grey
    October 23, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    How can we receive free medical supplies?? I am from Scottsdale, AZ. My Mother is having some financial difficulties right now and she is a disabled senior who has diabetes and suffers from acute lymphedema on both of her legs. We are currently having a hard time financially to pay for her normal medical supplies due to having back to back funerals within my family. So as of this point we are left trying to find any kind of help for my mom. If you can please help me find some kind of agency that can and will help my mom out in any way please feel free to contact me asap please, thank you!
    This is a list of supplies that she needs very badly:
    Coband wrap 4″× 5 yards. Abd pads 5″× 9″- 8″× 10″ Abdominal pads – Kerlix Gauze bandage rolls large 4-1/2 ×4-1/10 yards – Coban Sterile Self-adhesive Wrap 4″× 5 yards
    -LaLonnie Grey
    [email protected]

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