What is the best PDA?

  1. I am starting Nursing school in August. I am wondering what is the best PDA to buy. If you own one, do u think it is useful and worth the money to have it? Thanks.
  2. Visit blynn9173 profile page

    About blynn9173

    Joined: Feb '07; Posts: 316; Likes: 47
    Registered Nurse; from US

    23 Comments

  3. by   Indy
    The best one is one that suits your needs and doesn't break easily. This forum and the threads in it helped me know something about what I was looking for. Also, one website I highly recommend is howstuffworks.com and look up whatever new thing you're interested in. It really does help with the technical aspects so when you go quiz salespeople, you don't sound foolish or buy something you didn't want in the first place.

    I wound up going the low tech route for a PDA. Well to start with, I got a MP3 player already or I'd have bought a higher model and used it for that as well, but that's a whole 'nother tangent. And I've already got a phone. See other threads in this forum for what people think of the ones that are all that stuff combined.

    The one I got was the cheap-o Palm Z22 for $100. No, external memory cards don't go with it. No, it's not a mp3 player. No, it really won't fit Tabers on it in the PDA format. What it does hold is my epocrates, 4 or 5 other programs that I got for free off palm.com, my calendar, a calculator (actually many different types of calculators) and it still has half its memory free for whatever I wind up sticking on there next. I've used it at least once a shift to look stuff up at work. In the long run it's probably worth it.

    Total amount of money spent = around $230. The epocrates free thing was so nice I got a two year subscription, so that was $99, and I bought an aluminum hard case online for around $30ish. This is because I'm rough on things and didn't want to smash my toy transferring patients.

    One thing to be aware of is on the books/references and stuff that you pay for online, what is the time period on them that you get updates for. That varies per company and sometimes per book. Like, Davis Drugs wants either $40 or $50 for theirs with an update period of 12 months. That is ridiculous seeing as how I can get the actual book for around $30 in the store... I'd almost rather just carry the book around. Same thing with Taber's. How often are they gonna publish a whole new medical dictionary? If I got taber's I sure wouldn't keep renewing it every year. Maybe once per decade...

    Anyhow, hope that helps ya.
  4. by   RNinAZ1
    Ok... you asked, here is my advice.

    First off, I'd say go with the Palm OS. However, I'd skip past the Palm Z22 because the screen resolution is so poor (I had one).

    I've got a few friends that, over time, migrated to the Windows based PDAs and have come to regret doing so. I'm NOT saying Windows based PDAs are "bad". I am saying that in my experience, over time, most have regretted going to Windows. My Palm T/X boots in half the time of most Windows based machines and has never locked up or "lost software".

    I'd stay away from PDAs with bundled software. Why? Because you will pay a premium for what someone elese thinks you need. Only you know what you need in your particular circumstance.

    My recommendation... Palm T/X (yep, its the most expensive of the Palms, but its has a beautiful 320 x 480 screen, handles wi-fi very well so email is fast and easy, never crashes, is expandable via SD card, can switch to portrait mode for showing images, plays MP3s... it is a "do-everything-well" machine.

    Next is the software you will need. I have found medical/nursing info www.medicalwizards.com to be GREAT! I can't say enough good about their products. I use their ER/ICU Suite v 6 everyday at work and I really appreciate it. Their programs are very reasonably priced as well.

    There are some things you just shouldn't scrimp on... a fully functional PDA can be your best friend... Palm has always made my life easier and combined with medical wizard software, I can calculate a weird drug concentration for an unusual body weight patient 2-3 times as fast as anyone else... and listen to favorite MP3s in the break room on all those breaks RNs get ;o)
  5. by   MacUser456
    +1 regarding the Palm OS; there is just such a massive amount of free and pay-to-use programs specifically geared towards the Palm OS.

    +1 regarding the stability of the Palm OS v. Windows OS. 2nd, a Palm OS can be synchronized between both a Windows and Mac. A Windows OS requires an additional $30 program for synchronization between a Mac and the device.

    +1 regarding individually purchasing software. Think about what types of books you and those in similar departments use and buy those same titles in the software form.


    My $.02 is this:

    As a pure workhorse reference guide, a $60 Palm from eBay (like the m505) would probably be your best bet. It's cheap, reliable, has tons of freeware programs, and you can purchase 4-5 of them for the price of one smartphone or TX.

    Yeah, yeah, the older Palm's don't offer the thrills of bluetooth, WiFi, and nifty DVD viewing but hey, I can drop my m505 in a full bedpan and not even think twice about walking away and picking up another one for $60 bucks....

    If you feel like plunking down the money, go for the TX; its worth the money. The processor speed, screen resolution, WiFi, and Bluetooth make it a nifty little device. :spin:
  6. by   Indy
    Hmm, yeah, I do realize that I have crappy screen resolution on my Z22. But it's a work toy, so it's fine for now. I have to harp on the epocrates thing though; I love their drug book. I have no pharmacy overnight and when I need to look up 4 different drugs that I aim to put through one IV port, well, I need to know it now. My old job had a pharmacist I could call, this one doesn't, and I could not imagine doing this job without my epocrates. :-)
  7. by   danh3190
    Whatever you buy, make sure it has some sort of screen guard or by a sturdy case for it. I had a PDA that I loved and I broke the screen somehow. Now I have an aluminum case that I keep my new one in. So far so good.
  8. by   Meeds
    I love my Palm Treo 650. It is a cell phone, pda, camera. It keeps me totally organized.
  9. by   Jack Spider
    Look for deals in the pda. You might get a good pda cheap too. Check this out

    http://www.skyscape.com/promotion/Ch...cialOffer.aspx
  10. by   Jack Spider
    You can also get a good pda cheap sometimes. look for the deals

    check this one http://www.skyscape.com/promotion/Ch...cialOffer.aspx
  11. by   MBARN
    What about a MAC based system such as an I-touch?? Any thoughts? I am very new to this.
  12. by   dtrmnd2sccd
    Just my 2 cents... as a PP said, the best device for you is the one you're most comfortable with and fits your price range.

    I've been researching handhelds for about a year, and I got an iTouch for Christmas and LOVE it. The interface is so easy to navigate (like all Apple products), the screen resolution blows away any PDA/smartphone I've seen so far. The WiFi allows me to send/receive email and surf the web, with no data/access fees. For the price ($229 for the 8G), you get a LOT more computing power than any smartphone/PDA.

    Right now Skyscape and Unbound have made their nursing bundles available, with more in development for the spring of 2009. I am trying to choose between the two right now (Unbound has the slight advantage but I'm still weighing my options).

    I was seriously looking at the Palm T/X before I got the iTouch. I read that Palm is discontinuing their stand-alone handhelds in favor of their smartphones--I didn't want to buy a 'dying' technology, whereas I think iPhone/iTouch is only going to expand.
  13. by   MBARN
    Great advice thank you! I have switched to Apple technology so I am leaning toward an ITOUCH. Is 8 G bit enough for all your nursing needs, email needs and music needs? where would I purchase the nursing bundles such as the on line pharm stuff etc? I am still a nursing student so I don't know yet what works!
  14. by   AlabamaBelle
    I just purchased an iTouch, 16g. Would recommend it over the Palm T/X (have that) and the 8g iTouch (a coworker has 8g, slower). I found th iTouch to be much simpler, better graphically and does much better with the internet than my Palm. Haven't purchased any apps for work yet, I'm still investigating what is available. But I really do prefer my Touch to Palm.

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