Equipment tends to be a non-negotiable. You will more than likely never use your tuning forks after didactic, but it’s something you have to buy. I suggest if you know you may never use an item after school, buy it used. Check eBay, medical forums, and even ask the upper class if they still have their equipment.
Do not skimp on your stethoscope and do not buy it used. There many options out there that do an amazing job. But, more importantly, it is the user who is in control of the function. There are very expensive and high-tech stethoscopes on the market that record sound clips, reduce ambient noise, amplify sound, record a heart rate, and even have a telefeature that allows another person to listen to heart, lungs, etc.–these tend to range upwards of $500.00. I personally do not believe you will need that just yet, so stick to the basics. Your program will most likely go over the minimum requirements which typically range from $100-$200.00, which is relatively modest compared to an electronic stethoscope. Everyone has their personal preference when it comes to a stethoscope, but I personally like Littman. My mother gifted me her 2004 Littman Master Cardiology II that she used during nursing school.
Some programs will require you to buy an ophthalmoscope and otoscope set. This varies within the programs significantly due to the cost of the diagnostic set. My program required us to buy a Welch Allyn 3.5V Standard Diagnostic Set which costs upwards of $500.00, so we can be comfortable during testing situations. I ended up buying a Welch Allyn Diagnostic set for $320.00 on eBay and it works just fine and saved a bunch. I am glad that I bought it since I can practice in the comfort of my home. I would not recommend buying a cheaper alternative-off, because the quality is poor. Other items like tuning fork, pen flashlight, reflex hammer are pretty easy and cheap to pick up.
Finally, let’s talk about scrubs. I have not used scrubs extensively during the first three semesters of the program, but I know other programs do for almost every lab. Everyone has their brand that they absolutely love, whether its Grey’s Anatomy, Cherokee, or Dickies–everyone has their reason. I personally love my Figs scrubs because they are comfortable, the fabric is stretchy, and their fit is second to none!