The newest technology from Apple is the iPad. The iPad has been described as the new handheld computing device. It is larger than a smart phone but smaller than a laptop. It allows the user to use existing applications (apps), a movie and music player, a photo display device, and an e-book reader, as well as instant access to the web. The graphics are well designed and the touch screen is easy to use. So, can the iPad be more than a new gadget? Is there educational value in the iPad?
Will the iPad revolutionize how the clinical setting? Probably not, but it will definitely augment knowledge and resources for nurses. So, how does the nursing incorporate iPad into clinical? How does this technology improve nursing education?
Listed below are what I believe are the applications of iPad that will be of most use to nurses and nursing students.
1. Healthcare applications. There are currently many healthcare applications available. They range from acute to chronic illness, infectious diseases, A & P, medical calculations to name a few. Some of free and some are costly. An example would be a free A & P application. Besides describing the A & P, it includes case studies, questions and related links. This could be used during down clinical time, when the instructor is busy with one student; another student can be reviewing the application and present a brief synopsis in post conference.
2. Videos for skills. Videos can be accessed and reviewed prior to performing the clinical skill. A great way to review a skill prior to performing on a live patient.
3. Reference materials. Many times instructors post information on the college’s course management site. These are well researched reference materials available to enhance student learning. The students can now access the information in clinical
4. Books. Nurses/nursing students would be able to access textbooks and other reference books. Many of the students textbooks on available online. Also, many have online enhancements. I have used the evolve concept mapping (Iggy text) in clinical. The iPad would allow the students to search through their textbooks for information.
5. Web inquires. The iPad allows instant access to the web and evidence based materials. Students would no longer have to wait until they got home to look up information. Decisions on patient care could be made quicker based on research.
6. Interactive web sites. During down time, nurses/nursing students can search and use interactive web sites for continuing education. Time could be spent practicing heart/lung sounds, assessment skills, blood gas interpretation, etc.
For faculty, the concern is security. How does one keep the iPad safe when in a patient’s room? The most obvious way would be a have access to a locked area where the iPad would be safely stored. Also, for ease of access, purchasing a pouch for the iPad. The iPad can then be carried on your person at all times. When in a patient room, slide the pouch to your backside, underneath your lab coat. It keeps the iPad safe and out of the way.