Visiting Nurses: Portable Baby Scales – what to look for

Its a growing trend, and yet another opportunity for nurses already in the profession, as well as those aspiring to become licensed nurses: Visiting Nurses.  Whether office-based or in the field however, the fundamentals will never change, and this includes recording vital signs.  To monitor weight, the best way to accomplish this in the field is  by using a portable digital baby scale.

3 things to look for in portable digital baby scales (best practices)

1.  Light weight.  7-9 pounds would be considered a competitive weight for a baby scale device; less than 7 lbs. is even better.  This becomes an issue of obvious importance after you complete your 6th visit of the day and have to walk 200 yards back to your car after finally finding that parking space! 

2.  Combination baby / toddler scale.  Can the baby tray be removed so the scale converts to a floor scale to measure toddlers?  If so, you’ve got a keeper, and the efficiency of a scale designed in this way will serve you well in the field.

3.  Optional Carry Case.  If the scale has a carry case designed specifcally to accomodate the scale, that’s ideal.  Yes, you can stuff it in a backpack if you need to, but a carry case designed specifically for the scale is an ideal way to go. 

So there you have it:  light weight, convertability (baby / standing toddler) and a custom carry case, usually optional.  Other factors have their place also – weight capacity, accuracy and price – but I would begin by looking at the above 3 characteristics first, then go from there.

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