Anyone looking into using a PDA for School?

  1. I've read some talk of them in several threads... wondering how handy one would be for clinicals, etc... are they worth the $ investment $ ? And, where do you get the software for Nursing?

    Can anyone recommend, or NOT recommend using one?

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    About mom2three

    Joined: Jan '04; Posts: 44; Likes: 1


  3. by   HisTreasure
    I just bid and won one on Ebay. It is a Sony Clie, and it is AWESOME. It truly is a mini-laptop with everything you need. I've downloaded Pepid, which I will subscribe to, and Epocrates, Tabers, Davis', Diagnosaurus, Due Yesterday (an assignment and grade organizer, which seems like it will be REALLY useful), RNotes, PatientKeeper, the ebook "Nursing Care Plans", as well as a couple of games and a "graffiti" area replacement keyboard called Fitaly which is freeware if you have a monochrome screen or shareware if you have a color screen (FitalyStamp) I have FitalyStamp, it is time restricted, but the license says you can uninstall and reinstall it after the expiration if you want.

    The best part, my 16 MB color PDA with expansion port was $47 with S&H! (Ebay rules!)

    Now, I'm not in class yet, but just for the organizational programs and the ability to carry only the PDA instead of all the references alone makes it worthwhile to me.
  4. by   #1rnstudent
    PDAs are great! Just be sure to get one that runs with Palm OS because then you will have access to the most software, freeware, etc. Nursing related and other related software. Last week, I saw a report on CNN that Sony is going to stop selling PDAs outside of Japan this year. Keep your eyes open and maybe you can get a Clie at a good price.
  5. by   mom2three
    For the great advice and information on PDAs.... I'm definately going to research and look into them.
  6. by   CarVsTree
    Ugh!!! Do NOT use the link feature it will forever lose your long winded reply...

    Anyway, Sue PDA Queen here...

    Here's what to look for in a PDA. At least 16mb internal memory with an expansion card (usually Secure Digital or Memory Stick).

    I concur with sticking with Palm OS, not only are there more choices for software, software takes up a lot less room. For example, Taber's Med Dix takes up 13mb in Palm OS and 21mb in Pocket PC...

    Sony has 2 entry level palms currently on market... TJ197 and TJ 297. Both have 32mb internal memory, 320x320 color screen, Sony Memory Stick slot, both take pix (don't get in the habit of taking pt's pix though-HIPPA). The 297 is also WiFi capable, can access wireless network where one is available. Caveat Emptor, Sony now has a 12 month PARTS but only 90 day labor warranty on their PDA's. Also, since Memory Stick is proprietary to Sony, you won't see as many sales on them. $199 &$299 respectively.

    Palm's Zire 31 $149 is a great value. 160x160 color display (you'll notice its not as bright as the Sony's or higher end Palms). Don't know if you remember the old dual scan laptop computers, but its that technology. But, its got 14mb internal w/ a Secure Digital memory card slot (I think the 14mb could be pushing it, but you can probably live with it if need be). All Palm's have a 12month parts/labor warranty.

    Palm's Zire 72 is much nicer w/camera and 32mb internal SD slot, but its $299.

    Palm's Tungsten E is the most bang for your buck in the Palm lineup. 320x320 color screen, 32mb internal memory, SD card slot. Funky connector though, so you'll have to go wireless if you want to connect to a keyboard. Right now, I know Circuit City has them for $199 w/ 2 syli and a case.

    Also, look on ebay for the Sony SJ22, they aren't available in stores, but have been a big seller on ebay. You might be able to find one new (don't pay more than $100 though). They have 320x320 color screen, 16mb internal memory w/ memory stick card slot.

    Memory stick or Secure Digital cards: Get a 128mb and you should be find. Around $50-60 but you can often find them on sale (especially secure digital). BTW, Sandisk makes all flash memory cards - even when they say Sony or Palm or whoever on them). So if Sandisk is on sale, get a Sandisk brand.

    BTW, when buying keyboards for PDA's go here... They make all the keyboards for the PDA's under various names like Fellowes, Belking, Sony, etc. If you buy direct from them w/o the name, you'll save a lot.

