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  1. chrn

    Palm Pilots

    This is so great!! Nurse geeks everywhere!! I have been out of town this week but would like to add one thing that I do not believe was addressed. It is recommended (by others more experienced than I) that you use screen protectors. These are just little thin films that go over the "graffiti" area you write on (on Palm OS). Loss of screen function is one of the big things that could happen after a lot of use. ( I had wondered if this could have been what Rachel's salesman was thinking of..). Once the screen goes, it is not a replaceable componant. So the screen savers can prolong the useful life of your PDA. Also, to comment on the nurse managers and instructors who don't think epocrates or other drug guides are accurate/current enough--they need to be educated on the facts. (Not that that alone will change the "way we do things"). I've used my old PalmIIIxe for 2 years without a problem-even without screen savers. I have to upgrade now just because I don't have expandable memory. Good news is I got a new job with a big raise!!! Yeah!! More money for toys. Cindy
  2. chrn

    Working for a vendor

    Thank you Mariah, I accepted the position the vendor offered me. I agree with all you said. The main difference is the "focus". The company was very up front "we are a profit-making business and making money is our focus". I actually found that refreshing, because while my hospital claimed to be "service focused", the bottem line sure seemed to be what mattered most.
  3. chrn

    Palm Pilots

    Bill; Thank you for answering the question from Kelly. I have not had that problem and what you said about needing another program makes a lot of sense. I haven't downloaded many new programs lately, but I know they use to say if they required TealDoc or some other "utilitiy" type program. I have seen isilo mentioned a lot lately. Stargazer and Nurse-lou; one site that will load a new PDA to your specifications is http://www.pdacortex.com They are kind of "one stop shopping" for nurses and doctors who need PDA applications. Cindy
  4. chrn

    Working for a vendor

    I have been working as a clinical analyst for the last couple of years, in a hospital based rural health system. My job has been eliminated and I am interviewing with a vendor (whose products I know). Just would like some insight/advice from people working with vendors as compared to healthcare employers. Thanks a lot, Cindy
  5. chrn

    Good nursing informatics books?

    http://nursing.umaryland.edu/~snewbold/ This is Susan K Newbold's nursing informatics webpage. Select the Newbold Publications link to find a lot of online articles and a list of reference books. I have met and heard Susan lecture a couple of times. Bookmark her page to learn more about informatics.
  6. chrn

    Just want to hear from some friends,,,

    Seems like things always happen "all at once". I believe that is so you aren't dragged down, worrying and tired for a long time- you get it over with more quickly this way!!! Hard part is getting from Point A to Point B. Sounds like a good decision to go back to home care, if you feel that will be less stressful for you right now. Your co-workers may have other motives for their comments- like worried about staffing or something totally unrelated to your career decisions. Take care of yourself!!
  7. chrn

    Palm Pilots

    Dionysus; PDA's are absolutely great for keeping all kinds of reference material, that is compact, mobile and up to date. Right now, that is what they do best. You can use them for "personal organizers"- date book, addresses, even sync your email. Mine syncs to my Outlook mail program at work. As far as other uses (replacing scrap paper and index cards), depends... You can get little programs that do calculations (IV rates, kinectics, BMI, etc.). When it comes to documenting patient assessments, there is a lot of potential just beginning to be tapped. It is VERY easy to create forms to input information into handhelds. There are very simple database programs that anyone can use to create forms. I believe DataViz is a popular one. Problem is synchronizing with the hospital or office information system. That is the only way programs like that are really useful- if you can "download" patient demographics, then "upload" your assessment. Some innovative nurses have created forms to collect data, then print it out. Will depend if your hospital would allow that. PDA's have infrared ports -IR. These can be used to "beam" information to another IR. You can beam your address, even whole programs (if shareware). Really cool is that you can beam a form you have created to an IR-enabled printer. I have done this. Useful application will be providers writing scripts, pointing to the printer and "da da!" - a nice, legible script. Or a nurse collects vitals and assessment data, point to the printer and "da da" -my nurses notes. http://www.stevenscreek.com for a free download of PrintBoy (?I think) for anyone who wants to try it. You do not need to do anything with the printer, as long as it has an IR port. Many people believe that IR communcations will be as popular as local networks. After all, your remote control has been using it for a long time. One last thing: color vs b/w (monochrome). Your right- invest in color if possible, especially for older eyes. Color uses more battery life. Most newer units have cadmium rechargeable power. Sorry so long, hope this helps Cindy
  8. chrn

