What Types of Equipment Do Nurses Use?

Written by jennifer patterson
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What Types of Equipment Do Nurses Use?
The types of equipment that a nurse uses vary in size and functions. (Stethoscope image by Monika 3 Steps Ahead from Fotolia.com)

To perform their duties in a professional and accurate manner, nurses must use certain types of equipment. With advanced technology, this equipment makes the daily tasks of a nurse easier. These tools range from large to small enough to be carried around in a nurse's pocket. Each of these pieces of equipment has its own function in nursing.


A thermometer is an essential tool used by many nurses. It is used to take the temperature of patients orally, in the ear, rectally or under the armpit. The normal temperature of an adult is 37 degrees Celsius or 37.0 degrees Celsius. There are several different types of thermometers. These include the oral thermometer, which has a long and slender bulb and is used for taking temperature in the mouth or under the arm; rectal, which is short and blunt with a fat bulb; the electronic thermometer, which is battery operated, portable and used in a variety of areas; the disposable thermometer, which has a sensor strip at the end of a piece of cardboard and is designed to be used once; and the patch, with a sensor strip that can be pasted onto the forehead.


A stethoscope is a medical device that is used to listen to the internal sounds of a human's body. When the stethoscope is placed on the patient's skin, the patient may be asked to take deep breaths. Sounds are amplified through the device's diaphragm. The sounds travel through the tubing and the headset, and into the nurse's earpiece. Some nurses choose to use a more advanced, amplified stethoscope.


Nurses use an otoscope to view various areas on a patient, including the auditory canal and the inner ear. The function of this medical device is to determine if there is a blockage or wax in the ear canal, if there is infection in the auditory canal, and to check for rupture of the tympanic membrane.


Wristwatches can be useful for monitoring a patient's vital signs, and also when documenting important information. It's helpful if the watch has a second hand, is waterproof and has glow-in-the-dark features.

Blood Pressure Cuff

A blood pressure cuff is used to monitor blood pressure while the patient is relaxed. The cuff is wrapped around the patient's upper arm and the measurement taken as the nurse watches a gauge and listens with a stethoscope to the patient's blood flow. There are also electronic blood pressure monitors which are prominent in hospital settings.

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