    Places to get that Nursey software... and my personal favorite... Skyscape will link all of there Skyscape programs together on your Palm which is great. I have Davis Drug Guide, Taber's, RNNotes, and some Careplan program and they're all linked, very cool. Also, the more programs you buy at one time, they higher discount you get. When you install them, Skyscape will ask you where you want them (internal memory-NO or Memory card-YES). Great programs, great tech. support too!

    I use my PDA everyday and would be lost w/o it.

    O.k. I think I'm done now... Happy shopping!!!
    Last edit by CarVsTree on Jun 10, '04
  7. by   FsPilotMed1
    I'm currently using a Palm Tungsten C, and it ROCKS! Definitely stick with the palm operating system, the more memory the better, I really like the high-res color screens on the Palm Tungsten PDA's. Skyscape has many excellent nursing programs available for use. Hope you get a good deal on a PDA!

  8. by   Altra
    I would absolutely recommend one -- once you're in clinicals you will appreciate having a drug guide at your fingertips while your classmates are schlepping books back & forth and trying to find an unobstrusive place to stash them at the nurses station.

    I have nothing against the Palm OS, but I have to absolutely disagree that there is more software available for the Palm platform than the Windows CE/Mobile platform. See and various other sites ... many, many, many choices available. There may perhaps be more free software for Palms - I haven't researched this, so I don't know. But when you consider I got a bundle of software for $86 from Skyscape that contains a drug guide, lab reference guide & other stuff ... it's far less than it would cost to buy the books so I don't consider it at all expensive.

    Happy shopping.
  9. by   sunnkist4
    I am going to be a Senior Nursing student and I recieved a PDA for my second Spring semester clinicals last year and I love it!!! I love my drug program and the diagnostic lab test manual. It really helps to quickly look up the information that I need and it's great that the step of searching for a book has been eliminated. My clinical instructor would actually come and use my PDA while working with some of the other students in my clinical. I would really suggest getting one, the med students at my University all get a PDA for free and I really think that nursing students would also benefit from getting these!

    Have a great day!!
  10. by   mjbsn2006
    I'm trying to choose b/w the Tungsten C & T3, they are the same price. I like the C's keyboard. Do you know what the real difference is b/w the 2, which one is best suited for nursing? Thanks.

    Quote from FsPilotMed1
    I'm currently using a Palm Tungsten C, and it ROCKS! Definitely stick with the palm operating system, the more memory the better, I really like the high-res color screens on the Palm Tungsten PDA's. Skyscape has many excellent nursing programs available for use. Hope you get a good deal on a PDA!

  11. by   angelac1978
    you can also check on
    they have a lot of different PDA's, including some of the Palms that have been discontinued. I am waffling between and PDA and a laptop, but whichever I decide, I will probably due it off of overstock.

  12. by   JDRT RN2006
    I'm new to PDA's but I've done some research over the past couple of months....I start RN school in August and I am anxious to see how much use mine gets.

    I don't have a ton of money so I went with Palm One Zire 31, it put a 128 megabyte card in the expansion slot so there's tons of space on it.

    I have installed the entire Merck Manual, Taber's medical dict., Harrison's Internal Medicine, PDR drug guide, Nurses Fast Facts, Nurses guide to IV drugs, Nurses Lab Guide, EKG software, Neurology software, oncology, a medical calculator (calculate IV doses, glasgow coma scale , apgar, BMI, basal metabolism, lots more....), tons more.....

    I paid $148 for the palm, $45 for the memory card and
    CHECK EBAY FOR SOFTWARE!!!!!!!!!! THe pda is full color, plays mp3's and stores photos.

    I got all my software for $23 plus shipping, not sure if they guy was legit, but I bought it and it all works, all recent editions. Just do a search on EBAY for "Medical PDA software", lots will come up, lots of choices!!

    I think the PDA will be a great tool, I even have a whole program on doing care plans-which I hear is what we do all the time in school.

    Good luck with what you decide, I hope mine goes to good use in clinicals.
    Take care,
    Have a good weekend,
  13. by   Energizer Bunny
    Dear Lord! I thought I had my mind made up with which one I was getting and I liked the ones with the windows set up better because I am used to it. Now, you guys have me all confused! LOL! Guess I'd better do more research.
  14. by   FutureNurse2005
    be sure to check with your school first! The school that I will be attending does not allow "toys" in clinicals!!!

    Check first!