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Operating Opinions
A forum for discussion on recent news regarding OR nurses.
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Smartphone apps
Piggybacking on the last post, I'd like to discuss technology and its role in healthcare a bit further. It is no doubt that the majority of patients and healthcare providers use smartphones on a daily basis. That being said, there are several medical apps out there – perpetually under FDA regulatory scrutiny – that can help facilitate providing healthcare for clinicians and patients. Here are some of the apps I think may benefit you and/or your patients:

Campbell's Orthopedics allows users to navigate through 242 techniques and over 1,000 corresponding images; view almost 20 procedure videos, bookmark techniques for later reference, and a search index that allows quick location of any technique.

Touch Surgery provides surgical training for everyone. A process called cognitive task simulation breaks down each operation into individual, fundamental steps and decision-points. Developed by surgeons, the app also lets users test themselves.

AO Surgery Reference is a comprehensive resource that contains a wealth of information regarding all aspects of trauma management. It detials surgical management processes from diagnosis to aftercare for all fractures of any given region. The app was developed by the AO Foundation.

First Aid puts expert advice in the hands of its non-clinical users. Created by the American Red Cross, the app gives instant access for common first aid emergencies with videos, quizzes, and step-by-step advice in urgent situations.

AHRQ ePSS provides OR nurses and other clinicians with decision-making support regarding appropriate screenings, counseling, and preventive services for patients based on current evidenced-based recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

Here are a few non-medical apps that can be useful for clinicians and health professional students:

Noteability is a note-taking app that lets you import any type of document (Microsoft Office) and mark it up. Textbooks can also be placed in the app and highlighted/marked up. In addition, users can also import photos and record audio/video.

Quizlet is an app that allows you to make virtual, double-sided note cards, which can help users study for exams.

Dropbox/Google Drive are cloud storage services that allow users to place and/or share any type of file; the files (Word Document, PDF, etc.) are placed online and can be accessed or shared with colleagues later.

These are just a few of the many apps out there to help us in our daily routines. What apps are you using as an OR nurse, and what apps do you recommend to your patients if any?
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About the Author

Elizabeth M. Thompson
Elizabeth M. Thompson is the Editor-In-Chief of OR Nurse 2012. She is also a Nursing Education Specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.