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IPad Mini for clinicals?

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Is there any use of an IPad Mini during clinicals? I'm just curious if this type of device is even allowed on the floor or do people use their phones to look up information, etc?

I know usage of electronics vary from program to program and clinical locations, but I'd just like to gauge what others are doing.

Thanks.

Enarra, BSN, RN

Specializes in Ambulatory Primary Care. Has 9 years experience.

iPad for studying more like it but you’ll have to run it by your clinical instructor. I’m leaning towards the no because it has the ability to take photos. When I was a student it was nothing that could take a photo and no cellphone used allowed. Good luck

Edited by Enarra

blueskiesandsunshine.prn

Specializes in BSN student.

I think my clinical instructor would chuck me into the medical waste if she ever saw me use an iPad in the hospital. 🤣

In all seriousness, I would highly recommend avoiding bringing electronics that have photo-taking capacities into the clinical site, ESPECIALLY around a pt. That is asking for trouble in terms of HIPAA, confidentiality, etc.

I would, however, check what your school's policy is about cell phone usage. We are allowed to use ours in areas away from the pt and I have this wonderful app called uCentral which includes a drug dosage calculator, Davis' Drug Guide, NANDA nsg dx guide, among other resources that prove to be valuable in a pinch & in formulating my drug sheet for care plans!

14 minutes ago, blueskiesandsunshine.PRN said:

I think my clinical instructor would chuck me into the medical waste if she ever saw me use an iPad in the hospital. 🤣

In all seriousness, I would highly recommend avoiding bringing electronics that have photo-taking capacities into the clinical site, ESPECIALLY around a pt. That is asking for trouble in terms of HIPAA, confidentiality, etc.

I would, however, check what your school's policy is about cell phone usage. We are allowed to use ours in areas away from the pt and I have this wonderful app called uCentral which includes a drug dosage calculator, Davis' Drug Guide, NANDA nsg dx guide, among other resources that prove to be valuable in a pinch & in formulating my drug sheet for care plans!

I also thought it's probably not allowed (iPad), but I have heard that students use their phones to look up stuff. What you said makes total sense in regard to stepping away and looking up meds, etc..

The main reason I mentioned an iPad Mini is because I have seen this w/ Medical Residents. Then again, they're Residents, so I'll assume it's probably a hospital-issued iPad.

MotoMonkey, BSN, RN

Specializes in ED. Has 2 years experience.

Are you in a program that does not let you use the computers and charting system at your clinical site? If you have access to the computers at your clinical sites, use them to look up information. They likely have access to services like uptodate and lexicomp. I would always recommend to use the services the hospital has for their staff when looking up information on drugs or procedures rather than searching for information on your phone or ipad.

2 hours ago, MotoMonkey said:

Are you in a program that does not let you use the computers and charting system at your clinical site? If you have access to the computers at your clinical sites, use them to look up information. They likely have access to services like uptodate and lexicomp. I would always recommend to use the services the hospital has for their staff when looking up information on drugs or procedures rather than searching for information on your phone or ipad.

I actually have not started yet, so I'm not sure what the deal will be using the clinical's computers/charting system. I'm attempting to prepare in advance. 😁

I've been "gifted" a choice of an iPad and thought if we had to look up stuff & use it in clinical, then it would make sense to get the Mini so it works for both lecture note-taking and clinical. If it cannot be used in clinical, then it probably makes sense to ask for the regular iPad, Air, or Pro for lecture note taking. I'll probably go for the iPad Air. I love the Pro, but I don't want to be greedy. 😂

At least from your answer and Enarra, it appears personal electronics at clinicals are not used.

#1 - take the pro, because computers are VERY "you get what you pay for."

For being in clinical, you see the residents using a tablet because it gives them direct access to the charts and other software that they're going to use. They're almost always using a workstation app like citrix. So it's just like the computers at the desk, they just have a tablet for it. The rules with that are going to be different at every hospital, but I don't think you're going to find one anywhere that is OK with students logging into that system from their own tablet, even if they give you your own workstation login.

