DiversityNursing Blog

20 mobile apps for nurses in 2012

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 @ 02:25 PM

by Lynda Lampert

Imobile appf you have an iPhone, iPad or other mobile device, you likely have a ton of apps taking up space. While some of those apps are likely tailored for fun (Angry Birds, Words with Friends), there’s no question that you can use your smartphone to serve your nursing career.

Of course, when you’re in your scrubs and ready to tackle the shift, using mobile apps to get information on drugs to anatomy to conditions is a no-brainer way to better treat your patients and keep reference materials easily accessible. Here’s a look at 20 top clinical apps for nurses in 2012!

Not all of these apps are free, but when you think about the great services they provide—such as keeping you on top of ever-changing medical data—it’s well worth the money.

1. Davis Mobile NCLEX-RN Med-Surg: If you’re still a student and studying for your boards, this app will give you questions to answer while you’re waiting for the bus, sitting in front of the television or hanging out between classes. The convenience of questions by phone was unheard of only a few years ago. Now you can study in your downtime.
2. Pill Identifier by Drugs.com: Oh no! Your patient accidentally drop his pills on the floor. Unfortunately, you have no idea which medications they were! When you call the pharmacy for new ones, what will you tell them? Pill Identifier lets you look up pills by their common features to find out which ones you need to reorder.
3. Skyscape Medical Resources: This app is a great bundle of useful tools for nurses rolled into one. The free version includes comprehensive info on prescription drugs, a medical calculator by specialty, evidence-based clinical information on hundreds of diseases and symptom-related topics and timely content that nurses need to know on-the-go such as journal summaries, breaking clinical news and drug alerts.
4. Instant ECG: An Electrocardiogram Rhythms Interpretation Guide: With more than 90 high-resolution images of ECGs, this app is perfect for the telemetry nurse who often needs to interpret rhythms. Let’s face it, some of them are just plain tough to remember, and this app makes them easily accessible when you’re stumped.
5. Critical Care ACLS Guide: In addition to laying out the ACLS algorithms, this app has such helpful information as the rule of 9s for burns, chest X-ray interpretation and 12-lead EKG interpretation. This will come in handy for any nurse who is working in the ICU or other critical care area.
6. Fast Facts for Critical Care: In keeping with the critical care theme, this app offers even more in-depth knowledge you need when working in a critical unit. Based on the books by Kathy White, this app includes information on managing sepsis, heart failure and 16 classes of critical care drugs.
7. Pocket Lab Values: Sure, you have the lab values that come along with lab reports nowadays, but sometimes you aren’t at your computer to know the specific values of certain labs. This app helps with that by keeping you up to date on numbers, such as ABGs, lumbar puncture and immunology values.
8. Pocket Body: Musculoskeletal by Pocket Anatomy: For nursing students, memorizing the names of bones and muscles is often one of the most challenging parts of school. With this app, you will have the names and structures available to study—either on the job or when trying to prepare for that all-important test.
9. Sleep Sounds: Need to relax? On your lunch break, you can play the soothing sounds of a thunderstorm, the wind or a cat purring to calm your mind and escape from the rigors of the floor. Just don’t get too relaxed—you need to finish your shift!
10. IDdx: Infectious Disease Queries: This handy reference of more than 250 diseases allows you to type in the symptom of an infectious disease and see a display of all the diseases that contain that symptom. You’re sure to find the reason for your patient’s problem.
11. Harriet Lane Handbook: If you work in peds, this app is just the one you need. It focuses on the conditions of childhood, how to dose medications for children and immunization schedules. When working with kids, you have to know a different set of rules, and this is the handbook for that.
12. MRSA eGuideline: MRSA is a big problem in hospitals today, and you need to know the information that’s going to help keep your patients safe from this condition. This app talks about vancomycin dosing, drug information and how to deal with MRSA in infants.
13. Symptomia: This is another app that allows you to input a symptom, and it will return for you all possible diseases that have that symptom. It includes information on abdominal distention, vertigo and coughing, among other common symptoms.
14. The Color Atlas of Family Medicine: This app comes with a hefty price tag of $95, but is worth the investment for the full-color pictures on your phone or iPad that show common skin conditions, rashes and other conditions in a glorious multimedia presentation.
15. Anesthesia Drugs: Fast: If you’re working in the OR or studying to become a nurse anesthetist, this will come in handy for calculating your drug dosages. Simply enter a weight and the proper dose is given to you for a wide range of anesthesia drugs.
16. Med Mnemonics: We all need help remembering the vast amount of information that comes at us in nursing school and on the job. One of the easiest ways to remember is with mnemonics that help to jog your memory. This app lists all the common aides to studying in a simple format.
17. Heart Murmur Pro: The Heart Sound Database: Sometimes it’s hard to know what sounds are important when listening to the heart with your stethoscope. This app has a collection of the common and uncommon heart sounds so that you can learn to identify them.
18. palmPEDi: Pediatric Emergency Medicine Tape for the PICU, OR, ED: When working with children in critical care areas, you need to know the equipment sizes, drug doses and other peds-specific knowledge to act fast. This app puts all of that information on your phone and at your command.
19. Medscape: This app gives you the latest in medical news right at your fingertips. You can also look up unknown drugs, conditions and procedures directly from the app. The icing on the cake? It’s totally free!
20. Davis’s Drug Guide 2012: This is the go-to guide for nurses when they want to look up the actions of a medication. This app is a little more pricey than some other apps, but the fact that it is made by Davis and has such a great reputation as a guide for nurses makes it worth the price.

