Pocket Nurse

Pocket Nurse is a US-based company that makes and distributes medical supplies and equipment for healthcare simulation and education in medicine, nursing, EMS, pharmacy and other allied health groups. The company’s products are extensively used in nursing simulation, but have application across the entire range of the medical simulation industry.

Pocket Nurse began business in 1992 with one product, the Pocket Nurse pocket organizer. This organizer was so popular, it led the way to the production and sale of over 5600 products which now includes manikins from Laerdal, moulage tools, and headwalls. The company was founded and owned by a nurse, Anthony Battaglia — who still oversees the company to this day.

One of Pocket Nurse’s most popular product lines is their Demo Dose medications. The company has been consistently willing to create new practice medications and packaging to match changing clinical practice. Medical simulation should mimic real life situations as much as possible as this adds fidelity to simulation scenarios. Having medications and packages that closely resemble actual medications used in practice provides familiarity for learners which in turn, helps them transition from the classroom to clinical practice.

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Medications available include antibiotics, code drugs, chemotherapy, insulins, and vaccines. Unlabeled vials, tablets, capsules, topicals, inhalants and liquids are available for students to practice drawing up and administering various medications. Injectables, irrigation solutions, IV bags and inhalants are also obtainable. Special collections of medications are available e.g. oral foil sample packs and code medications. Pocket nurse distributes medication dispensing systems such as Med Dispense Medication Dispensing Systems and Omnicell.

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A variety of blood products are manufactured. These products include packed red blood cells, platelets, fresh frozen plasma and albumin. All the products come with lifelike labels and in a variety of blood groups.

Every institution, whether it be an actual hospital, medical center, long term care facility or educational program must decide whether to use actual medications for practice or products manufactured by companies like Pocket Nurse who deliberately change the name of medications. Thus, digoxin (Lanoxin) becomes digoxn (Lanoxn) and lorazepam (Ativan) becomes Lorazepm (Ativn). These “fake” medications are harmless, non-active formularies that are strictly to be used for practice. If any of these fake medications ends up in patient areas, Pocket Nurse hopes to alert practitioners that they are not giving the correct medication by the incorrectly spelling the drug name and by the addition of a label “not for human or animal use”. There are cases in the literature where fake meds were given to patients by mistake. In addition, using real medications in educational settings could put learners in jeopardy since exposure to real meds could have a pharmacological effect on the learners themselves, for example, topical or inhaled medications such as nitroglycerin or Ventolin.

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Pocket Nurse supplies a large variety of diagnostic equipment such as stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs, skinfold calipers, otoscopes, mounted diagnostic station and urine analyzers to mention just a few. The company produces or distributes hospital furniture such as beds, stretchers and a variety of headwalls with oxygen outlets, suction and diagnostic equipment. Infection control products including personal protective equipment are available along with an extensive collection of patient care products.

A collection of obstetric and pediatric products is available as well as surgical equipment such as instruments and suture kits. Educational charts and books, moulage kits and educational models are sold. Patient Simulators, which come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and prices, include simple models for injections, task trainers, CPR manikins, and whole-body manikins by Simulaids. Pocket Nurse sells totes which contain a collection of their products suitable for specific healthcare professions such as nursing students, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Educational schools save time by requiring students to purchase these packs. Students find them helpful because they have everything they need for their course of study in a convenient handy pack.

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Pocket Nurse has been the go to company for nursing and allied health programs for many years. And since the company continues to innovate and adapt to the learning needs of healthcare professions, Pocket Nurse will likely be around for many years to come. The company attends many healthcare simulation conferences like IMSH, and is a key sponsor of INACSL and SimGHOSTS.

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