All you need for clinical is a couple blank sheets of paper and a pen, that you can just shred at the end of the day when you're done with it.

2 hours ago, TheDudeWithTheBigDog said:

#1 - take the pro, because computers are VERY "you get what you pay for."

For being in clinical, you see the residents using a tablet because it gives them direct access to the charts and other software that they're going to use. They're almost always using a workstation app like citrix. So it's just like the computers at the desk, they just have a tablet for it. The rules with that are going to be different at every hospital, but I don't think you're going to find one anywhere that is OK with students logging into that system from their own tablet, even if they give you your own workstation login.

All you need for clinical is a couple blank sheets of paper and a pen, that you can just shred at the end of the day when you're done with it.

I really want the Pro! The 12.9 is really appealing because I do like a bigger screen. I just feel guilty because it's going to be a gift and compared to the Air, it will be around $600-700 more for the Pro once the magic keyboard is thrown in there. I do not own a laptop, but I do have an iMac.

@TheDudeWithTheBigDog Do you really feel there's a huge difference between the Air and Pro? I know size-wise it's almost 2.5 inches when getting the 12.9 Pro, but in terms of note-taking ability? I'm only going to be using the iPad for school. I use my desktop for everything else.

For note taking, it's not a huge difference. But honestly, every gamer got their first computer for school. We see how well that went. But when it's free, take the pro.

And before you think you sound greedy... I don't know the exact story, but there's a good chance that you're getting that free ipad from someone who ended up in the position to give you that ipad by making those same kinds of choices.

bitter_betsy, BSN

Specializes in Emergency / Disaster. Has 2 years experience.

So if I had an hour to convince you - you wouldn't need a laptop and just get the iPad. I have a mini, a bigger iPad, a MacBook Air and an iMac - and an iPhone. First semester I did use my mini in clinical (with my pencil) but only for clinical work. It was easier than writing everything down and moving it to my clinical documents later - I just wrote it in my iPad. My instructor and my floor knew that's what I did. It wasn't uncommon for a nurse to come over and check on me but after the first week - they just knew. Clinicals after that were different and I didn't need it. A small mini notebook in my pocket was all I needed (and my phone to look stuff up).

I have iCloud so every document for school is on the cloud - EVERY SINGLE ONE. Immunization records, transcripts - whatever I might ever need, is there. My folder is organized by semester and then course and further subdivided into things they gave us and things I turned in so I can find things easily. My normal iPad also has a pencil and I bought a super cool case with a bluetooth keyboard. They case screen actually rotates around 360 degrees and folds flat - so it basically makes it a laptop with pencil capabilities and can also be a tablet. The ONLY problem I have experienced is Google docs. It makes you use the app and you can't collaborate because it always downloads a copy and then uploads your changes over every one else - super annoying. If you can figure out how to make it NOT do this - then aside from specific software your program may require (we used ATI and at the time were not allowed to use iPads - it had to be a "real" computer) its amazing. In all 4 semesters I took my laptop exactly 8 times. The seamless transitions from my phone to my iPad to my mini to my iMac are totally worth it. I downloaded audio to the iCloud and was able to seamlessly listen as well. All my textbooks were electronic (eventually once I got over my fear) and then I could have Siri read them to me while I was driving if there wasn't an audiobook feature with the textbook.

Id go with an iPad just because its lighter, the case is cool and the pencil is worth every fricken penny - buy 2 because it will fall out of your bag and into your car nether region at some point and you will lose it for a week and panic. Holler if you have questions.

@bitter_betsy You have the dream line-up of Mac! 😁 WOW!!

Thank you also for your advice. I'm still going to think about Air vs. Pro, but I'm leaning more toward the Pro. @TheDudeWithTheBigDog has definitely helped convince me the Pro would probably be best since it's free. I think it's a wise choice, since I don't have my own laptop anyway.

