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Surgical RN makes badge reels for nurses on Etsy

Trauma queen. Boo boo crew.  Chaos coordinator.  Renal rocks.

badge reels for nurses

Amanda Abdala, RN, BSN

These are among the messages on the handcrafted nurse-themed badge reels and holders Amanda Abdala, BSN, RN, sells online in her Etsy shop.

The surgical floor nurse and entrepreneur offers more than 500 badge reels, badge holders and crocheted gifts, including coffee cozies, lens buddies, planner clips and popsicle holders in her shop, called Mandag433’s Knitting Shop.

The more than 2,200 reviews on Abdala’s creations are packed with five-star ratings and words of praise.

Abdala, who works at Chester County Hospital in West Chester, Pa., opened her Etsy shop in 2009, the same year she graduated from nursing school. She’s always loved crafting, she said.

Among her first items were knitted and crocheted creations, including baby hats and cup cozies. Today, the mother of two young boys focuses her Etsy business on badge reels for nurses, which range in price from $7.99 to more than $13 each. Her shop started as a hobby that quickly flourished.

“Since I started doing the badges it blossomed like crazy,” Abdala said. “It is more of an income now and a business — like a full-time business. In the last week, I had 170 orders. And there could be multiple badges in one order.”

Nurses are some of her biggest customers.

“I always tell people at work, I’m going to take over the hospital one badge at a time,” she said.

It’s a balancing act to have two jobs

It’s hard to achieve work-life balance between motherhood, entrepreneurship, nursing and marriage. But Abdala said nursing is a flexible enough profession to make it all work.

“Since 2010, I’ve been doing weekend programs,” she said. “I work three out of four weekends, 12-hour day shifts, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. It’s the perfect job because I can do six days a month and get full-time benefits and still do my business during the week and take care of my kids all week. It really is the perfect career. Working Monday through Friday, there’s no way I’d have the time and energy to do my Etsy.”

Abdala’s husband recently started his own company, so the benefits Abdala earns as a nurse are important, she said.

Hand-crafted badge reels for nurses

Abdala machine embroiders all her badge reels.

badge reels for nursesAlthough she makes custom badge reels for nurses, as well as ones with holiday, teacher, sports, animal and other themes, her healthcare profession badge reels are a crowd favorite.

She also has a variety of merchandise for nurse subspecialties, including pediatrics, emergency nursing, oncology and mental health. There’s even a popular badge reel for nurses of an intestine with a poop emoji for gastroenterology nurses. A baby in a uterus is another big seller.

“My badge reels are perfect for anyone who wants to add some flair to their boring badge holder. They are great for nurses, doctors, hospital staff, dentists, office staff or anyone who wears an ID badge,” she writes on her Etsy page.

Seeing people wear her creations or hearing about nurses and others wearing the badges makes her happy, Abdala said.

“I’m always looking for new badges to make,” she said.  “I’m open to suggestions from other nurses and want to work on more badges for subspecialties in nursing — more mental health and school nursing badges. There are so many aspects and avenues you can have in nursing. I want to make sure I have something for everyone.”

Want to see more? Follow Abdala on Instagram. For nurses inspired by Abdala’s entrepreneurial spirit, Etsy offers information to help you get started.


Take these courses about surgical care:

Prevention of Infection: Surgical Site Infections
(1 contact hr)
Surgical Site Infections (SSIs) are a concerning, expensive, and prevalent hospital-acquired infection problem. Come learn about the incidence and state of SSIs in the US and how interventions to decrease the incidence of SSIs are affecting outcomes. Are SSIs preventable or an unfortunate expectation in healthcare?

Perioperative Nurses Lead the Way in Managing Surgical Patients’ Skin Integrity
(1 contact hr)
Pressure injury affects the more than 2.5 million hospitalized patients each year in the U.S. Studies have shown that patients who develop pressure ulcers have an increased rate of mortality. The people most affected are older adults and people with a major injury or comorbid disease. In the OR, management of a patient’s skin integrity is a challenge. Anesthetized patients cannot adjust their position in response to physiological discomfort and lack of sensation. The state of anesthesia (general, local, block, or sedation) and anesthetic agents may compromise physiological response to ischemic tissue under pressure. Pressure injury may not be noticed until up to four days postop, and it may appear as a reddish-maroon or purple area by floor personnel. In the OR, the injured area may look reddish, which is caused by reperfusion after prolonged ischemia. This module will provide nurses with evidence-based practice changes that will promote their management of skin integrity in the OR.

Keep It Clean: Hand Hygiene and Skin Antisepsis
(1 contact hr)
Whether at the surgical site or on the hands of the healthcare provider, skin is laden inherently with resident and transient flora. Inadequate hand hygiene allows opportunistic pathogens in varying life stages to transfer between patients and other surfaces during everyday activities. Yet many healthcare workers across various disciplines continue to have poor hand hygiene despite best-practice evidence about microbial transfer between people. Proper preoperative patient skin antisepsis and hand hygiene can minimize surgical site infections, and healthcare professionals across disciplines should collaborate to enhance adherence.

By | 2019-07-01T21:53:01+00:00 June 20th, 2019|Categories: Nurses stories, Nursing careers and jobs|1 Comment

About the Author:

Lisette Hilton
Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has been a freelance health reporter for more than 25 years and loves her job.

One Comment

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    shajib hasan September 19, 2019 at 7:52 am - Reply

    thank you for sharing your experience

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