What’s in my Bag? Clinic Edition

Arriving to clinic prepared was a recurring theme in my two-part series on tips for starting clinic. See Part 1 here and Part 2 here. So, what exactly should you bring with you? See below for what’s in my bag, clinic edition!

My Clinic Bag

During our D2 year, each student was gifted with an electric toothbrush! Each toothbrush came in one of these bags, which was filled with additional goodies. Seriously, it was like CHRISTMAS! I ended up using this bag as my daily “clinic bag.” 

Clinic Bag Contents

Here is what’s in my bag:

  • Notebook, pen: I used a small notebook to guide my appointments. On the front-side of each page, I jotted down notes to present for a start (see my post on How to Present for a Start). On the back-side of the same page, I listed out procedural instructions for myself.
  • Business cards: These can come in handy if your patient has friends or relatives they would like to refer to you! 
  • Patient mirror: A patient mirror is SO HELPFUL for communication. Your patient can use the mirror to point out troublesome areas. You can use the mirror to point out findings to your patient.
  • Patient goggles: A safety must! If they are tinted, even better! Oftentimes, my patients took a little snooze if they had the tinted goggles on!
  • Blood pressure monitor: We are required at our school to take each patient’s blood pressure. I highly recommend an automatic wrist cuff. Sometimes, the arm cuffs do not fit larger patients, which can be an uncomfortable situation for the patient. 
  • Patient education model: My clinic “big” used a model to help patients visualize the difference between crowns, bridges, and implants. This is a communication/treatment planning GAME CHANGER. Patient acceptance is a breeze when they truly grasp their options.
  • Cast formers: These are a game changer! Cast formers create a consistently thick base for your casts and are pre-notched (it’s so easy to forget about adding notches before sending your casts off to the lab).
  • SD card & reader: You will need your own SD card to capture patient facial-oral photos. Be sure to document cases for any portfolio or capstone requirements. You will need your own reader to then transfer and upload the photos to your patient’s electronic health record.
  • Snack: Sometimes appointments run over, and you don’t have time to eat in-between patients. On these days, it’s important to have a small snack to tide you over. My snack of choice are Annie’s Bunny Fruit Snacks (don’t judge…I know gummies are horrible for your teeth 🙈)!
  • Hair ties: Ladies, keep a bunch in your bag! 
  • Hand lotion: Especially in the winter, your hands will get dry from washing your hands, replacing gloves, and using hand sanitizer. Keeping the skin on your hands hydrated and free of any cracks/open cuts is imperative to avoid blood borne pathogens. I also wash my face with an acne cleanser that tends to dry out my hands too. I have tried LOTS of hand creams. This is the best that I have found: Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve (see below).

Additional Must-Have Items

Don’t forget your loupes (this makes for a REALLY bad day) and a water bottle! Try to stay hydrated between patients!

Purchase Now

You can purchase my clinic “must haves” on Amazon using the linked images below. If you purchase something through the link, I may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. I only recommend products that I genuinely love.

What items can you not live without in clinic? Comment below!


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