Are the days of the nursing manuals, bulky reference books and newspaper job adverts numbered?
In a world where technology is increasingly influential, nursing practice is supported by a growing number of handy smartphone applications that promise to inform, organise and demystify.
During my nursing training I have turned increasingly to apps as a speedy point of reference, an organising tool for my chaotic life or to give me a brief experience of escapism from the realities of the day via a snappy game of Ruzzle or Angry Birds. What would we do without our phones?
In this blog, I am going to share a few of the apps I have downloaded to help me get by. These are my personal preferences so what works for me might not work for everyone but have a nosey at these apps and see what you think – and feel free to add your own suggestions for useful applications that assist you in your nursing life.
Let’s start with the brand new and essential app for all nurses. Your subscription to Student Nursing Times now comes with full access to the NT app - and at no extra cost; and with practice content available on the app a number of days before it appears on the website, having this app is an absolute must for all student nurses.
This is one of the most popular medical apps. It features comprehensive information about diseases, conditions, medications and procedures and also includes photos and videos. Further, it has an interesting medical news section. You do have to register and navigation can be rather tricky with new screens opening after each click; still, it is free.
Mini Nurse Lite
I am cursed with a terrible memory so this app is good for quick answers about nursing skills, medication and I.V rates. It has listening features for the lungs and heart as well as practice quizzes and assessment tools. It may not be as useful for trained nurses as the information it provides is basic and it does suffer from occasional technical glitches. It won’t cost you anything to try it.
Physiology Learning Pro
This app consists of animations accompanied by narrations and illustrations. It is good for getting to grips with the mechanism of the body but it could do with more topics being added. It is free.
My Study Life
If like me you find it difficult to organise your assignments, work shifts, exam revision and a much-needed night out, this app can help make sure you are up-to-date and in the right place at the right time. It also won’t cost you a penny.
Evernote is a modern workspace you can use to jot down notes and collect web articles, journals and photos. It is easy to use and has a good design but it can be a little slow to open. I’d advise you to use it for hobbies, capturing copies of receipts and diary entries. Free to download.
Trying to eat healthily as a nursing student is a challenge. We all know convenience food, eating unwisely when tired and stressed and booze can take their toll on the body. I have used this app to gain insight into what I was actually eating and found the food diary easy to use. You can log your daily activity and join friends online to encourage each other – and yippee, it’s free!
Sleep as Android
This is a smart alarm clock that tracks your sleep cycle so you wake up gently with soothing music at the optimum moment. A variety of sleep statistics are logged so you can see whether you sleep talk or snore! Many users are convinced it has helped them function better in the day. There is a free trial and then if you like the app you can buy it at a small cost.
Students are in a great position to get involved in designing new apps. Universities welcome enterprises such as this and can sometimes fund their development so if you have an idea then do see if you can make it a reality.
Please feel free to comment and add any other tech-savvy resources you’d like to share.
Chloe Alden-Dennis is Student Nursing Times’ student editor for children’s branch