PDA's...do you use them in your clinical, really?

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I have seen some post's about PDA's. I have seen that it is another forum topic under "General." My clinical book that I am reading, (check out my other post) has an instructor recommending a PDA. Are they really needed? Do you have one and if you do, do you use it? Just curious if they are all that helpful and then maybe I'll get rid of my voyager for a PDA- I'm a verizon customer, does it have to be Blackberry or just any other "smartphone?"


998 Posts

Specializes in General adult inpatient psychiatry.

I *loved* having my PDA to look up drugs on Epocrates (a free program) and also for looking up s/sx of disorders. It's not a must, but I had a Palm TX.

Specializes in ICU.

I DEFINITELY used my PDA (Palm TX, with Nursing Central software package) during clinicals. It's very convenient to be able to check out a drug, or look up a new gobbledygooklicious phrase in your PDA, rather than trying to hunt down your unit's drug guide.

I can't say that it was a "requirement", but I found the PDA very handy. I plan to use it when I start my nursing job in a couple weeks. Besides the "nursing stuff", it's also a great way of storing names/phone numbers, events coming up on your calendar, short text files & whatnot.

I used a PDA extensively when I was working as an engineer, and plan to use one as needed during my nursing career.

I hope I can get by without this technology. I don't even have a cellphone, lol.


180 Posts

Specializes in Neuro.

We don't use them in our program. When I was starting my clinicals I contacted the head of our program and she said that she doesn't advise it. You can make it through. It makes it more stressful, but it puts alot of pressure on you to memorize the info you need which helps around test time. Also, I use the other nurses/doctors to get any info I may be missing. They are usually more than willing to help.

Good luck.

Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN

4 Articles; 7,907 Posts

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

I had a drug guide as well as Tabers and a med-surg book in mine. I did use it a lot...but it wasn't critical to my survival. It was nice for looking things up during the downtime, though.

A PDA is nice, but you can do just fine in clincals without one so don't panic if you can't get one :)


21 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, OR.

This semester, it would have been very helpful for me to have a drug guide on my phone, so that I could look up reliable info about drugs quickly. It would save you from having to hunt down a book on the unit, or googling it on the spot. But I haven't used mine extensively. Good luck!


263 Posts

believe it or not, not one person has one in any of my clinicals or class.The instructors say to just bring your books, as it has all of the info and lab values they go by- since they are all slightly different. it would make the load a little lighter tho!


171 Posts

Specializes in E.R..

I used one throughout my clinicals. I liked having the drug book and Taber's accessible at all times. Is it something you can live without, definitely. It was the convenience factor for me.


213 Posts

Specializes in Pediatrics.

I haven't started yet (September), but our school requires that we get one! They haven't given us the specs for what exactly we need and what software we will need to buy for it, but yeah that's a requirement for us.


81 Posts

Yes, I have used my PDA a lot in clinical. You can get by without one but it has been helpful for me to have one. I do not like lugging my books to clinical so I like being able to stick a PDA in my pocket and leaving 15 pounds of books at home.


175 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

I have an iTouch and have been using it a lot in clinicals. I have Nursing Central (no affiliation), and use Davis Drug guide a ton, as well as Tabers. Since the hospitals I've worked in so far have free WiFi, I've been able to get on Google to look up things as well.

One hospital gave us network passwords so students were able to log into their system for drug info, but that meant hunting down a free computer, logging in, opening the program, etc. In our OB clinical students were not given network access, so it meant having to go to the other side of the floor to conference room, getting the drug guide out of a backpack, and looking up the drug (or other piece of info). Having an iTouch that fit in the pocket of my scrubs was MUCH more convenient!

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