rotations and PDAs

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by wiglif, Mar 17, 2001.

  1. wiglif

    wiglif Junior Member

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    I am wondering how necessary people feel that having a PDA while on rotations actually is. Is it useful to have the resources on you or do you end up looking things up in books regardless? Do you keep patient information in there to upload to a hospital system?

    Just wondering.


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    -mz
     
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  3. Firebird

    Firebird 1K Member

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    I'm not even in medical school yet, but I shadowed at a hospital the other day and the student I followed around expressed that PDA's were about the best thing since sliced bread.

    He used his all the time, especially when he referenced pharmacological stuff. He only looked in a book maybe once or twice to make sure he had asked all the questions during PE.

     
  4. UHS2002

    UHS2002 Senior Member

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    Yes, yes and...yes!

    My PDA (I have a Handspring Visor, BTW) was one of the best purchases I have made for med school.

    I use it all the time. I use PatientKeeper to keep track of my patients, use Epocrates and Medscape for drug info and The 5 Minute Clinical Consult for all the obscure stuff I haven't seen since Path. Plus, I enter all the "pearls" from my rotations in it, keep logs of my didactics and procedures, keep track of people's pager numbers, lock combinations to the various lounges, etc, etc.

    I do not think it is very usefull during your first 2 years of med school, but it is a must on rotation. Most residents I have worked with had a PDA and we beamed info back and forth all the time. Many of the attendings also used PDAs. It is a good ice breaker as everyone gathers around if you have some cool stuff on your Palm to share with others.Attendings actually talk to you (LOL) because they know you have the drug info, so they ask you to look stuff up all the time (so they, at least, have noticed you exist [​IMG] )
     
  5. SW-Adrian

    SW-Adrian Member

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    Yes!! My palmpilot has been an extension of my brain throughout my rotations. It's extremely valuable and, furthermore, it lightens up the load of books you need to carry around with you.
    Some of the very useful programs I always use are:
    5 minute clinical consult (great to get those complete differentials)
    Lexidrugs (any other drug reference should be fine)
    Medical calculator (no need to memorize or look up those formulas)
    Patientkeeper (to keep track of my patients)
    These are the 4 programs I probably use the most...
    Then, there is avantgo... great to keep up with the med litterature, or the daily newspaper...
    You can also keep yourself entertained with chess games, tetris and so on.... during those boring conferences.
    There are a whole collection of files you can get from the net that are very useful...


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    Adrian Zai
    Scutwork.com

    [This message has been edited by SW-Adrian (edited March 21, 2001).]
     
  6. Piper

    Piper New Member

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    Regarding the PDA subject...which OS is most prevalent in the health care field- Windows CE or the Palm OS? Is one more advantageous than the other??
     
  7. wiglif

    wiglif Junior Member

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    Okay, thanks for the input. Now on getting a PDA. What do you recommend. Looks like the Visor Deluxe is about the most popular thing since sliced bread... What is your opinion? Are there really any benefits to Palm?

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    -mz
     
  8. Besyonek

    Besyonek Senior Member

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    Wiglif,

    I have the Visor Platinum -- $300. It's only about $50 more than the Deluxe, and is much faster. A number of my classmates who got Palms are already unhappy with them b/c they lack the springboard feature for adding modules. The Visors use the Palm OS, so I've swapped programs with people who have Palms. I'm planning on getting modules of Harrison's and the Washington Manual before this summer.

    I'm not really a "gadget" person, but decided to get a PDA before my 3rd year -- a lot of people use them in the wards.

    Whatever you end up getting, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

     
  9. MD-PGY1

    MD-PGY1 Junior Member

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    Whatever you get hold onto it! My program provided us with TRGPros with an extra 32 MGBs of memory, the second week I had it I left it under a counter in the outpatient clinic with some books, went in to see a pt, came out 15 mins later....and realized what a big mistake I had made....

    I was just beginning to enjoy having lighter pockets. So now I save a little each week, maybe by my third year I'll be able to buy a new one!
     
  10. Future Surgeon

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    While we're on the topic of precautions, be careful not to sit on it if you put it in your back pocket (on surgery when you're wearing scrubs and want to have it with you in the OR) -- I've seen people break brand new palms by doing this.
     
  11. SW-Adrian

    SW-Adrian Member

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    Since we're talking about PDAs, handspring just came out with a new ultrathin Visor
    that looks like a palm V except that it comes in several colors and attaches to their cartridges for expanded funtions. Palm also came out with 2 new ultrathin palmpilots, both with expansion slots and one comes with a color screen.
    I'm currently using a palm III upgraded to 8mb. With all the applications I have on it, it's already filled to capacity. So, my advice is not to get one with less than that. I think the current palm IIIx comes with 8mb which is fine. The visor maybe a better alternative since they tend to be cheaper and comes with an upgradable slot. Of course, if you have money to spare, just get one of those new ones.


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    Adrian Zai
    Scutwork.com
     
  12. DO DUDE

    DO DUDE Senior Member

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    A good case I use I got at www.ebcases.com
    I got the visor slipper with clip. The clip is on a swivel so you can sit down and it conforms to your body position. It clips on to your scrub pants anywhere too. When you use it you just press a button to pop it off the clip and then pop it back on. Very convenient.
     
  13. twister

    twister Member

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    Does anyone have any thoughts/experience on/with the pocket pcs? (www.pocketpc.com)
     
  14. roo

    roo Voice From The Wilderness

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    roo thinks pda is best thing since sliced bread too for rotations. roo's favorite two med apps are:

    (1) ePocrates ( http://www.epocrates.com ): a free drug reference. Good especially since I learned the generics and all the reports are written using trade names.

    (2) Medical Mnemonics ( http://www.medicalmnemonics.com ): an editable database of medical mnemonics. Very nice for refreshing up for pimp questions when jumping into a new rotation.
     
  15. SW-Adrian

    SW-Adrian Member

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    About PocketPC's...

    Most people (on the east coast at least) tend to use palmpilots. Of course, this does not mean that PocketPC's aren't as good. The popularity of the palm in the field of medicine has resulted in hundreds of developers writing relevant medical software for this system. It has also become more and more important to have a PDA that is compatible with your colleagues' PDA allowing you to exchange programs and patient data with each other.
    PocketPCs tend to be more expensive due to its hardware requirements. Few pocketPCs come with less than 32mb ram simply because of the memory-intensive operating system. The main advantage a pocket PC has over the palm is its capability to play multimedia files and MP3 music right out of the box.

    So in summary:

    Palm:
    Advantages: lots of medical software, most popular, cheaper than pocket PCs, long battery life, small form factor available.

    Disadvantage: Color ones are expensive, does not come with MP3 player (however, you can upgrade it with the handspring visors and the Sony)

    PS: check out the Sony PDA which is also based on the palm OS.

    Pocket PCs:

    Advantages: Comes with pocket word, excel, mp3 player, color screen. There are more manufacturers making Pocket PC's resulting in a more competition.

    Disadvantages: Fewer medical software available, not the standard PDA in the medical world, battery's tend to run short, expensive.

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    Adrian Zai
    Scutwork.com

    [This message has been edited by SW-Adrian (edited April 05, 2001).]
     

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