PDA assistance

Specialties CRNA


I'm starting to have a serious look at PDAs and would like some input from people using them for anesthesia school.

What are the minimum requirements?

How does a color screen effect battery usage?

What programs are absolutely necessary?

Which toys are beneficial? eg. keyboard, mpeg player, etc.

Thanks for your help.


839 Posts

i have a visor prism and i love it....has capabilty to be expanded to a camera, a phone, yadda yadda yadda if i wanted to buy the expansion modules....lots of free and not-free downloads for pdas as handango.com

thought i was gonna need the keyboard..but have gotten adept at the writingmethod... dream of a car adaptor...

oh. yeah. but i'm not in anesthesia school...


410 Posts

I too have a visor prism. I had the visor edge but my eyes had trouble reading the screen in dim light (like during laps). I have Sota's Anesthesia Drug Guide, Epocrates(free), Med Calc(free), Barash's Clinical Anesthesia (not as good as the real handbook but worth having), Anesthesia Stat Tracker, Quicksheet (I made a spreadsheet for peds drug calcs) and 5 Minute Clinical Consult (expensice but worth every penny). Some of my classmates recently bought Lexidrugs, I'll ask them about it today. Check out the Sony Clie also as it has more memory and a slicker screen. Also color screens burn batteries faster. Mine has rechargables which I don't really like. I would prefer to keep spares with me. I've come close to running my batteries down only once. Keep the screen brightness down as low as you can read it will help. I also hasve no toys, I don't have any time for that stuff these days. just a memory card in the expansion slot. It is damage control all the way.


567 Posts

I have a Sony Clie 610c it is the best palm I have used in the five years I have owned palm based PDA's. At this point, I would never get a black and green device again. It is true that the color screens use up battery power faster, but I have yet to run out of power, and I am a heavy user of my PDA. The mentality you have to adopt, is if you go to bed, you palm goes to bed in its craddle. This is the most effective method to keep you battery charged, keep in mind that lithium ion batteries do not have the memory problems of older battery types.

On the software front, I defer to the people furtherr along in their programs. I have a relatively lame collection of stuff.

With that said, make sure you get a PDA with the capability to add memory through expansion cards. The model I use has 16MB internal, and up to 128MB of additional through a add on card. This memeory is usefull in that all the things wintermute mentioned eat up you memory.


Good luck.

AL bug

119 Posts

I have a Compac Pocket PC. It does all this cool stuff I don't know what to do with, like voice recording, MP3 player, audiobook player, runs on Windows OS (I do know how to do that). Anyway, I just started anesthesia classes today and will start clinical Oct. 1. Hope I get great use of my pocket PC. Right now I have Skyscape drugs, Clinical Anesthesia(Barash), and games. If any of you know of any more programs I should get (have to be pocket pc, won't run palm) let me know.


324 Posts

I use a Sony Clie too and I love it. Had a few Visors previously but really like this one. I also have never run out of power, I charge mine 3 times a week or so. I use a conversion program for the calculator, a drug data base, and an assessment tool. Love them all. My advice, go for it, you'll love having it. It makes scheduling, appointments, and keeping track of telephone numbers so easy you won't believe it.

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