Peter Canning at Streetwatch: Notes of a Paramedic has been doing a regular series of the most essential meds in his drug box.
Not unusually, well over half of the drugs he carries never get used. That happens with quite a bit of the equipment we carry on our rigs. Reflective triangles, traction splints, bedpans, blood tubing… most of it gathers dust on the shelf.
But there are a couple of essential pieces of equipment that no EMT should ever be without, items so essential that many people consider them part of their wardrobe:
A wristwatch, and a pen.
And here is your fair notice: If you are an EMT student, and you show up for a shift on my truck and do not have a wristwatch with a second hand, and some sort of writing implement, I will summarily send your ass home to fetch them.
Just like I did this morning, in fact.
Way to start the morning, rookie. Your preceptor is monumentally unimpressed.