What should home health SLPs buy? 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 20 items that home health SLPs should keep in their cars.
What Should Home Health SLPs Buy?
1. Therapy 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
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 Adult Speech Therapy Starter Pack
Hundreds of printable patient handouts, worksheets, goal banks, assessment templates, and much more. Keep copies in a portable file folder or open them on your devices during treatment.
5. Gum or 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.
6. Emergency plan
Because my agency said so.
7. 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.
8. A 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.
Or visit The SLP Shop on Etsy for cute options.
9. A Clipboard
10. Pepper spray
I keep this in my pocket, just in case.
11. Phone 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.
12. Phone 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.
Your daily eye protection is on point.
With 400,000 5-star reviews, Apple Airpods are the obvious choice for reliable, well-designed wireless earbuds.
For a more affordable option, Tozo sells a well-reviewed alternative.
15. Harbor Freight 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.
16. Comfortable shoes
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.
17. Emergency pants and shirt
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!
18. Pad of Post-It 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.
19. Dollar Tree swag
Calendars, monthly planners, white boards, highlighters, pencil grips, and large print word search puzzles.
20. Workout 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 🙂
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