I cannot believe that the holidays are right around the corner! This year has gone by so quickly for me, from finishing up clinical rotations to PA school graduation and taking the PANCE, to finally starting work as an Emergency Medicine PA-C. Its been one big event after another, and as much as I’ve been loving hiding all of these milestones in my life, it’s made the year fly by. Soon it will be December, and I’ll get off orientation and be working shifts by myself! And I’ll be turning TWENTY-FIVE on December 31st. So I’m finishing off this year with a bang.
The holidays have always been on of my favorite times – mainly because I love the camaraderie of this time of year, and I love having the ability to gift my loved ones with things that they need. I pride myself on being a great gift giver, and finding personal, practical (but fun) gifts to give. I get a lot more happiness out of that than I do actually receiving Christmas and birthday present.
So this year, I wanted to do something extra special and share some of the items on my wish list as a health care provider. You’ll notice that scrubs aren’t on this list – and the reason for that is simple. I already buy scrubs on a regular basis, and I would rather ask for items that I don’t buy myself but would still love and use regularly. I also wanted to make this more general than just the specifics I use as an Emergency Medicine PA-C. So this list is great for that CNA, RN, student, MD/DO, etc in your life.
I hope you enjoy, and I would love if you share some of the great gifts you’re giving to that very special health care professional in your life!
This is perhaps my favorite “splurge” item that I use on a daily basis at work. This jacket is set up similar to scrubs – so the pockets are huge and horizontal, making it very functional. I put all sorts of things like resource books, my “little black book of medicine”, my stethoscope, lidocaine + epi, alcohol swaps, and snacks in there! The jacket also comes with three zippered pockets for all of those items (like your credit card) that you need to keep extra safe. Other than the pockets, the jacket is made of a great material similar to most high end workout clothes, so it keeps me from getting too overheated during work. I also love the way it looks, and the embroidery is incredibly attractive. I have both the navy and black, and I’m asking for the grey for Christmas!
I haven’t tried the NEW VERSION – but I’ve also heard wonderful things about it, so consider checking out both generations!
Everyone in Medicine has a stethoscope, and everyone in medicine has probably lost their stethoscope at some point in time. When I got in to PA school, I specifically asked for a black stethoscope so that it would look “professional”. Little did I know that professional was actually code for easier to lose. In clinical year, I actually invested in a bright pink one – not my favorite color, but very easy to identify. I also made the transition from Littmann to ERKA. It was more economical, came with a 10 year warranty, and auscultates just as well! My only disappointment is that I can’t get it engraved like you can with LITTMANN
I was incredibly #blessed that my PA school gifted us with Medelita coats for our Whitecoat Ceremony at graduation. It’s an incredible whitecoat – stylish, amazing quality, top-of-the-line fabric – and I didn’t realize just how lucky I was until I started working and saw some of the whitecoats my colleagues had. While I don’t think anyone actually wants to buy a nicer whitecoat for themselves, I think it would be an incredibly special gift to get an amazing one for the holidays from a loved one. Something about having a good fitting, good looking whitecoat makes long shifts that much more doable!
**Pro-tip: buy it un-embroidered so that your loved one can try it one and make sure its the size they want before shipping it back to be embroidered
I bought the OMG when I first started my residency as a work bag, and let me tell you, I have LOVED it every single day. It has a slot for both a laptop and tablet, two smaller pockets, a front zipper area for important items, and a shoe slot. Its the smaller size, but has more than enough room for me to fit everything I could possibly need for work. I actually use the shoe slot as my snack holder. But maybe my favorite thing about it is the fabric – its super durable and wipeable, so I don’t worry about all of the dirt and germs in the ED.
Depending on the shift location, I average 5,000-10,000 steps while at work. Working in medicine is a LOT of time spent on your feet and walking around. When I worked as a CNA, I invested in a Fitbit to keep track of my steps just because I was curious. Though I’ve now upgraded to an Apple Watch, I still use it for the same purpose – tracking how many steps I do throughout the day. It also keeps me more in touch with emails, text messages, calendar reminders without being glued to my phone. Is your loved one a tech newbie? Go with the Fitbit Alta HR. It tracks your steps and heart rate and also allows you to read notifications for your phone. Plus its not as clunky as some of the other options. If your loved one is a gym junky – go with the Fitbit Charge. It has a lot more options for tracking workouts. And finally, if your loved one is an iPhone obsessed – go with the Apple Watch. It truly is an amazing piece of technology.
Remember all that walking I told you I do at work? Yeah, it means my shoes get worn out faster. I also am a strong believer in only using work shoes at work and not using my running shoes. This is the pair I am asking for on my Christmas wish-list! I love that they have lots of support and don’t scream “medicine shoe”
Twelve-hour shifts on your feet mean positional edema. Maybe its just me, but my feet hurt and swell pretty bad after a long, tough shift. Compression socks, while not the most comfortable things in the world, help protect my lower legs and keep my skin looking healthy. But I hate buying them for myself because I feel old buying them. They’re a great stocking stuffer.
Medthusiast has a great, fun tee for every medical field. They’re light weight, high quality, and oh so adorable. Plus the creator is a PA-C!
If your loved one doesn’t wear scrubs for a living and instead dresses professional, Tieks are my favorite dress shoes. They’re high quality leather ballet flat that have an amazing sole and don’t rip up your feet after a long day. You can read my full review HERE
My best tip for surviving a long, crazy shift – especially nights? Hydration! I was gifted my S’well by the amazing Amber (@StudyingInScrubs) and Hannah (@palindrome_pa) and I bring it to work every single day. It keeps my water so cold and fresh, even when I forget about it and don’t drink for several hours. Plus S’well has every possible color and pattern imaginable.
Anyone who works night shift knows it’s incredibly hard to sleep during the day. It goes against your circadian rhythm, its bright out, neighbors/roommates are noisy, animals ask for love, etc. Most eye masks smush your eyeballs (for lack of better terms). This pair has a bump-out for your eyes, making it a lot more comfortable to sleep in them. I got them one year as a stocking stuffer and it remains on of my favorite stocking stuffer gifts.
This is definitely not an all-inclusive list, but I hope this was able to give y’all some starting ideas to work off!