Do I Need A PDA For Nursing School?

  1. I will be starting school in a couple weeks and am gathering materials. In my book list I've noticed many pda versions of the texts. Should I buy a PDA for school? If so, which is the best?
  2. Visit courtj5 profile page

    About courtj5

    Joined: Apr '07; Posts: 15; Likes: 1

    30 Comments

  3. by   emtb2rn
    I chose to get a PDA and get software instead of paper. My school is currently evaluating whether PDA are going to be required, so I've been providing feedback over the past 2 semesters. I've got a tech background and like widgets, so I love my PDA. So do my clinicmates, who call it "The Thing" as in "Can you look up such and such on the thing?".

    I went with a Dell Axim X3 that has Pocket PC as the OS. Didn't want to have to learn how to navigate the Palm system, sheer laziness on my part. My advice is to get at least 64 Meg of RAM. As with all computers, ain't no substitute for cubic inches. Load your software onto a separate card. 256K will give you tons of room.

    Here's what I have loaded:

    Davis Drug Guide - use it daily
    Mosby IV Meds07 - use it daily
    Tabers medical dictionary - use it daily
    Davis RNotes2 - use it daily
    Davis Lab & Diagnostic Tests - use it a lot but not daily
    Archimedes - use it rarely

    JMHO
  4. by   courtj5
    this is very useful, thank you - someone suggested a Tungsten by Palm - what are your thoughts there?
  5. by   richardjboro1
    I have a tungsten, and I love it. It works great on my Mac, and I love the Davis drug guide. Use it CONSTANTLY .....
  6. by   NursinOrBust
    I bought the Tungsten E2 and love it. It is also offered with the portable keyboard package in case I want to type notes. The software comes with a tutorial and overall it is very easy to use. I was just introduced to the Epocrates software from a recent nursing grad who uses it all of the time on the job. Here is the link and you can download the Rx program for free to see if you like it.

    http://www.epocrates.com/

    Hope this helps!
  7. by   KrysyRN
    I bought a Palm TX and love it. I bought a bunch of programs from Skyscape.com, and I use the Davis Drug Guide and Taber's alot while in clinicals. I would recommend getting one.
  8. by   justme1972
    Quote from emtb2rn
    I chose to get a PDA and get software instead of paper. My school is currently evaluating whether PDA are going to be required, so I've been providing feedback over the past 2 semesters. I've got a tech background and like widgets, so I love my PDA. So do my clinicmates, who call it "The Thing" as in "Can you look up such and such on the thing?".

    I went with a Dell Axim X3 that has Pocket PC as the OS. Didn't want to have to learn how to navigate the Palm system, sheer laziness on my part. My advice is to get at least 64 Meg of RAM. As with all computers, ain't no substitute for cubic inches. Load your software onto a separate card. 256K will give you tons of room.

    Here's what I have loaded:

    Davis Drug Guide - use it daily
    Mosby IV Meds07 - use it daily
    Tabers medical dictionary - use it daily
    Davis RNotes2 - use it daily
    Davis Lab & Diagnostic Tests - use it a lot but not daily
    Archimedes - use it rarely

    JMHO
    If you don't mind...about what did the package you purchased run?
  9. by   laurainri
    OMG !!! get a PDA... save your back. we laugh in nursing school beacuse you know who thoses students are because we are the ones that are rolling around suitcases full of books. In the middle of the first semester I switched to a palm TX. Best investment I have ever made. We are not required to have one like other colleges here and I wish that they did. Would have saved myself a lot of money and hassle. It's the only way to go.
  10. by   laurainri
    Quote from Hopefull2009
    If you don't mind...about what did the package you purchased run?
    I think in palm.com it is called Nursing central and it costs $149.00 that is not including the IV Med book. Ant book that you can get for your palm is usually the same amount that it would cost for a paper version. I didnt get the RN notes. I wish that I had gotten Ackley's Nrs Diag. though
  11. by   IrishIzCPNP
    My school requires a PDA which is funny because the students were required to buy them through the school and many of them don't work.

    I supplied my own and have an HP Pocket PC. Love it. My classmates have Dells.

    On my PDA I have the following from Skyscape (some were free)...

    Archimedes Medical Caluculator (this may have been free)
    CheckRx (I believe this was a freebie
    ARTbeat
    Davis Drug Guide
    Food Guide (free?)
    ICD-9-CM
    MedAlert (free)
    Nursing Procedures
    RN Assess 4
    RN Diseases
    RN Labs4
    Tabers

    I know the required programs from school were about $200. Anything above was either free or included in that $200.

    I also have these freebies (some aren't on my new PDA because I need to configure some things but these were all on my old and most on my new)...

    http://www.epocrates.com/
    http://books.mcgraw-hill.com/medical...rus/index.html
    http://www.immunizationed.org/anypag...=shotspocketpc
    http://www.fppda.com/free.html#free
    http://www.acc.org/qualityandscience...adpcpocket.htm
    http://www.cancer.org/docroot/COM/co...C-Tools_20.asp

    Edited to add a biggie....

    http://www.micromedex.com/products/clinicalxpert/

    I also have some documents though they aren't used a lot...

    Meal intake card
    Morse fall scale card
    Information about O2 delivery and basics. Also basic vital signs for different age groups.

    Palm v Pocket PC...matter of opinion. I don't want a Palm. Others will say Palms are great. I know a high level techie guy who said Palm may not be around for the long run.
    Last edit by IrishIzCPNP on Apr 23, '07
  12. by   queenjean
    I am a technophobe; I am also an LPN and a 4.0 student in an LPN to RN program. I am surviving just fine without a PDA. Would it be helpful? Maybe. Depends upon your definition of helpful. Sometimes you gotta operate within your level of comfort when time is short; for me, I like a book first, a laptop next, and a PDA is LOOOOOOW on my list. I just lose the sucker, anyhow.
  13. by   emtb2rn
    Quote from Hopefull2009
    If you don't mind...about what did the package you purchased run?
    Pricing for software is essentially the same as for the books, so it ran a couple of hundred bucks.

    Here's the bottom-line for me: I really like the ability to look things up at the medcart and bedside if necessary. I've had patients ask something about a med or test that I didn't know off the top of my head. I simply say, "good question, let's find out." and look it up on the PDA. The patient gets fast and accurate information and my to-do list doesn't grow.

    Technology is at its best when used to supplement but not replace knowledge. The PDA essentially serves as a overflow reservoir for my brain.
  14. by   midcom
    I was the first in my class to get a PDA, actullay had it before starting class & bought way too much software because I didn't know what I needed. Now a few more have gotten them but some have no idea how to use it. It's like in high school when someone gets something new & cool, everyone else wants one too, even if they don't know what it's for. They just NEED it.

    My suggestion, if you know what you're doing, and really feel the need for one, get it. I love mine & it's baled many of us out in a pinch. I don't lug around a dictionary, a med book, lab values,or a nursing diagnosis book. Right now I'm in the computer lab. A gal from the term ahead of me is working on a project. I've found the answer to two of her questions on my PDA.

    Just remember, if money is tight, the cost of the PDA is just the beginning. There is free stuff out there but it nowhere compares to the stuff you purchase.
    Dixie

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