Topics: nursing, apps, nurse, nurses, mobile, app

Nurses balance technological advances with old-fashioned patient care

Posted by Hannah McCaffrey

Tue, May 15, 2012 @ 08:24 AM

from USA Today

COCOA BEACH, Fla. -- Yvonne Yacoub has been a nurse for half a century.

In 50 years, she has seen her profession redefine itself to meet the challenges of change, yet continue to struggle with shortages of new practitioners.

Yacoub, 72, who has worked at Cape Canaveral Hospital here for 36 years, is decades older than the 46-year-old average age of employed registered nurses. Some veteran nurses continue to work, but many more have hung up the scrubs for good or are counting the days until retirement.

"In several years, we will see many nurses semi-retire or retire completely," said Bonnie Rudolph, vice president/chief nursing officer for Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, Fla., and Health First's chief nursing officer. "Nursing is a very physical job, and many nurses cannot continue to stand, lift patients and continue to work the required shifts."

As baby boomers age, the need for nurses will increase. Even though the number of licensed registered nurses in the United States has grown from 1.7 million in 1980 to 3.1 million today, the total is not enough to meet the expected demand. Registered nurses remain at the top of the list when it comes to employment growth, so hospital systems are being proactive in trying to retain older employees.

Recruiting more male nurses, now only 7 percent of the work force, could help ease the shortage.

Most male nurses, such as baby boomer Jim Carberry, a nurse supervisor in the intensive care unit at Holmes, enter the field as a second career. Carberry was a respiratory therapist for 20 years before becoming a nurse.

"I wouldn't say it's harder to be a nurse today. It's just different," Carberry said.

"With so much specialty nursing, we all have had to learn so many new ways of doing things," he said. "It's not just one nurse doing all of a patient's care in a day. It can be several with special skills."

While nursing schools are graduating highly skilled individuals, the experience of older workers is impossible to teach in a classroom.

Registered nurse Rebecca Madore, 23 on her third day on the job at Wuesthoff Medical Center -- Rockledge, Fla., acknowledges that the reality of nursing can be daunting.

"I learned a lot at school, but it's totally different when you're actually working the floor," she said.

Madore knew she wanted to be a nurse since she was a little girl, but for many of her colleagues, the profession is a career, not a calling.

"Each group's work ethic is different," said Suzanne Woods, vice president and chief nursing officer for Health First's community hospital division.

"The veterans and baby boomers feel almost total responsibility for the workplace and will come in on short notice and cover difficult shifts. This has always been their practice. The Gen X and Millenniums are more cognizant of home-and-life balance and strive to keep this in check."

Each generation also brings different skills, all needed to best serve patients.

