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A virtual nursing school

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The other day I was at school, managing a to-do list that seemed longer than it had been a while. Between emails that needed to go out, chapters that needed to be read, and general life that needed to be organized, I thought about what I would be doing if I didn’t have by laptop, my blackberry, and my ipod (for listening to lectures, of course!).  Even as I’m writing this, I am on my laptop at a coffee shop, sending out an email and making sure I have all my class notes in order to study for my final.  It got me thinking that even though these pieces of technology play such a huge role in our lives, there are still places where we could integrate their use to streamline the way we learn, and the way we care for our patients.

So I searched “nursing” on iTunes, just out of curiosity, and aside from the super awesome things I knew about (TheNursingShow podcast) and the iPod apps that made me want to get a new phone, I came across something WAY COOL.  An iPod app created by a nursing school, for nursing school. From what I gathered – or the way I see this all working out – is that each student is given a smart phone (in this case an iPhone/iTouch – ok, maybe they aren’t given it, but each student has one), and it’s loaded with apps and programs that are to be utilized throughout the nursing school experience. WHAT?! That’s so awesome! The one app in particular that I was looking at was like a “clinical companion” for the student. All HIPPA safe, the student can input data about the patient  (patient prep info!) and then throughout the day, the student checks off assessment findings associated with the diagnosis, meds given, and nursing activities completed. It’s an electronic way of keeping track of what’s been done, and what was found. At the end of the day, the students can sync their phones/devices into the main system, and the instructor can see what was completed, found, etc.

BRILLIANT! I’m sold! I asked one of my tech savvy instructors if she had heard of this, and she said some schools are using PDAs as a mandatory part of their program. It’s not something that my school will be considering in the next 9 months so that I can see it, but it’s definitely an option for the future of nursing schools. With everything that is becoming available, apps, books (even textbooks are going digital) why not uniformly utilize technology for the benefit of our education, and our learning experiences? I vote YES for PDA supplemented nursing programs in our future – what do you think?

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Ani Burr, RN

I'm a brand new, full-fledged, fresh-out-of-school RN! And better yet, I landed the job of my dreams working with children. I love what I do, and while everyday on the job is a new (and sometimes scary) experience, I'm taking it all in - absorbing everything I can about this amazing profession we all fell in love with.
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6 Responses to A virtual nursing school

  1. Sean Dent Scrubs Blogger

    Ani, not sure how relevant it is, but for my NP program I will be required to carry a hand-held device with 2 specific programs for clinical use.
    It is happening.

  2. Monica

    I just graduated with my BSN in Spring 2010. We had the mandatory PDA program in our nursing program. I loved it! It was a great clinical companion so we could look up info if we had a question. It had things like disease/disorders, med list, tabers medical dictionary, and a list of medical tests. It was really nice to have that right there with us while studying or at clinical so we could find the answer quick and easy. I think it would be great if all nursing programs could get something like that. Yes, the PDAs and program are pricey, but it was totally worth it (plus I already had a PDA for other things so I didn’t have to purchase that)!

    It was also useful during our quiz games during class, so we didn’t have to flip through the big books to find the answers!

  3. Lorraine

    I used my Palm Treo phone the same way – it wsaa very useful on clinical but I didn’t have an app that I could input pt data – had to write all that out. Boy what a timesaver an electronic version would’ve been! Yay for progress!

  4. Michelle

    There are some wonderful apps available for PDAs and smartphones…but what about facilities that will not allow cell phones at the work station? What will it take to get facilities get up to speed with technology?

  5. I have also heard of this before – but they decided not to use the phone version and opted for the ipod touch to keep students from using the photo taking and online options and other off limit things that can violate HIPPA. I just started in a program this semester and we are definitely not there yet – but maybe someday!!

  6. Your name

    How do we get some of these apps.

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