This section includes equipment required for home health, such as a blood pressure cuff or thermometer, and additional handy items, such as scrubs and lunchbox ideas. Your agency will provide you with required items if you are an employee. Independent contractors are often responsible for their own equipment.
As required for infection control and patient privacy, your home health items can be easily carried in the most popular home health medical bag, the HOPKINS MEDICAL BAG, which comes in a variety of colors and sizes. You can use any bag that has multiple compartments for clean and dirty sections, but HOPKINS is by far the most popular.
Additionally, as required for infection control, Chux UNDERPADS, or a similar barrier, should be placed between the surface in the patient’s home and your medical bag/equipment at all times.
Home health therapists often take a lunch break by eating in the car. A 16 oz INSULATED THERMOS provides excellent volume and temperature retention for a hot or cold meal and even comes with a portable, foldable spoon. A 24-32 oz TAKEYA WATER BOTTLE is also insulated and will keep your coffee hot on a snowy day or your water cold on a scorching hot day. Not only do I use both of these products daily and love them, but I also have two of each. I pack them both, along with other snacks, in my INSULATED LUNCH BAG, which is leakproof and large and sturdy enough to hold 16 cans of soda.
As outlined in the Home Health Occupational Therapy book, vitals must be taken at each therapy visit. Necessary equipment includes a BLOOD PRESSURE CUFF, STETHOSCOPE, THERMOMETER (INFRARED is most hygienic), and PULSE OXIMETER (which includes heart rate readings).
You can keep your pens, home exercise program, assessment tools or other documents in a convenient STORAGE CLIPBOARD. This clipboard can also be used to store fine motor tools such as paper clips or safety pins.
Finally, bend and reach comfortably in quality CHEROKEE INFINITY SCRUBS and scrub SIVVAN UNDERSHIRTS. High quality scrubs are essential to a professional appearance and comfort. Although scrubs are not a requirement as you can wear semi-professional or fairly casual dress depending on your agency’s guidelines, scrubs are often simple, comfortable and easy to replace if damaged or contaminated. Whichever uniform type you choose, it’s highly recommended to keep an extra set in your vehicle for unexpected events with patients.
Finally, as mentioned elsewhere on this site, a GAIT BELT is crucial. It is not a required piece of equipment, but it is probably the most important piece of equipment you will carry. It is a critical safety tool that reduces the risk of patient falls and reduces the risk of injury to the therapist. It is highly recommended to keep at least one in your bag at all times.