Do nurses/students find pdas helpful in the ER?

  1. DO nurses and students find pdas to be helpful in the ER? I just got one for my second year of nursing school. I'm just wondering if its too fast paced to have time to look something up on your pda? I'm sure its a lot better than dragging books around with you, right? Is there nurses or students who have a pda and could tell me whether or not its useful? Or if someone has seen people using one... did the pdas seem to slow down the person or help them work more efficently? I'd really appreciate to hear from anyone who has one or has experience being around someone who used a pda in the ER. Thanks
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    About luv2shopp85

    Joined: Dec '05; Posts: 609; Likes: 14

    13 Comments

  3. by   Halinja
    My folks bought me a wonderful PDA my first year of nursing. I got several kinds of software from skyscape, but the two I used every single clinical was my Davis drug guide, and my Tabor's dictionary. It was worth it just for the drug guide alone. SO much quicker looking up a drug and locating the information I really needed. I used it most in med/surg and ICU though, not quite as often in ER. Haven't had Peds yet, but there are Ped's calculators built in.

    It fits in a scrubs pocket and is with you always. (unlike my book, which was stolen during my second clinical) I like to know exactly what drug I'm dealing with, it only takes seconds to make sure by whipping out your PDA.

    Good luck...
  4. by   MuddaMia
    Well...busy or not you must look up things you need to know,right? I would assume looking them up on a PDA would be a lot quicker than in a book!
  5. by   babynurselsa
    I use my med guides in my pda frequently.
    I work ER as an agency nurse. On occasion I have gone to look up a med in the unit medbook to find the latest edition is 5 years old. I find it only takes me moments to look up something. If it is a new drug to me or one I use infrequently then I want to double check before giving it.
  6. by   azerrn
    I love my PDA. I have my schedule on it, so that I can tell months in advance if "that is my weekend on or not". I agree with above that Taber's and a drug guide are wonderful to have. I can look up stuff faster on my PDA than most can find things in a drug book or Taber's book. I find a dictionary handy in my PDA. Epocrates is a nice free drug software but it doesn't give nursing considerations. The Mereck Manual is another free software program that is comparable with Harrison's for quality and depth of information. Plug both into your search engine and the websites should pop up.
  7. by   luv2shopp85
    Good.. I have davis's drug guide, labs and diagnostic tests, tabors, and RN notes clinical guide( same as RN notes pocket version but its for the pda)... I bought all of them from Tabers. I hope this really helps me out in my clinical. I was told before that I was unorganized so im hoping this helps me out too with my organization.

    I have a question though... when you look up meds on your drug guide...do you mark them as favorites and save them for later use like when your giving the med, or do you write it down on paper? Just wondering which is more time efficient. I could see myself using my pda and marking as favorites and then fumbling throuhg it trying to find what my instructor asks me. I think I'll try using the pda and marking favorites on the drugs im going to be giving, and using the pda and writing down what I need to do... to see which is more time efficient.
  8. by   1964RNfromTX
    I used mine all through Nursing School and still use it. It comes in very handy, although i don't work ER. I like Epocrates Drug guide better, though. They are up-to-date, and it updates your PDA every time you sync up.
  9. by   justhavefun
    3/4 of our ER staff use pda's on occasion including the docs. Wonderful tool and or crutch. I don't use mine often but carry it all the time. Wouldn't be caught without it. Love epocrates and the price is right! Have all kinds of drug calculators, etc. Of course, there are a bunch on line if you have access at work. These can print charts, etc for your drips. google: drug calculators
  10. by   azerrn
    I have a question though... when you look up meds on your drug guide...do you mark them as favorites and save them for later use like when your giving the med, or do you write it down on paper? Just wondering which is more time efficient. I could see myself using my pda and marking as favorites and then fumbling throuhg it trying to find what my instructor asks me. I think I'll try using the pda and marking favorites on the drugs im going to be giving, and using the pda and writing down what I need to do... to see which is more time efficient.[/quote]

    Writing down the medication info that you find on your PDA will help you remember it, so that when your instructor asks you questions re the drug, you may be able to answer from memory rather than shuffling thru the PDA or loose paper.

    I use the PDA mostly to reassure myself regarding uncommon drugs, that I am giving the right medication for the right problem at the right rate of speed.

    Good luck with nursing school. Remember that you need to know the basics of the medications for your examinations and will not be able to use the PDA during examinatiions.
  11. by   MuddaMia
    How do you mark a drug as a favorite to have handy to recheck? I am new at this PDA stuff and I dont see how to do that
  12. by   babynurselsa
    On the newest update on epocrates I think you are able to save as favorites. I haven't utilized this yet.
    I find it only takes moments to look something up so I personally wouldn't bother writing things down as that is just another piece of paper in my pocket.
    I have epocrates and Davis drug guide. Davis has the more specific nursing considerations like dilutions, compatabilities and infusion times.
  13. by   luv2shopp85
    Well I use davis's drug guide and at the top toolbar th4ere is a little button marked favorites and you can add drugs there and save them for later use. Just click the favorites button and i think it asks you if you want to save it. Or if you're lazy you can just refer back to the history tab, also at the top of the tool bar, for the most recently used drugs.
  14. by   Pat_Pat RN
    I use my PDA all the time. I am the Unit coordinator in the ER here. I have all the phone numbers to the docs that we call frequently, also hospitals and specialists. I use Epocrates too, sometimes the nurse or doc will ask a question about a med, I can find the answer quicker than using the book, and since they all know I always have it, they just look at me for the answer. Is that "Mereck" or "Merck" drug guide?
    Thanks
    Patrick

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