How does a PDA help you during school and clinicals? - page 2

(First of all please don't forward this to the PDA forum right away because it's way too slow. Thanks) Hello. I was thinking about buying a PDA for school, and for anything thereafter and I was... Read More

  1. by   azrn08
    I start my first semester Jan 29 and I'm excited about using my new PDA that my hubby just bought for me. I wanted a smartphone PDA so we decided on the UTStarcom as it has a bigger screen and WiFi. It carries the windows version but Epocrates supplies both windows and palm and I am more familiar with windows as that is what I use at home.

    I have chose to buy all of my books however I was surprised that many of them can be purchased as ebooks and transferred directly to my PDA. I do plan on buying a few but I wanted to wait and ask my instructors which ones they thought would be the most beneficial.
  2. by   jov
    Quote from azrn08
    I was surprised that many of them [textbooks] can be purchased as ebooks and transferred directly to my PDA. I do plan on buying a few but I wanted to wait and ask my instructors which ones they thought would be the most beneficial.
    Do you really like reading a textbook on a 3 inch screen?
  3. by   RN007
    I absolutely love my Palm Tungsten e. I use it frequently for scheduling, ph numbers, etc., synced w/my laptop.

    I have Davis Drug Guide and Tabers and use them all the time. It's the easiest way for me to do drug cards for clinicals b/c I can go back and forth btw class, indications, side effects, etc. in no time. I use it during clinicals to look up all sorts of things. It's hard to find dictionaries on the floor, and students come up to me frequently asking me to look up things.

    I also use it for reference during class, when the instructor uses a term or mentions a condition I've forgotten about.

    I'm lost w/o it!

    P.S. To whoever asked about taking notes: It has a note-taking function that allows you to hand-write notes. I use it for pt vital signs and to write myself notes so I don't forget to do things.
  4. by   rotary
    I considered buying one, but decided against it as there are computers at every nursing station. You can quickly find answers using the internet and reputable sites.
  5. by   Sheri257
    I'm still using my PDA to study for the NCLEX so, for me, it was well worth the investment. Here's how it saved me a ton of time in school:

    1) Reading: with all of the massive reading assignments I hated having to stop, flip though a 1,000 pages in Taber's to look up a word I didn't know, just to run across yet another word I didn't know and having to do the same thing. With the PDA I just punched it in and that was it ... so I could actually have time to concentrate on the reading itself.

    2) Care Plans: most of the drug, lab info, nursing diagnoses, etc. was readily available at my fingertips instead of, again, having to flip through a 10,000 pages in 10 books to find that same info, which took way too much time. I could punch in my patient's disease and get 10 possible ND's for the patient right there. And it was particularly handy when I got a patient who had 20 drugs that I needed to look up quickly.

    3) Clinicals: being able to look up a drug, disease or procedure quickly was great, especially if the drug was due right away. Even the RN's would sometimes borrow my PDA. Also: you didn't have to haul a ton of books around to the hospital.

    4) NCLEX: even as I'm studying for the NCLEX, I'm constantly using my PDA. Stuff I can't remember from two years ago is readily available at my fingertips as I'm doing practice questions.

    In short: I can't imagine life without it.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Jan 5, '07
  6. by   Sheri257
    Quote from rotary
    I considered buying one, but decided against it as there are computers at every nursing station. You can quickly find answers using the internet and reputable sites.
    I see your point here but, there's one major problem: a lot of hospitals don't have internet access at the nurses' stations anymore because of employee abuse.

    And, I don't know about your experience but for me ... getting a seat at the nursing station to sit down and look something up is usually pretty tough. What are you going to do? Tell the RN's ... hey, give me your seat at the computer because I'm a student that needs to look something up?

    Also: I don't always find what I need on the internet. PDA nursing programs are designed specifically for nurses so ... in a lot of cases for me, at least, I get what I need from those programs more than what I find on the internet.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Jan 5, '07
  7. by   rotary
    Quote from lizz
    I see your point here but, there's one major problem: a lot of hospitals don't have internet access at the nurses' stations anymore because of employee abuse.

    And, I don't know about your experience but for me ... getting a seat at the nursing station to sit down and look something up is usually pretty tough. What are you going to do? Tell the RN's ... hey, give me your seat at the computer because I'm a student that needs to look something up?

    Also: I don't always find what I need on the internet. PDA nursing programs are designed specifically for nurses so ... in a lot of cases for me, at least, I get what I need from those programs more than what I find on the internet.

    :typing
    I see your point. I'm not saying PDA's aren't helpful, but I've yet to encounter any problems accessing the computers because of other nurses using it.

    That being said, I'm still a nursing student so I don't spend the majority of my time on the floor. When I'm full-time, I may have to get one.
  8. by   azrn08
    As for me i bought all of my hardcover books and I will use my PDA for references ie. drug classification and interactions.
  9. by   jov
    Quote from RN007
    P.S. To whoever asked about taking notes: It has a note-taking function that allows you to hand-write notes. I use it for pt vital signs and to write myself notes so I don't forget to do things.
    I understand the note pad feature in the PDA (I have a Palm TX). However, Scrubz almost made it sound like he intended to use it "to take notes." Scribbling a reminder is one thing, "taking notes" is quite another (to me anyway).
  10. by   Megsd
    Quote from jov
    I understand the note pad feature in the PDA (I have a Palm TX). However, Scrubz almost made it sound like he intended to use it "to take notes." Scribbling a reminder is one thing, "taking notes" is quite another (to me anyway).
    I knew a kid in a linguistics class I took that actually used his PDA "to take notes." He had a collapsible keyboard that could plug into his PDA so he didn't have to use the on-screen stuff. So it's possible, though I don't know how practical it would be.
  11. by   RN007
    Quote from Megsd
    I knew a kid in a linguistics class I took that actually used his PDA "to take notes." He had a collapsible keyboard that could plug into his PDA so he didn't have to use the on-screen stuff. So it's possible, though I don't know how practical it would be.
    I have a friend who does this in nursing classes. Seems to work great. I thought about it but realized I retain info better if I write it.
  12. by   Scrubz
    Quote from jov
    I understand the note pad feature in the PDA (I have a Palm TX). However, Scrubz almost made it sound like he intended to use it "to take notes." Scribbling a reminder is one thing, "taking notes" is quite another (to me anyway).
    No, by notes I meant small notes to myself mainly. Not taking notes in class. I like to hand write notes in class because it helps me remember


    As far as the keyboard thing goes, I wouldn't do that in class to begin with because if someone else was doing it, it would annoy me to death!

    By the way, how does the handwriting function work when taking notes? Do you write, or do you have to click and drag letters?
  13. by   arpeggiated
    There's a special "Palm alphabet" that you'll have to learn.

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