Any PDA suggestions for school? Is one necessary?

  1. I have seen several suggestions to get a good PDA with good drug software. My question is what software should I get and is a PDA really necessary. Which is the best PDA and are they MAC compatible? I used to have one, but I just found it inconvenient. How often do you use it in the OR and for those of you who don't have one what do you do?What about a blackberry? Any feedback would be helpful. Thanks as usual.
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    About TexasCCRN

    Joined: May '04; Posts: 303; Likes: 6
    Resident Registered Nurse Anesthetist

    13 Comments

  3. by   jts2404
    I just got in to school and was wondering if I should purchase one. Let me know if you find out anything? Thanks!
  4. by   lifeLONGstudent
    this might be a stupid ?, but here goes:

    Does your CRNA school recommend or suggest a PDA? Maybe not a specific brand, but at least tell you what capabilities on the PDA/personal PC would be advatageous?

    just a thought. It seems like it would be helpful if they would say that this is recommended, but not required... know what I mean?
  5. by   TraumaNurse
    When I started school, I picked up a Palm Tungsten. It is not the top-of-the-line but it is fast, has plenty of memory and clear image. I use mine all the time. I have the PDA version of the clinical tracking software that my program uses, so I can log my cases while in the hospital and simply upload the data when I get home. I have several programs but the ones I use the most are "The Manual of Anesthesia Practice" " Soto's Anesthesia Drugs" and "5-min Clinical Consult". I also have Barash for PDA but I don't use it very often. All of these programs are available for Mac or PC.
    I also like my Palm because I have my phone list always available for calling fellow students with their assignments for the next day, I can carry pics of my family, and I have an MP3 player for down time or study time.
    The PDA has helped me a lot when I get switched to do a case a have not prepared for, I can do a quick look up of the procedure or anesthesia technique and at least have some idea of what I am doing.
  6. by   TraumaNurse
    LifeLONGstudent,

    In my class of 12, there were only 3 of us that had PDAs in the begining. Now most of us have them but not everyone uses them as much as I do. Our new program director is proposing PDAs as a requirement in the near future. I'm not sure how many other programs have a PDA as a requirement but i think you will see a trend in that direction.
  7. by   SproutRN
    Quote from TraumaNurse
    LifeLONGstudent,

    In my class of 12, there were only 3 of us that had PDAs in the begining. Now most of us have them but not everyone uses them as much as I do. Our new program director is proposing PDAs as a requirement in the near future. I'm not sure how many other programs have a PDA as a requirement but i think you will see a trend in that direction.
    My program at Samford does require us to have PDA's. We keep up with our cases as well as daily evaluations using Medatrax. We also purchased Lexi-Comp drug database. I have the Tungsten C which has a keyboard on it, which is very convenient.

    Sprout
  8. by   air
    Quote from TraumaNurse
    When I started school, I picked up a Palm Tungsten. It is not the top-of-the-line but it is fast, has plenty of memory and clear image. I use mine all the time. I have the PDA version of the clinical tracking software that my program uses, so I can log my cases while in the hospital and simply upload the data when I get home. I have several programs but the ones I use the most are "The Manual of Anesthesia Practice" " Soto's Anesthesia Drugs" and "5-min Clinical Consult". I also have Barash for PDA but I don't use it very often. All of these programs are available for Mac or PC.
    I also like my Palm because I have my phone list always available for calling fellow students with their assignments for the next day, I can carry pics of my family, and I have an MP3 player for down time or study time.
    The PDA has helped me a lot when I get switched to do a case a have not prepared for, I can do a quick look up of the procedure or anesthesia technique and at least have some idea of what I am doing.
    TraumaNurse,
    do you have a PDA program that tells you about case set ups?
    If you do what is the name of the program? where can that program be purchased?
    Something that mirrors Jaffe.
    I bumped into a student once with such a program and could not obtain details about it.
  9. by   TraumaNurse
    I use "The Manual of Anesthesia Practice" (TMAP) by Pocket Medicine. This program covers drugs, critical events such as ACLS protocols, co-existing diseases, Surgical procedures, and anesthesia techniques.
    I use this program as much or more than Jaffe to do careplans and when I need to review a technique (Placing a spinal or epidural for example), this program provides a nice quick reference that I always have with me.

