As I am a nerd like Martin when it comes to gadgets in the prehospital setting, I am kind of  addicted to simplicity in the hospital setting. I´m Working as Anesthesiologist and Intensiv Care Doctor in an Austrian Hospital Cluster situated in Graz (2 sites, 1034 Beds). Our team is also responsible for the innerhospital emergency-management.

On “good” days we change our scrubs (blue ones for the ICU, green ones for the operation theatre and white doctors coats as well as white trousers and shirts for some other occasions ) 4 to 10 times on “busy” days more ferquently.

What helps you surviving these “clothes-changing-orgys” is to keep things simple and our equipment as small and versatile as possible.

So what do I carry? Here it is:


Left chest pocket

  • Phone
  • ballpen (cheap model which can be lost/thrown away when dirty/handed to anyone needing a ballpen without the necssity to get it back)
  • Permanent marker (Schneider Maxx 240) in my opinion the best permanet marker ever – it really writes on nearly everything and dries fast. Laugh at me if you want but dozends of times I was annoyed at permanent markers not writing on syringes, some plastics, not writing because they got a little wet – which happens quite often when writing on syringes. This one works. I´m buying them on my own – no joking – because the one we have in stock are not worth the lable permanent.
  • small notepad with sticky notes

Left pocket:

  • Stehoscope (Littmann Classic II) – great for everyday work and pricy enough (€60 approx.) not to brake down and cry if you loos it, which I almost did as I lost my Littmann electronic 3200 (€ 450) one week after I bought it.
  • Three Nitril Gloves. Why three? If you tear one, you have one in reserve.

Right pocket:

  • Keyring
    Most important items: Ambu LifeKey (barrier with a one-way valve that prevents direct contact with patient’s mouth, nose and face while resuscitation), Key for our PCA-Pumps (Smith Medical CADD), keys I need at work, pictures of my family and last bt not least a vending machine chip-key.
  • tourniquet
  • NRS/VAS Scale
  • 1 luer-lock plug (because if you don´t carry one with you everytime you need one, there isn´t one at yor hand)
  • little plastic jar with handcream – can be used for handcare and works great on dry lips too (dline NCR-NutrientCream). Keeps the skin of my hands smooth even though desinfecting them many times a day. Tried a lot of diferent creams – found no better one till now. I buy the cosmetic jars on amazone (€10 for 50 pieces) fill in the cream out of the tube and use them once because of hygienic reasons.

Alway with me:
my iPone (actual a iPhone 6, space grey, 128GB).
Most important apps:

  • “Antibiotika” by Prof. Thalhammer (German App on antibiotics – always up to date, newest guidelines and recommendations with a great search function.)
  • Oxford handbook of anaesthesia – app
    everything the “anesthesiologist of today” needs to know 🙂
  • Notebooks
    – my outsourced brain. From the programming codes for our pca-pumps to the dosing of seldom used drugs and a lot more.
    Great notetaking app. I love it because it saves the notes you take as .txt or .html files which need nearly no storageplace and can seamless be processed on every pc, mac and so on. It synchronises with dropbox which allows you to access and process your notes from nearly anywhere. Notebooks has a great search function too and you can forward any of your notes as plain-text Email.
  • Trello
    Great app for managing projects and collaborating on them. Very simple to use. You can smply drag items from one tasklist to another, rearange them assingn tasks to persons, manage add ons and so on. Try it, it´s free.
  • Scanner Pro
    Best scanner app i´ve found till now.
    Biggest advantage: takes the photo of the document by itselfe (without the necessety to press the shutter release button while shaking your camera), recognises the borders automatically crops it and sends it directly to dropbox or evernote and other cloud services.

What do you think? Any suggestions? I´d love to read your comments!




Kostja Steiner is Anesthesiologist, Intensive Care Doctor and Emergency Physician in Graz, Austria

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