    Palm Pilots

    Finally...something I know something about!! Let me elaborate.. You need to understand that "Palm" is a brand name for hardware devices -Palm Pilots, like the m515, etc. Palm is also an "operating system" (like Windows 98 or XP is an operating system). The Sony Clie' devices use the Palm operating system -Palm OS (current version is 4.1 or 5, I believe). Now there is a competitor called PocketPC. This is Microsoft's handheld device operating system. There is an ongoing debate about which operating system is best (more about that later). Key issues in the debate are: * Palm has had and continues to have the most freeware/ shareware and especially, clinical reference programs for doctors and nurses. * Palm is cheaper to buy initially. * Pocket PC is Microsoft, therefore inheritantly, compatable with other Microsoft products (like Office-Excel, Access, etc). * Pocket PC may be behind in the development of clinical software, but won't be second for long. I don't promote one or another. I just think people that are contemplating need to be aware of what these terms mean. (As I am sure many of you know. I am directing this at the beginning handheld user.) As far as the handhelds themselves, you can get a pretty good starter for $200-$300. The Sony Clie' has a color model for just over $200. Dell has just introduced a nice model for about $200. Most newer models have a minimum of 16mg of memory on the device and are expandable "to infinity" with cards. As mentioned in another post, you can get a 64mg memory card for less than $50. Best Buy online is a good place to look. Now for a primer on programs: Epocrates is one of the first medical reference programs to be widely adopted. It is a very comprehensive drug reference that gives dosages, indications, even prices. It is updated every time you synchronize your handheld. It has previously only been available in Palm OS, but they are currently developing a Pocket PC format that should be available in the next month or so. Epocrates is free for the basic program, you can get a couple of other versions for a reasonable fee, including Infectious Disease ref and formularies. http://www.epocrates.com Epocrates has traditionally been aimed at the physician market and does not have some things nurses need, such as monitoring information, teaching. Some drug programs that nurses like include Davis Drug Guide and Lexi-Comp. A very popular reference program is PepidRN. I only saw this demonstrated- it is a 20mg program and I didn't have room. An excellent site for all kinds of information, program downloads, even buying a handheld loaded with the programs you want is www.pdacortex.com (previously RNPalm). Check out their list serv for pdas in nursing for the most current input by people using these devices every day. http://www.Pepid.com and http://www.skyscape.com are other good sites. Hope I didn't put you to sleep. I did a couple of PowerPoint presentations on handheld computers in healthcare- that would have been more appealing!! Good luck , Cindy
  9. chrn

    NO Nursing staff !

    I cannot even imagine!! I am not an OB nurse, have to ask...what the heck is "2 mother craft bubs with reflux" ? (I only understand the mother and reflux part...) Thanks, and you get a "supernurse" award for that shift!!
  10. chrn


    YOU CAN DO IT!!!! Lots of people (yeah, even nurses and EGADS, even doctors0 still smoke...but lots of people have quit. Once you make up your mind, you have taken a big step. Do whatever else you have to. Here's my history- 27 years total smoking history. Quit for 6 mos. at a time when pregnant. Quit for couple of months at a time here and there through the years. One doc gave me a Catapres patch- some research had shown it an effective craving deterrent (couple of decades ago). Chewed nicotine gum till the gastric mucosa revolted. Now.. quit for good!! I did use Welbutrin for a short time and I felt that helped with cravings a lot. 5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY NEXT MONTH!!! I did it, you can too.
  11. chrn

    Worst nursing proceedure ever....

    I do not have a good sense of smell- have always said that is an assett in nursing. Sometimes, really bad smells get to me (mostly that rancid skin fold cheese stuff). But I have a rather peculiar aversion for a nurse- blood. Obviously, I can handle some blood, but man, DO NOT start cutting in front of me- no even a skin biopsy. I have left the OR with more assistance than some of the patients. In the small hospital I worked at, I would gladly manage the babysit the entire med-surg floor and CCU just to stay out of the ER when a bad accident came in. Poop, mucous, wounds so deep you can see the other side. dirty feet, dentures- no problem. Just don't let there be >100cc fresh, red blood.
  12. chrn

    Do you believe

    Agreed. Like P_RN pointed out, these are not just nursing anecdotes. I work in IS now. Yesterday, they moved all the network servers to Windows 2000. I'm thinking, not a good time, with the moon nearly full. People are really edgy at that time. Add loss of email to that equation....
  13. chrn

    Is it okay to be emotional?

    Emery and Mandi; Thank you so much. Your posts give hope for the future of nursing. A lot of people go into nursing for a lot of reasons (it has become a better paying profession with lots of options). There's nothing wrong with that. But to hear from young people who really care about other people...wow. I agree with other posts- some times you will need to cry but have to put it away because the situation demands your "strength". Sometimes, you will cry like a baby in empathy for other people's losses. I had to do post-mortem care on a 2 year old who died in an auto accident. Cleaned up lots of blood so her grandma could come see her. The nurse I worked with just got through it, didn't cry (but I knew her to be as caring as anyone). I cried so much I almost couldn't function. Every situation will be different. Don't be afraid of feeling, ever.
  14. chrn

    Is Health Care a Right?

    My daughter is losing her medical insurance. She has worked for a county agency (Child and Family services, no less...). They will allow them to pay full premiums to keep it- About $750/month. She will have a baby in May, so going without is not an option. Her husband is losing his job this spring. They have both worked these jobs for many years. These are not uneducated, "drifter", take-advantage people. They are average American citizens, working hard and steady. My dad worked all his life in factories -small job shops (not General Motors). All him and mom have is Medicare. They both have terrible dental problems now. No pension, no money, no insurance. These are all American citizens who have worked and payed taxes their whole lives. YES, I do believe healthcare is a right of American citizens. The money is there, it is a matter of PRIORITIES. Because the elected officials that represent us don't care about every one of us being dangerously close to catastrophe. Lots of money being spent on war, war on drugs, pushing agendas around the world. Thats my .02.
  15. chrn

    What questions SHOULD be asked at interview?

    This website has a link to interview questions from the homepage. http://www.hospitalsoup.com (There are questions to ask for general nursing positions and management positions). I saw some new ones there. I had an interview with Veteran's Admin. recently. She asked me to describe a situation where I displayed "thinking outside the box". I had kind of a block there I guess. My whole career has been "outside the box". So I came up with a vague, probably lame answer and was willing to write that question off. But she wouldn't give it up, kept pushing me. I am not sure what she got out of that, seeing me squirm. I also had an interview where they used a preprinted questionairre. The interviewer just read off the questions and I felt like I had to answer in "sound bites" that would fit within the assigned "response" section. No personal involvement for the interviewer. I think we should start a thread about "worst interview experiences."