Nursing personal digital assistant (PDA) software is a resource that nurses can use for reference. The software generally encompasses various nursing topics, including medication and treatment information. Nurses may use this tool to study, check for accuracy, or learn more about a particular subject.
A PDA may include a mobile telephone, databases, and other computer applications contained in one small, lightweight, portable device. The main benefit of a PDA is the ability to contain large amounts of information in a conveniently small format. This type of mobile device may have Internet capabilities, through wired or wireless connectivity. The records that are stored on a PDA are usually synchronized with a computer to backup and merge data. The most common PDA devices run on the Palm® Operating System or Windows Mobile®.
Nursing PDA software refers to any program written for a portable digital device with content relevant to nurses. This can include medical news, medical calculators, diagnostic criteria, medication references, medical dictionaries, and more. Some programs provide information specific to a certain group of patients, such as pediatrics or geriatrics.
It is very convenient to use nursing PDA software due to its portability. For example, by installing medication software, a nurse can quickly check for indications, interactions, potential adverse effects, and dosages without having to locate and refer to a bulky drug reference book. When administering medications, the nurse can have this information in seconds. This not only increases efficiency, but also helps to insure safety.
With the plethora of specialized nursing jobs, nursing PDA software can streamline and enhance individual performance. Some programs outline procedures, with instructions, equipment, potential complications, and suggestions for documentation. Others explore signs and symptoms, which can be another critical reference when caring for patients.
Nursing PDA software that assists with medical calculations can be particularly useful. From determining the appropriate flow rate for an intravenous infusion, to calculating the amount of insulin to administer, this type of reference can improve safety by ensuring that patients receive appropriate amounts of prescribed medications. It also relieves nurses of the necessity of finding a separate calculator and remembering formulas for determining dosage requirements.
One issue to be aware of when downloading and using nursing PDA software is privacy. Several programs are available to record patient data, test results, and notes about patient care. Many of these allow beaming of this information to other devices. In the United States, it is critical to make sure that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) is being observed, and that patient confidentiality is maintained.