My first medical checklist

Laugh if you want, this helps my life, at least at work.

For months after starting my current gig, I would sometimes get to work with everything in all my pockets, and sometimes not.

I’d forget my ID, or my pen, or my phone, or my…well, there you go.

Then my OCD started to kick in, and, a Mental Checklist was born.
I now have to get 6 things, and set them on the table or I screw it up every time.

  • ID
  • stethoscope
  • my phone
  • work phone
  • pen
  • sharp stick (I’ve written about this before, but cannot find it. You should search an ER blog for the word ‘knife’ and then wonder why you bothered).

Last week I apparently went against the checklist, and halfway through the shift realized I’d lost my ID. Of course, after about a combined half-hour of fruitless search I gave up, and found it in my bag on the way out. Geez.

Yeah, it sounds stupid. But if it’s stupid and it works, it’s not stupid.




  1. During my years as an Emergency Doc my “tools” I could not do without were:
    Stethoscope – Couldn’t hear with anyone elses
    Pen – Yeah, it had to be a certain kind
    Palm Pilot – With about 14 medical tomes on it
    Anything else was superfluous and soon forgotten…

  2. If it works , use it .:-)

  3. Mrs. Fred says:

    A junior high teacher told us “plan your work, then work your plan”. Sounds to me like you’re following her advice.

  4. The Happy Hospitalist says:

    I have people that help me find the things I lose. And I lose a lot of things.

  5. We find writing it down helps to remember. Write a list down and post it.

  6. Jim in Texas says:

    if it’s stupid and it works, it’s not stupid.”

    Spoken like a true GI, that’s the motto of every NCO I’ve ever known!!!!!