We’ve brought What’s in Your Work Bag back by popular demand, after receiving a super-positive response about the first installment in Issue 1 (some of that fun reader feedback appears below!). Just as you may have suspected all along, it seems that everyone is a bit curious about what colleagues and friends are lugging around with them all day, every day.

WHAT’S IN YOUR WORK BAG? In this issue, we take a look inside the work bag of Roy Gier, RN, who is a diabetes clinical manager (DCM) for Medtronic Diabetes in Eastern Ohio and Northern West Virginia.

We’re not sure if Roy was ever a Boy Scout, but he has definitely embraced the Scouts’ “Be Prepared” credo. “Since 70% of my time is devoted to patient training and 30% is dedicated to educating healthcare professionals [HCPs], my bag is tailored to these objectives,” Roy says. “I like to be prepared for any situation that can have an effect on training quality, such as forgotten supplies or educational materials.”

Here’s the skinny on what’s important enough to Roy to carry it with him everywhere he goes:

  • Revel® and MiniMed® 530G demo pumps for Bolus Wizard® demonstrations
  • Bayer CONTOUR®NEXT LINK meter for CareLink® uploads
  • Laptop computer for CareLink downloads and HCP trainings (slide presentations, etc.)
    “I like to have the ability to do pump and sensor downloads at follow-up so I can share the data and patient successes with the HCPs,” Roy explains.
  • Pumping Protocol books
  • MiniMed 530G with Enlite® patient education packs
    “My copy center card is never far away—it’s important that the diabetes educators I work with have plenty of patient guides and hand-outs at their fingertips,” Roy says. “If it makes their job easier and supports better patient outcomes, it’s on the top of my to-do list!”
  • Carb-counting materials and portion-size wallet cards
  • Patient education tear-off sheets
  • Extra Enlite sensors:
    “When you’re on the road and going from practice to practice, you’ve got to have back-up for your back-ups,” Roy says. “I keep a couple of extra sensors in my work bag, and if I need to leave them behind, I always have a few more stashed in my car’s glove compartment—just in case.”
  • Extra infusion sets, reservoirs, and skin preps
  • Enlite inserter, overtapes, and alcohol wipes
  • Extra batteries (they happen to be Energizer® brand—which, like Roy, “Keep going and going!”)
  • What’s NOT in Roy’s work bag, but (almost) always in his hand: “COFFEE!”

Inquiring minds want to know:

What do In the Know readers have in your work bags?

If you have interesting and/or useful items in your work bag and want to share them with the world—or at least the diabetes educator community—please drop us a note at IntheKnow@medtronic.com.
In the Know asked “What’s in Your Work Bag?”—and our readers delivered! Here’s what you had to say:

From Valerie J. Spier, MPH, RD, CDE, CDTE, CPT, clinical dietitian/diabetes educator at Palo Alto Medical Foundation in Fremont, California:

I carry:
  • 10% bleach solution pre-moistened towelettes to sanitize tabletops at public places for pump training.
  • A compact mirror, so patients can see the infusion set and check for leaks.
  • My business card with contact information—supplemented with a conversation about how/when to contact me versus customer support versus their doctor.

Valerie says what you carry in your heart is just as important as what you carry in your work bag. “My best advice: If a patient is short with you, don’t take it personally. Living with diabetes can be stressful. Patients who appear grumpy and difficult are often struggling with situations that are tough, and this can be further complicated by glucose highs or lows that affect their moods. A little empathy goes a long way, and when you win a patient over and make a breakthrough, it’s the best feeling in the world—for both of you.”

From Carolyn Losure, MS, RD, CDE, CD-N, diabetes clinical manager at Medtronic:

I have a LOT of items in my work bag:

  • A cute change purse with AAA batteries
  • A big plastic test tube with a screw top to act as a portable sharps container
  • A plastic baggie filled with disposable gloves
  • Colored pens and highlighters
  • Scissors (so I don't break a nail opening all the boxes!)
  • Chargers for my phone, tablet, and computer
  • Sticky notes
  • A change purse with quarters for parking meters
  • Ear buds to listen to training modules and other professional audio materials
  • A few protein bars
  • Lip balm for cold New England days
  • Saline vials
  • Glucose tabs
  • A make-up bag—one of those freebies you get during a giveaway from major cosmetic companies. It’s compact, yet big enough to hold alcohol wipes, IV prep, BARD® Protective Barrier Film Wipes (which require a prescription), Tegaderm™, IV3000* dressings and Enlite tapes, and even a test plug!

And in case you were wondering: “Yes, it’s on wheels—because it weighs more than I do!” Carolyn says.

What in your work bag? In the Know [Medtronic Diabetes and Bayer HealthCare]. http://www.professional.medtronicdiabetes.com/diabetes-educators/whats-your-work-bag. Accessed June 24, 2015.

Bode BW, Kyllo J, Kaufman FR. Pumping Protocol: A guide to insulin pump therapy initiation. Northridge, CA: Medtronic Diabetes Medical Education. 2012. https://s3.amazonaws.com/medtronic-hcp/Pumping%20Protocol%20-%20a%20Guide%20to%20Insulin%20Pump%20Therapy%20Initiation.pdf. Accessed June 24, 2015.