    Go to www.pocketmedicine.com
    You can download the free trial version to get an idea of what it is like. Of all the programs I have on my PDA, this is the one I use the most and is definitely worth the $50. IMO.
  10. by   air
    Quote from TraumaNurse
    I use "The Manual of Anesthesia Practice" (TMAP) by Pocket Medicine. This program covers drugs, critical events such as ACLS protocols, co-existing diseases, Surgical procedures, and anesthesia techniques.
    I use this program as much or more than Jaffe to do careplans and when I need to review a technique (Placing a spinal or epidural for example), this program provides a nice quick reference that I always have with me.

    Go to www.pocketmedicine.com
    You can download the free trial version to get an idea of what it is like. Of all the programs I have on my PDA, this is the one I use the most and is definitely worth the $50. IMO.
    Thank you.
    I will locate and covert it.
  11. by   athomas91
    it really depends on it you are a computer oriented person or not...
    i have the HP handheld - with a few programs i have found useful - archimedes (free), the manual of anesthesia practice, and omigui's anesthesia drugs -
    they are all very useful - the most useful thing at first is your calculator...until you can do those fluid calc's in your head!!!
    i love it - but frequently forget it and forget to charge it...so i always carry a few books w/ me...

    good luck -
    if you are good keeping up with it (calender etc...) then it will benefit you. one tid-bit - the internet capable ones do not work in most OR's - and by the time they will (future) you will need a new PDA anyway - so i wouldn't waste the money!

    i got all my stuff off skyscape.com
    another tidbit - buy only one thing and they will send you an email w/ a coupon (like 20% off) your next purchase...then you can buy the rest of what you want.
  12. by   air
    athomas91,
    I guess the really issue is that, in the theater, I can hadly find time to read a book. I used to carry my Mass Gen, but I cannot remember the last time i have used in while in clincals.
    We are required to keep and update "case cards", some students have this case cards in their PDA's. Most of the information for a case card can be culled from the "brain" and Jaffe.
    I carry around a careplan for my first case.

    I used to carry a ton of stuff and never got to use them. My pockets were bulging needlessly. I made up my mind Dec 10th, PDA only.
    I use a Sony Clie Nx 80. It's just fantastic. The only thing it cannot do is think. It does bear well under my labourious use.

    I load up on books when i switch clinical sites for the first two days.

    Quote from athomas91
    it really depends on it you are a computer oriented person or not...
    i have the HP handheld - with a few programs i have found useful - archimedes (free), the manual of anesthesia practice, and omigui's anesthesia drugs -
    they are all very useful - the most useful thing at first is your calculator...until you can do those fluid calc's in your head!!!
    i love it - but frequently forget it and forget to charge it...so i always carry a few books w/ me...

    good luck -
    if you are good keeping up with it (calender etc...) then it will benefit you. one tid-bit - the internet capable ones do not work in most OR's - and by the time they will (future) you will need a new PDA anyway - so i wouldn't waste the money!

    i got all my stuff off skyscape.com
    another tidbit - buy only one thing and they will send you an email w/ a coupon (like 20% off) your next purchase...then you can buy the rest of what you want.
    Last edit by air on Jan 24, '05
  13. by   athomas91
    i carry the brain, baby barash and secrets...i use them for any small breaks i may get as well as on call...likewise if i am doing a case that i didn't know about and haven't done - they are useful. other than that i don't read them while in the OR - eyes on the pt.
  14. by   pigtails
    If your school requires or suggests a PDA, find out if they are buying them in bulk first. You will get it cheaper.

    It seems it is personal preference for the most part. I have a PALM and find it to be adequate; although, several of my friends are recently raving about the SONY clie.

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