"The younger nurses are very technologically advanced, but the older nurses are more connected with the patients," said Rosemary Walter, director of the medical/surgical unit at Wuesthoff in Rockledge.

Technological savvy, a given for new nursing grads and necessary for survival in the health care field today, can be difficult for older nurses to embrace.

"I feel we have an advantage over older generations in the new advancements of paperless systems, computer charting and the new diagnostics," said Michele McCray Miller, 26. "Throughout nursing school, we were constantly using simulated mannequins, computer programs and other electronic devices to master skills such as NG (nasogastric) tubes, catheters and IV skills. Older generations were not as lucky to have those resources in the classroom."

Allison Rogers has been a nurse for two years. Rogers' mother was a nurse. This member of Generation X had no doubts about her career choice.

"I know how important my job is, and I consider it an honor to care for patients the way I would want my family to be taken care of," Rogers said.

Topics: diversity, nursing, apps, technology, diverse, hispanic, nurse, nurses, internet use

Survey: 71 percent of US nurses use smartphones

Posted by Pat Magrath

Tue, May 01, 2012 @ 10:02 AM

According to a recent survey conducted by Wolters Kluwer Health’s Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (LWW), 71 percent of nurses are already using smartphones for their job. The survey included responses from 3,900 nurses and nursing students. About 66 percent of those nursing students surveyed said they use their smartphones for nursing school.iphone

Overall, 85 percent of the nurses and nursing students said they want a smartphone app version of LWW’s Nursing 2013 Drug Handbook. Some 87 percent of those surveyed said they would want a smartphone app version of the text as well as a print version.

This month LWW plans to launch its first mobile app version of the handbook. The new forthcoming app includes nearly 900 drug monographs addressing more than 3,000 generic and brand name drugs. The app also offers a dosage calculator, pill images, detailed monographs and weekly drug updates. The app will work on iPhone, iPad, and Android devices once it launches later this month.

Earlier this year the New York Times reported on the effects of the increased adoption of smartphones among students at nursing schools: “The most profound recent change is a move away from the profession’s dependence on committing vast amounts of information to memory. It is not that nurses need to know less, educators say, but that the amount of essential data has exploded,” the Times wrote.

In January Massachusetts General Hospital also announced plans to equip its nurses with iPhones thanks to a recent deal with Voalte. Voalte’s offering combines high-definition voice calls, critical care alarms and presence-based text features and is intended for use by staff in acute care hospitals in the US and Canada — especially nurses. The company has helped a number of healthcare facilities equip their nurses with smartphones, including, Cedars-Sinai, Nebraska Medical Center, Texas Children’s, Heartland Health, Huntington Hospital, and Sarasota Memorial.

Topics: diversity, nursing, apps, nurse, nurses, mobile, iphone

Top 25 iPhone Apps for Nurses

Posted by Wilson Nunnari

Tue, Apr 17, 2012 @ 08:52 AM

Are you a nurse who uses an iPhone? The iPhone is especially useful for nurses who are mobile, as this tool can help you stay in touch with medical teams and patients’ needs. Additionally, many new apps have been developed for the iPhone that fit a nurse’s lifestyle and professional requirements. Why carry 15 tools around with you when one will do the work for them all? Many of the iPhone apps listed below are not open source or free. And, many require wireless networks to operate. But, when you consider the cost of the tools you might need to simulate these apps, the app may be worth the investment.

a iphone app landing

The apps below are linked either to download sites or reviews with a link to the download site. They are listed in alphabetical order, a methodology that shows we don’t favor one app over another.

