Junk in the Trunk: 24 Must-Have Items for Home Health Therapists

In addition to driving them, we home health therapists use our cars as offices, storage rooms, lunchrooms, and even for the occasional nap.

Here are 23 items home health therapists should keep in their cars.


1. Therapy bag

Hopkins Medical Products Mark V Shoulder Bag

Hopkins Medical Rolling Med Bag

To hold your tablet/laptop, personal protective equipment, blood pressure monitor, pulse oximeter, extra batteries, etc.

We recommend Hopkins Medical Bags for Home Health Professionals.


2. Hand sanitizer

You can stick with the stuff your office gives out for free or upgrade to the fancy, organic, foaming hand sanitizer from Target. We like sanitizers with a pump for ease of use AND a cap to avoid spills.


3. Portable File Box

STERILITE Portable File Box

To store and organize multiple copies of evaluations, workbooks, blank welcome packets, patient education handouts (e.g. safe swallowing strategies, compensatory memory strategies), etc.

We use Sterilite’s Portable File Box. It’s designed to hold letter-sized hanging file folders, making it easy to organize your papers. There’s also a nifty top compartment where you can stash pens.

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4. The Home Health SLP Handbook

Everything you need to provide speech therapy to adults in the home health setting.

Evaluation templates, worksheets, patient handouts, and much more.

Amazon review: “A fantastic book that is a must for speech-language pathologist working in home health with adults!”


5. Patient Worksheets & Handouts

Complete Digital Adult Speech Therapy Workbook 9 PDF Packs image 0

Hundreds of printable patient handouts, worksheets, and therapist treatment guides. Keep copies in a portable file folder or open them on your devices during treatment.

SLP Evaluation Forms 6 Adult Eval Templates PDF Home Health image 0

Printable evaluation forms: Swallowing, Cognition, Motor Speech, Voice, Apraxia, Resonance, & Fluency


6. Gum or breath mints

ALTOIDS Smalls Peppermint Breath Mints

To hide your Flamin’ Hot Cheetos breath.

While interning at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, a patient survey there revealed that the #1 patient complaint about their therapists was bad breath! Show a little love and pop a breath mint or two before each patient.


7. Emergency plan

Because my agency said so.


8. Insulated Lunch Bag

An insulated lunch bag is a must for keeping food and drink cool during those eight-hour (or more) days in the car.


9. Large Water Bottle

Simple Modern 22 Ounce Summit Water Bottle

Preferably one with an easy-to-open lid and over 32 ounce capacity. Pro tip: bring two water bottles or refill your bottle using the “water” option on soda machines.

We recommend Simple Modern’s Stainless Steel Summit Water Bottle. This bottle holds 40 ounces, keeps your water cool, and, based on my experience of dropping it on concrete multiple times a week, is virtually indestructible.


10. Coffee or Tea Tumbler

16 COLORS Tumbler M.S. CCC SLP Coffee Tea Speech Travel image 0
SLP Flowers Tumbler 16 oz Stainless Steel Speech Therapy image 4


11. A Clipboard

Speech Therapy Reference Clipboard Illustrated medical SLP image 0
Speech Therapy Reference Clipboard Illustrated medical SLP image 2

Bonus points if the clipboard has reference material, is dry-erase, or has storage.


12. Pepper spray

SABRE Pepper Spray Keychain.

I keep this in my pocket, just in case.

We use Sabre’s Pink Pepper Spray. Haven’t had to deploy it, but it has great reviews and it’s shockingly-bright color makes it easy to find.


13. Phone charger

AINOPE Car Charger

You’ll likely be streaming podcasts, music, and directions during your drives between patients, and those apps can be battery drainers.

There are a ton of good options to choose from, but we found the AINOPE Aluminium Alloy Car Charger to have great reviews for function, looks, and customer service.


14. Phone mount


Magnetic Phone Car Mount

I prefer the magnetic mounts that clip into your car vent.

The WizGear Mount’s magnet has a larger surface area to grip your phone. The mount also ‘twist-lock’ tightens onto the air vent to remain stable while ALSO able to swivel if you need to change the angle of your phone.


15. Sunglasses

angle

Ray-Ban Clubmaster Sunglasses

Your daily eye protection is on point.


16. Earbuds

Apple Airpods

With 400,000 5-star reviews, Apple Airpods are the obvious choice for reliable, well-designed wireless earbuds.

Tozo Bluetooth Wireless Earbuds

For a more affordable option, Tozo sells a well-reviewed alternative.


17. Harbor Freight trunk organizer

Storehouse Trunk Organizer

This $14 bin has been in my car for 3 years and is holding up very well.

If you don’t have a Harbor Freight in your area, they do sell their organizer on Amazon.


18. Comfortable shoes

Crocs

Birkenstocks, Crocs, flats, fuzzy slippers. Whatever floats your boat and feels amazing on the drive back home.

Whether you love or hate the look of them, you have to admit that Crocs are super comfortable after a long day on your feet.


19. Emergency pants and shirt

Cherokee Scrubs

Bodily fluids, furry pets, and food are typical culprits for staining your work wardrobe. Have a back up.

Cherokee’s Mock Wrap Top scrubs are cute and generally well regarded for fit and comfort. Scrubs fit is highly personal depending on your body and preferences, so be sure to try them on or read reviews first!


21. Pad of Post-It Notes.

Post-it Super Sticky Notes

For To-Do lists and memos (all HIPAA compliant, of course).

I personally like sticky notes with lines as it makes jotting notes on-the-go easier and neater.


22. Dollar Tree swag

Calendars, monthly planners, white boards, highlighters, pencil grips, and large print word search puzzles.

Best Speech Therapy Materials from the Dollar Store


23. Workout shoes

Nike Women’s Free TR 8 Training Shoes

For an easy transition from work to the gym, a run, a hike, or maybe even a round of pickleball.

The Nike Free is always a solid choice for an attractive, good quality, lightweight workout shoe. Of course, the best shoe for you depends on your unique needs 🙂

To review, the 23 must-have items to have in your car:

  1. Therapy bag
  2. Hand sanitizer
  3. Box of therapy materials
  4. The Home Health SLP Handbook
  5. Patient Handouts
  6. Gum or breath mints
  7. Emergency plan
  8. Lunch box
  9. Water bottle
  10. Coffee tumbler
  11. A clipboard
  12. Pepper spray
  13. Phone charger
  14. Phone mount
  15. Sunglasses
  16. Earbuds
  17. Trunk organizer
  18. Comfortable shoes
  19. Emergency pants and shirts
  20. Donation bag
  21. Post-It Notes
  22. Dollar Tree therapy materials
  23. Workout shoes

More Resources

The Adult Speech Therapy Workbook [Chung Hwa brewer, Miwa Aparo]

The Adult Speech Therapy Workbook
Hundreds of Handouts & Worksheets

Complete Digital Adult Speech Therapy Workbook 9 PDF Packs image 7

Complete Digital Workbook
Hundreds of printable worksheets, handouts, and therapist treatment guides

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