PDA in the ER - page 2

How many of your use PDAs in the ER? How has it been helpful to you?... Read More

  1. by   LT Dave
    Quote from debx
    I call my PDA my brain extension or my Hard Drive.
    HEy thats what I call mine; My Brain Extension. Programs I run are epocretes, ACLS, Palm EKG, MedCalc...ICU RN over here.

    Advise: Want to save some $$$$$$? Buy your PDA from Ebay! I am waiting for my 2nd one which cost me $100, and it has a phone built in! Treo 300. Since the Treo 650 came out the price has gone from $300 a few months ago to $100. Many other brands to chose from just bid carefully.
  2. by   LT Dave
    Quote from leslieanne
    [font=Arial Black]Can they fit in your pocket?
    [font=Arial Black]
    [font=Arial Black]How robust are they, can they take a few knocks?
    [font=Arial Black]
    [font=Arial Black]Don't they get in your way when youre working?
    [font=Arial Black]
    [font=Arial Black]Been wondering about this for awhile....
    [font=Arial Black]
    [font=Arial Black]- les
    Get a good cover for it. I have tossed mine across the room and it still works. Just don't get it wet at all! A leather or immatation one which has a little padding to it.
  3. by   LT Dave
    Quote from lllleah
    the amount of information available in my pda would fill a backback if it were paper texts/reference books. it's nice to have the data at my fingertips when i need it. i also have other software like acls quizzes, my own
    word and excel documents for quick reference, i download articles from emergency nursing journals instead of printing them out (using adobe acrobat to view/read any pdf file). it's also an mp3 player, has wifi for checking my email and surfing the net when i'm not at home. i have a foldout keyboard so it doubles as a laptop for taking notes at conferences/classes etc. it's much more than an electronic drug guide!
    very very smart nurse! i will have to pay more attention to my adobe acrobat reader....
  4. by   LLLLeah
    Quote from leslieanne
    [font=Arial Black]Can they fit in your pocket?

    [font=Arial Black]How robust are they, can they take a few knocks?

    [font=Arial Black]Don't they get in your way when youre working?

    [font=Arial Black]Been wondering about this for awhile....

    [font=Arial Black]- les
    I bought this this case for mine and it has survived a number of drops. The case makes it a little bulkier but it fits in perfectly in any uniform pocket.
  5. by   RNCENCCRNNREMTP
    I have used a PDA in the ER for 6 years now. Currently using a full Tungsten C with a nearly full 128mb expansion card.

    Use Epocrates Essential a lot (drugs, homeopathic drugs, diagnosis guide, infectious disease, lab tests, lots of reference tables).

    I also use Infusicalc. Pre-program with hospital drip concentrations, then just plug in dose (ad weight if needed) and I have an instant drip rate.

    Use Datebook 5 to better coordinate my busy schedule.

    I lecture several times a year to nursing and physician grups about how PDA's improves safety and reduce errors for all healthcare members.

    Andrew B
  6. by   CEN35
    Quote from malusport
    How many of your use PDAs in the ER? How has it been helpful to you?
    First 2-3 years very helpful. After that I would just update with the physician magazines on the latest and newset stuff out there.

    Actually I carried around a pocket guide for a while after that from:

    http://www.emsguides.com/ - It was the critical care version, which is different than the field guides. It is more nurse appropriate rather than medic appropriate. Which is what they initially had.

    Also - http://www.nnccusa.com/ - many of the people preffered this one. It's outstanding, and includes pictures with dermatone pathways and other stuff. It is a little bigger and bulkier, and more expensive. However, it has a lot of paper.
    The other (ems guides.com) is made of a vinyl, that you can get ANYTHING including ink off it, with a wipe of the alcohol pad. It is also water proof.
    Last edit by CEN35 on Jan 30, '05
  7. by   RNCENCCRNNREMTP
    [QUOTE=CEN35]First 2-3 years very helpful. After that I would just update with the physician magazines on the latest and newset stuff out there.
    QUOTE]

    A great number of Palm based medical programs are updated constantly by the developers. Epocrates add new drug, lab and diagnostic information almost daily. You can also subscribe (for FREE) to Mobile Merck Medicus for the latest journal abstracts in your medical/nursing field of interest.
  8. by   Clipper
    Don't get me wrong, I love modern technology but I'm loathe to place all my faith in it....

    What happens if your PDA gets damaged? Has a power out? Loses its memory? What would you do?

    I realise it's a veritable encyclopedia but how much info is too much info? Are we using PDA's as crutches for our skills? I do wonder.
  9. by   RNCENCCRNNREMTP
    Quote from Clipper
    Don't get me wrong, I love modern technology but I'm loathe to place all my faith in it....

    What happens if your PDA gets damaged? Has a power out? Loses its memory? What would you do?

    I realise it's a veritable encyclopedia but how much info is too much info? Are we using PDA's as crutches for our skills? I do wonder.
    All very valid points and points that can be applied to all tools that we may use to make our jobs easier and our patients safer in our hands.

    If it gets damaged, I fall back to written references that are still around or even web based information (until my new Palm is in hand).

    Crutches for our skills? Not hardly. I still have the skills but the Palm may have a tidbit of info that my ever aging brain has bleeped out of existence to make room for memories of my kids (Yes, I do think that at times my brain works this way).

    Palms and PDA's are simply another tool that has entered into our hands. They will never replace basic info you need to function in a productive manner. It would be quite obvious to your patients, and your employer, if you had to refer to your PDA before every patient encounter, every drug administration and before forming a response to every clinical question.

    BUT, when posed with a drug, situation, question that you have never heard (or rarely) encountered before the PDA is a great resource for you and for your patient.

    Some research has shown that patients accept the PDA in clinical practice as a sign you are obtaining current and accurate clinical information.

    Have I ever gone to work without my PDA? Sure, and I did fine. Just a little longer on some drip calculations. Just a little longer on looking up a reference. Not a huge deal. But my PDA would have made things go much quicker and potentially more accurate.
  10. by   ClimbingNurse
    I just got one for christmas. Can't believe I waited this long! It is sooo much easier than trying to find the drug guide (especially in the ED). I have the prentice hall drug guide on mine. I like it a lot, but there's one thing that bugs me. When you go to look up administration it always lists PO first and you have to scroll through to get to IV. Seems stupid. We don't give a lot of orals in the ED and the PO admin is usually pretty straightforward.
  11. by   FutureSuperNurse
    are the drug guides, etc programs that you load on to the PDA or what? where do you buy them? Thanks!
  12. by   LLLLeah
    Quote from FutureSuperNurse
    are the drug guides, etc programs that you load on to the PDA or what? where do you buy them? Thanks!
    try skyscape.com
  13. by   MLL
    Quote from faithmd
    I have yet to find a reason to purchase one. Perhaps you have given me a couple of them. Yet I would find it difficult to justify spending $250+ to have a drug reference that I can open in hard copy while I am retrieving my meds.

    Now the calendar thing...but then again, those little free ones from Hallmark have served me well since I was about 12 yrs old.
    I'll buy one when I find one priced under $100 that doesn't feel like a boulder in my pocket.

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