Nurses are renowned for being able to adapt, modify, fix and gerry-rig their clinical environment using whatever equipment or resources are available.
Duct-tape may not hold the universe together, but countless rolls of medical tape pretty much hold the health system together.
So in an exercise to get your mental juices flowing and to demonstrate our combined lateral thinking acumen, I am asking you to consider some uses for the humble cardboard toilet-roll tube in the clinical setting.
- get out a pad of paper and start brainstorming. If that sounds too much like homework, just sit the pad down beside you whilst you are watching TV tonight, and jot down ideas as they come.
- think outside of the box.
Then think outside that box.
- you can use a single roll, or multiple configurations.
- uses for the rolls might be practical (and actually pretty good ideas) or be completely ‘out there’.
- Stretch your thinking. Aim for at least 10 uses.
Really creative people will probably have no problems with 50.
- Once you have finished, pick a few of your best ones and share them with us here.
- Use as listening device against tearoom door to see if staff talk about you after you have left.
- Paint in bright colours and decorate with bits of stuck on uncooked pasta and hang from ceiling in paediatrics to make a crass and cheap mobile.
- Tape a group together on their ends to make a stand for the computer screens.
- Fill with high density foam to make set of rollers for transporting patient to Xray.
- Cut into smaller sections and use as ‘rings’ to tidy up lengths of oxygen tubing.
- Wrap with adhesive tape (sticky side out) and use as a roller to remove glass, dirt, hair etc from patients sheets.
- Use as hair rollers to look your best before that big shift.
- Use with ink-pad to make circle stamps identifying interesting skin lesions.
- Insert under eyelids to splint them open wide during night shift.
- Cut into slices and then cut one end to make disposable patient ID bracelets.
- Tape two together like binoculars and use as an eye shield when trying to elicit pupil reflex in a really bright room.
- Measure tube circumference and mark. Then use to roll up the length of the bed beside a supine patient to calculate height.
- Use as plinths to keep your sandwiches and cup of tea from contacting the dubious surface of your staff room table.