Do I NEED a PDA? Anyone get through school just fine w/o one? - page 2

I'm kind of anti-technology. Don't get me wrong, I love my computer. But that's about it. I'm reading all these threads about PDAs and bringing laptops to school, etc. I'm wondering if there are... Read More

  1. by   EyesForward
    I just finished my first semester, and LOVE my pda. While everyone else is carrying drug guides, medical dictionaries, and lab manuals around I just tap, tap, tap and there it is...every detail about each drug I'm giving a patient, the definition of ileostomy, why I should be concerned if my patient's Na comes back at a certain high value, and what those pesky abbreviations are. Everyone in my clinical, including my instructor, had me looking up things during pre-conference, and on the floor they came running for help translating medical phrases into Spanish. In clinicals you do need the manuals I mentioned (at least we do), because we have to look up information on drugs, pathophys, labs, nursing diagnoses, etc. right there before we give a drug, for example. If it sounds like a toy to you then there is nothing wrong with doing it the other way...how you get your information is up to you as long as you get the information. But if you like having all your books in your pocket, plus your calendar, phone numbers, Word documents, calculator, and a thousand possible medical applications, a PDA is invaluable.
  2. by   PHM
    Just finished our RN program and used a PDA through most of it. My thoughts . . . .

    1. Found it more valuable at home than at the hospital. Was so much easier doing preclinical workups running through the PDA software than reaching for 20 lb med/surg, pharm, etc books that surrounded me. Hospital was simply too busy to be stopping and looking stuff up on it.

    2. In clinicals when I did get a chance, I did use it for drug info, Y set compatiblility, etc. Also found some of the patient teaching stuff kind of convenient. Lippincott Manual (on PDA) was also good for quick review of tasks I'd be doing later (dsg changes, catheters, blood, etc).

    3. I intend to bring it with me during my upcoming GN floor orientation, but honestly think I'll only use it as a backup or last resort.

    Bottom line, it's been good to me. Value is really related to how much and what kind of software you have loaded. I also have several non-nursing related spreadsheets loaded on it (phone numbers, address, finance, budget, etc) that I quickly can update and then synch later with the computer.

    Best of luck,

    Phil
  3. by   Nurse GOODNIGHT
    Just kinda curious what kind of programs have so many luddite teachers that do not allow pdas? Even though I was the only one in my clinical group to have one (possibly my whole class) I was the one all the other students came to for answers to their ?s. Even the instructor. I know in the fall with 300+ clinical hours to do it will come in handy. It came in handy this semester during my pimping sessions. I rocked when asked a ? Even used the drug feature (pepid) to do my care plans in advance (yuck-required) and then when I got to the hosp. the next morning if my pt had been d/c'd and I had to pick another pt or my pt changed meds I would look up my meds with my PDA so I could give them after being pimped by my instructor. Invaluable.
  4. by   fnimat1
    All of these PDA threads are very helpful and very informative. I've been thinking about purchasing one for myself. I'm definitely going to ask one of the nursing professors when I have orientation on Wednesday.

    Fatima
  5. by   Nurse GOODNIGHT
    Quote from Nurse GOODNIGHT
    Just kinda curious what kind of programs have so many luddite teachers that do not allow pdas? Even though I was the only one in my clinical group to have one (possibly my whole class) I was the one all the other students came to for answers to their ?s. Even the instructor. I know in the fall with 300+ clinical hours to do it will come in handy. It came in handy this semester during my pimping sessions. I rocked when asked a ? Even used the drug feature (pepid) to do my care plans in advance (yuck-required) and then when I got to the hosp. the next morning if my pt had been d/c'd and I had to pick another pt or my pt changed meds I would look up my meds with my PDA so I could give them after being pimped by my instructor. Invaluable.
    PS also the drug carts/doors to invasive procedures/ hosp pharmacy etc have diff codes/ext #s etc. I have all #s/passwords/codes to these. My password to electronic charting is different for different facilities. So when my preceptor says callXXX I get right on it as opposed to the others who go to the nurses station, ask the unit secretary ask several people etc and 10 minutes later.......you know...........ummmm........(I'm on my next case already)
    PPS One of the reasons cited by my classmates for not having one/knowing how to use---money..When I graduate I'll get one, etc etc etc....If you graduate(just kidding). Know 99% get by without one but man is it handy. Wave of the future. Think some of the Ivy leagues require their use
    Last edit by Nurse GOODNIGHT on Jul 1, '04
  6. by   #1rnstudent
    I wish my school would wake up to the future and encourage the students to get one. Then we could get discounts. Unfortunately, they won't so I end up paying full price for any software I need/want.

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