Now before you start parting with cash, get in contact with either Students currently on your course or a member of staff that lectures for your course. I opted to email one of the course leads and asked them for an essentials and nice to have list of things for their students, here's what I'm buying:
1) A Stethoscope
Essential for a Paramedic when carrying out examinations, and if you put a decent amount of money in now before you're a poor Uni Student then you have a quality instrument that will last a career. As far as picking one goes you can't go wrong with any Littmann Stethoscopes, I'd recommend the Classic II model for a reasonably priced but excellent Steth, you can also grab them cheap and have them engraved with your name for free from here: Medisave - Cheap Littmann Stethoscopes - Your eyes may water at the price, and yes you can go onto E-Bay and pick one up a cheap Steth for £5 but, having used these cheaper alternatives I can honestly say a good Stethoscope is a sound investment - you can even try and get your family to buy you one as a congratulations you got into Uni present!
2) JRCALC A4 + Pocket
JRCALC stands for the Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee - these guys produce the medical guidelines that all UK State Registered Paramedics work under, the book comes in two forms: the light-weight pocket sized version which acts as an aide-memoire, and the full A4 version which has more indepth information and advice. Buy both! Unfortunately they seem to cost quite abit, brand new the cheapest I can find them is around £50 for both here (SP Services - JRCALC) however I would recommend checking e-bay for second hand copies! Most Uni's require you have these but will not supply them to you free of charge.
3) A 'Duty Bag'
4) A Fob Watch/Watch with Seconds Hand
Another essential bit of kit for when you're doing Patient Obs is a watch with a seconds hand, you'll use this to count how many times someone breathes or their heart beats in 15/30 seconds then times it by 4/2 in order to find out what they're doing per-minute. Digital watches are okay but I find quickly looking at the second hand easier to work out when 15 seconds has elapsed rather than working it out in your head with a digital seconds display when you're also counting someones pulse at the same time! The reason I put a Fob Watch up also is it keeps your wrists clear which is good practice for infection control (and I've done CPR on a person whilst wearing a wrist watch and it's needlessly uncomfortable).
5) Ross And Wilson Anatomy and Physiology in Health and Illness (12th Edition)
7) British National Formulary (BNF)
So there we go! Hopefully this gives some fuel for thought, if anyone has anything else they'd add to this list I'd love to hear from you!