At my school, I just learned students sometimes have problems w/ testing on tablets and iPad, but it doesn't happen all the time. The good news is my brother has a spare, cheap Windows laptop I can borrow so I can drag that along, if necessary, just to take tests. Perhaps later on I can gather some cash to get a Macbook, but that's just not in the cards for me right now and not a priority.

I like the idea of regular paper or small notebook for clinicals. I know the dollar store near my house sometimes sells those small ones for 2 for $1 sometimes.

Have either of you, or anybody reading this, ever used those H & P (History and Physical Exam Notebook) that they sell all the time on Amazon that cost around $15? Nice templates, but are they worth it?

bitter_betsy, BSN

Specializes in Emergency / Disaster. Has 2 years experience.

@polycalca - don't buy anything specific outside of your program because most likely you will have to turn assignments in, in a very specific format. I used my mini to actually write on my documentation that I had to turn in. We were required to handwrite, scan and submit. Because mine was handwritten, I was allowed to turn it in - but I still had to get approval because although technically handwritten, it wasn't written and then scanned (insert eyeroll). And as for other things, after you get your first position, you will determine what works best for you.

2 hours ago, bitter_betsy said:

@polycalca - don't buy anything specific outside of your program because most likely you will have to turn assignments in, in a very specific format. I used my mini to actually write on my documentation that I had to turn in. We were required to handwrite, scan and submit. Because mine was handwritten, I was allowed to turn it in - but I still had to get approval because although technically handwritten, it wasn't written and then scanned (insert eyeroll). And as for other things, after you get your first position, you will determine what works best for you.

Thanks!

CommunityRNBSN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community health. Has 3 years experience.

The problem, as I see it, is that if you are standing in the hall or sitting at the nurses station, looking things up on a phone or iPad, nobody can tell that’s what you’re doing— it looks for all the world like you’re texting or playing games. Patients, families, and instructors HATE it because you look like you’re zoned out! Even though you know you’re doing your work. At my clinical site, there were computers on the floor that we could use. We would sit there to look things up. Sometimes there weren’t enough for you to have one the very second you needed it, but overall it worked fine.

If you set an iPad down in a hospital, expect it to be stolen. Visitors will steal anything and everything not locked up.

1 hour ago, DeeAngel said:

If you set an iPad down in a hospital, expect it to be stolen. Visitors will steal anything and everything not locked up.

You're not kidding. I've seen people walk out with like a stack of disposable drinking cups because they were in the room. 😁

I'm pretty sure I'm going to just get an iPad for class only. Paper pad for clinicals.

21 hours ago, CommunityRNBSN said:

The problem, as I see it, is that if you are standing in the hall or sitting at the nurses station, looking things up on a phone or iPad, nobody can tell that’s what you’re doing— it looks for all the world like you’re texting or playing games. Patients, families, and instructors HATE it because you look like you’re zoned out! Even though you know you’re doing your work. At my clinical site, there were computers on the floor that we could use. We would sit there to look things up. Sometimes there weren’t enough for you to have one the very second you needed it, but overall it worked fine.

Noted! Thanks!

BONBON, BSN, RN

Specializes in Surgical Transplant.

I don't think I would every personally bring an iPad onto the floor due to a few reasons. First HIPAA, second it may be more distracting than helpful, your nurse may not approve whether they're vocal about it or not, and lastly you should have access to electronic charting on your clinical site (if not then you may just be learning as your nurse charts.) What I did was I brought my phone with, and during lunch/dinner I would make a few notes on my phone about my clinical (on medications, hands on skills I learned/performed, any dx that I wanted to look up, etc.) I didn't bother to look anything up until I got home. I wanted to take in and learn as much as I could during my clinical, not be distracted by any device.

Many hospitals are weary about students and HIPAA violations so if you ultimately decide to bring a device and plan on using it on the floor for ie. notes, make sure you get approval from your instructor and the nurse BEFORE taking it out/starting your shift! Even with a cellphone, if you need to take notes ON the floor then let your nurse know. That way it doesn't look like you're slacking off/violating HIPAA. (To be on the safe side 😉)