The beginning of a new semester in medical school usually arrives with excitement alongside some anxiety. This is because a new semester represents a new chapter in the academic journey as freshers and returning students prepare for stimulating coursework, interactive practicals, and exhaustive lectures and ward rounds.
In this article, we will give you ten medical school supplies that you could purchase to start off any new semester on the right foot. We will describe the necessary diagnostic and therapeutic materials students require to enhance their performance on tests and examinations and increase their knowledge retention.
The stethoscope is an indispensable tool for medical students. With a stethoscope, medical students can listen to and monitor patients’ vital body sounds, such as heartbeats, lung sounds, and bowel movements. Thus, students can train themselves to recognize sounds associated with both normal and pathological conditions of the human body.
Additionally, its extremely important makes it invaluable in every clinical setting. So, investing in a good-quality, durable stethoscope is essential because without it, students cannot master their craft and become proficient and competent healthcare professionals. No wonder the stethoscope is globally recognized as an extension of the medical professional!
The diagnostic kit is an all-inclusive set of instruments that enables medical students to perform extensive diagnostic tests on patients. This kit typically includes a tendon hammer, a tuning fork, a penlight, and a measuring tape. These instruments are vital to the medical student as every medical technique used during clinical examinations uses at least one item from the kit to explore the patient’s body and draw a conclusive diagnosis.
Students use the tendon hammer to trigger important reflexes from patients’ joints and tendons, the tuning fork to elicit vibratory sensations for judging the extent of hearing loss or tissue damage, and the penlight to examine orifices and assess neurological responses. Students who own their personal diagnostic kits will likely cultivate critical examination skills through practice while those who fail to master them will have short-lived careers.
The white coat, a known symbol of the medical profession, is a piece of clothing that holds significance for medical students and workers. Worn mostly during ward rounds and clinical consultations, when students get to interact with patients, the lab coat is an icon of the medical profession that engenders a feeling of authority and professionalism. Hardly any interaction occurs between a patient and a medical student who is without a labcoat (with an embroidered name tag).
Besides serving as a signal to patients seeking relief, the lab coat also protects its wearer from contaminants and stains that are rampant in the clinical setting. Therefore, it is one of the most important tools that distinguishes students engaged in medical practice.
Medical scrubs are specialized garments associated with physicians, surgeons, and other healthcare professionals. However, besides dazzling the uninitiated public, scrubs serve an important role for medical students. These uniforms give medical students easy movement, comfort, and extra hygiene while moving about the unpredictable clinics and wards of a hospital or healthcare facility.
Medical students who consistently wear scrubs attain a higher level of protection against hazardous fluids, chemicals, beddings, etc. and reduce the risk of transmission of infectious agents. Moreover, wearing scrubs contributes to maintaining a sterile environment in operating rooms, thus promoting the fast recovery of patients.
Personal Protective Equipment:
Personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, face masks, face shields, and hair nets are necessary to maintain aseptic conditions in every clinical setting. These materials protect users from communicable diseases, and reduce cross-contamination to significantly low levels.
Recent global events, such as the Ebola and COVID-19 pandemics have made these protective gear more important and even mandatory in some hospitals. By equipping themselves with PPE, medical students prioritize the health status of the entire clinical community, including workers and clients, and demonstrate their willingness to learn.
A dissection kit is a collection of surgical equipment that is mainly used by medical students during anatomy lab practicals. The kit usually comprises scalpels, forceps, blades, scissors, and other such instruments. Students use these precision tools to explore structures in the human body, building up their knowledge of the anatomical positions and physiological functions of the body’s organs.
Also, hands-on dissection sessions teach fine motor skills and surgical techniques that students will invariably need to tackle the challenges and responsibilities of their medical careers.
Laptop or Tablet Device:
Medical students, like all humans of the modern age, have come to require 21st-century technologies such as the computer and the internet. Similarly, med school instructors have integrated modern facilities into the teaching process. So, a tablet or laptop computer is an invaluable tool for efficiently taking notes during lectures and rounds as well as accessing relevant online resources and materials, and communicating with colleagues and mentors.
As schools move to more hybrid systems that accommodate remote learning, students are made to take a portion of their examinations via online platforms that discourage cheating and ensure they are up-to-date with the current coursework.
Medical Apps and Charts
Medical charts are visual aids that provide detailed illustrations of anatomical systems, physiological processes, biochemical cycles, developmental timelines, etc. These charts reinforce learning for medical students who are wise enough to pay attention to them.
In this digital era, there is an increased collaboration between software developers and health workers to release medical applications that instruct, educate, or inform users on a wide range of topics. These apps are easily downloadable and offer features, including clinical calculators, medical dictionaries, and drug references. In addition, there are also apps with access to medical databases, published journals, and exam past questions.
Thus, by using these physical and digital study aids, medical students are guaranteed an edge over their peers who rely solely on old-fashioned media.
Medical Books and References
The medical student generally consumes a huge amount of textual information on a daily basis. These come in the form of textbooks, notes, and reference materials that contain in-depth knowledge on all medical fields and concepts. That’s why a diverse library of medical books equips students with a huge arsenal of guides and resources that enable them to learn accurate, updated information in their quest of continuous higher learning.
Every student, regardless of their course of study, needs good writing materials for taking notes in class, self-study, etc. Medical students need to write quick notes when consulting a patient in the clinic or learning during ward rounds.
Students who generally have a constant supply of notebooks, notepads, pens, highlighters, and sticky notes can enhance their learning process by ensuring they do not miss any information. With these materials, they can create sketches and diagrams to aid understanding, create visual cues to emphasize points, and stay focused and organized while pursuing excellent results.
Honorable mentions to this exhaustive list include a good study habit, a clean, comfortable environment, an enjoyable hobby, a good QBank like CanadaQBank, and a hot cup of coffee (but not too much)
Medical school is a long, intensive journey and arming oneself with the tools described above will help you breeze through your classes and exams. Whether you are at the start or nearing the end of this rewarding journey, we hope that these tools aid you on your long days and nights in service of humanity. Remember, to use CanadaQBank to access a vast bank of questions to make your studying less stressful.