  1. A.D.A.M. Symptom Navigator: If patients are using this app, maybe you should, too – easily find out what to do about any symptoms. Learn self care, when to go to the doctor, and when it is an emergency.
  2. Bishop’s Score Calc: This obstetric calculator is used to calculate Bishop’s Score, a score used to assess probability of impending delivery as well as expected success rate if labor is induced. Expectant parents may also find this of use in aiding their obstetrician in determining whether induction of labor is reasonable.
  3. Bio Dictionary: Bio Dictionary covers most of general biological terms. Two methods are offered for searching, and terms and their explanations are audible!
  4. Cockcroft: Calculate the estimated clearance of creatinine (eCcr) with the creatinine serum rate (in mg/dL or in micromol/L). Weight can be either in kilogram or in pounds.
  5. Epocrates Rx: One of the few free iPhone apps, Epocrates Rx includes a drug guide, formulary information and drug interaction checker. This product also includes continual free updates and medical news. Plus, this app resides on your device so you can look for information without wireless connections.
  6. Eponyms for the iPhone: Downloadable through the iTunes store and courtesy of Pascal Pfiffner, this app brings the beautiful eponym database from Andrew J. Yee to your iPhone or iPod touch.
  7. Glucose Charter: Glucose-Charter is a blood glucose, insulin and medication recording app for any iPhone. Patients can self-monitor, nurses can use it to check patients.
  8. iAnesthesia: Case Logs: iAnesthesia: Case Logs allows all anesthesia providers to easily create, manage and backup case logs quickly in the operating room, leaving you with more free time when not at work.
  9. iChart: Keep track of patients through this personal medical assistant. It stores everything from patient data to charts and lists of medications in a streamlined, organized fashion.
  10. In Case of Emergency (ICE): You may not always practice in a hospital setting. If not, this app can provide you with all the information you need to contact emergency services in your location.
  11. iRx: iRx is a pharmaceutical reference tool to get FDA information on specific drugs. This application is currently in beta status, but is fully functional.
  12. Lab Tests: This laboratory test database is broken up into categories including, Blood Bank, Clinical Chemistry, Coagulation, Hematology, Serology, Immunology, Tumor Markers, Urinalysis and Therapeutic Drugs. Reference ranges and notes on the clinical significance of the test are given when indicated.
  13. Medical Reference: Why memorize medical terminology when you can look it up on your iPhone?
  14. Mediquations: Mediquations for the iPhone and iPod Touch brings over 201 common medical calculations and scoring tools to your fingertips with the simplicity and elegance you expect out of an iPhone application.
  15. MIM Radiology: The MIM iPhone Application provides multi-planar reconstruction of data sets from modalities including CT, PET, MRI and SPECT, as well as multi-modality image fusion.
  16. Mosby’s iTerms Flash Cards for Medical Terminology: Mosby’s iTerms Flash Cards for Medical Terminology, the premier study guide for mastering the prefixes, suffixes, combining forms, and abbreviations used to build medical terms, is now available for the iPhone and iPod touch.
  17. NCLEX-RN Medications: Nursing students can cram for their NCLEX exam with this app that will help you study medications and conditions.
  18. Netter’s Anatomy Flash Cards: Using outstanding anatomical illustrations from Netter’s hugely popular Atlas of Human Anatomy (4th Edition), Netter’s Anatomy Flash Cards allows you to carry the bestselling reference for human anatomy on your iPhone or iPod touch.
  19. Netter’s Musculoskeletal Flash Cards: Master the musculoskeletal anatomy and pathology you need to know with 210 flash cards.
  20. Netter’s Neuroscience Flash Cards: Enhance your understanding of key neuroscience concepts with Netter’s Neuroscience Flash Cards for iPhone and iPod touch.
  21. Nursing Central: Nursing Central is the complete mobile solution for nursing produced by Unbound Medicine. The app includes premier disease, drug and test information by and for nurses.
  22. Pocket First Aid Guide: Do you panic when caring for several people at once? Get a grip with this iPhone app. This is a first-aid guide for your iPhone that will help you treat anything from beestings to burns to eye injuries while you are within range of the Internet.
  23. ReachMD: The ReachMD CME iPhone application is an easy-to-use and fully accredited Continuing Medical Education tool that gives healthcare practitioners a convenient way to earn free CME credits through their iPhone or iTouch.
  24. ScribbleDoc: If you can’t read the good doctor’s writing, perhaps this app can help. Use your iPhone to scan the problem and ScribbleDoc should convert the image to text.
  25. Skyscape Medical Resources: Available from the iTunes Apps Store, this app offers Outlines in Clinical Medicine, Archimedes – Medical Calculator, RxDrugs: Drug Dosing Tool and MedAlert for free with their download.

Topics: diversity, nursing, apps, technology, nurse, nurses, communication, iphone

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