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Volume 2, Issue 4
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The Student Nurse Advisor - Volume 2, Issue 4 - April 15, 2002

The Student Nurse Advisor

The #1 E-Zine for Nursing Students!

Welcome to the April, 2002 issue of The Student Nurse Advisor, your first source for nursing articles, topical news and student resources!

Congratulations! to Julie R. of Cohoes, NY, our March Student Nurse Challenge winner!  Julie is the winner of a Conversions Chart from Conversions Made Easy. Take the Student Nurse Challenge for the month of April and be entered to win a Quick-E Medical Surgical Clinical Nursing Reference book from Bandido Books!  This month's topic is "What is your best tip for balancing school and family?" It's fast, it's free and it's easy - enter today!

Special Report:  PDAs for Nurses (and Students!)
What is a PDA and Why Should You Care?
Nurses Using PDAs to Save Time
PDAs in Medicine: Information at the Point of Care
The Basics of Palm
RNpalm Provides Palm Solutions for Nurses
The Plain English Geek Glossary
The Full Service Maternal-Child Health Nurse
A New Attitude: Holistic Nurses
School Nursing: More Than Just Bruises and Bandaids
NANDA-Approved Nursing Diagnoses
Clinical Epidemiology for Effective Practice: An Online Tutorial
Trauma Moulage
The Electronic Medical Phrase Book (Translator)
Differential Diagnosis of Abuse Injuries in Infants and Young Children

National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program
Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program
IHS Loan Repayment Program
NIH Loan Repayment Program
Perkins Loan Cancellation
Regular Features:

 SPECIAL REPORT:  PDAs for Nurses (and Students!)

NOTE:  To read the full article, click on the title.

What is a PDA and Why Should You Care?
Ohio State University School of Nursing
In healthcare, nurse managers are using PDAs to track projects and take notes while making rounds. Interns, student nurses, and residents are using PDAs to look up drug references and practice guidelines. Primary care providers are making differential diagnoses, tracking patients, appointments, and billing on PDAs. A PDA is first of all, a digital replacement for those big fat combo daily calendar and addressbook notebooks. But a PDA also has some computer-like functions. You can download software to track expenses, take notes, read books, learn chess, control TVs remotely, set off alarms for date and times, build databases, exchange electronic business cards with a tap of the screen, search drug references, and of course, play solitaire. And much more. Some PDAs have modules you can add to take digital photos, play MP3 music, and browse the web wirelessly.

Nurses Using PDAs to Save Time
Palm Boulevard
In order to maximize caregiving and minimize time spent on recordkeeping, every full-time Visiting Nurse at VNA Home Health Systems in Santa Ana, California is receiving her own personal digital assistant (pda) specially programmed with in-depth clinical information and easy-to-use electronic nursing forms.
The personal digital assistant program is intended to make nursing more appealing by addressing two of nurses' biggest complaints about nursing: too much time filling out endless forms and not enough time spent with patients.

PDAs in Medicine: Information at the Point of Care
CyberMed Catalyst
It's 4:00 am and you're stuck in an ER rotation. Nothing major is happening so you decide to check on earlier admissions through the ER using your computer. The device immediately springs to life and you are warned that Mrs. Jones' labs have detected an abnormality. Quickly, you log on to Medline using the web browser and lookup the possible causes of hyperkalemia. The resulting information you copy and paste into Mrs. Jones' electronic chart residing on the ERs local Intranet again using your computer. You need a printout so you fax the information to a fax machine at the nursing station. WOW that was quick, the time is 4:15 am. Still, not bad at all considering the computer on which all this was done resides in your lab coat pocket!

The Basics of Palm
What is a PDA (personal digital assistant)?  What are the differences between all the available devices?  How much memory do you need?  This online guide will get you up to speed on handhelds and help you determine which PDA is right for you.

RNpalm Provides Palm Solutions for Nurses
PalmPower Magazine
RNpalm (ed note: now PDA Cortex) was created by a few nurses who purchased Palm computers. They went online looking for resources and applications suited for the nursing profession, but they were disappointed to discover they couldn't find any. While there are vast numbers of medical-specific applications available for the Palm OS, this group of nurses felt there were few general healthcare and nursing applications, so they decided to fill the void in the marketplace. In association with their independent software developers, they've developed nursing specific Palm OS software applications. Best of all, the RNpalm applications are free to download.

The Plain English Geek Glossary
PDA Cortex
Techno-babble not your thing?  Check out PDA Cortex's complete online glossary of geek speak.  If you are researching PDAs or other hardware and software, this guide will help you translate computer jargon into plain english!


NOTE:  To read the full article, click on the title

The Full Service Maternal Child Health Nurse
When school psychologist Cecilia Barry had her first daughter, it was in a traditional maternity setting — the new mother in a semi-private room on the postpartum floor, newborn Emily bundled up far away in the sterile nursery bassinet. If Barry wanted to find out how her baby was doing, she'd have to hobble down the hall to seek out the nursery nurse, or ask her nurse to speak to the nurse in the nursery. When Barry’s youngest child was born, it was a totally different scenario. Her new daughter, Allie, slept peacefully at Barry’s side and one nurse cared for both of them — there to answer questions, facilitate the bonding process, and reassure the tired but delighted mom.

A New Attitude: Holistic Health Nurses
"Nursing started out to be holistic," said Karen Rader, MSN, RN, a certified healing touch practitioner in Indiana. "Holistic techniques don't take away from medicine, but complement it." People who are ill tend to experience a lot of stress, for example, and holistic medicine offers many therapies designed to deal with stress. "Florence Nightingale herself was extremely holistic," said Marsha Walker, MSN, RN, a registered massage therapist and certified holistic nurse in Austin, Texas. "She advocated that nurses were to tend not only to a person's body, but their environment, food, air, their spirit."

School Nursing: More Than Just Bruises and Bandaids
Over the years, school nursing has changed dramatically. It’s no longer just about treating scratches and bruises. Today’s school nurses conduct health assessments, dispense shots and medications, and counsel young children dealing with difficult home lives, substance abuse and pregnancy—or at the very least, offer a listening ear to children looking for some adult support.


NOTE:  To read the full article, click on the title

NANDA-Approved Nursing Diagnoses
J. Letson, University of New Hampshire
If you are looking for a quick list of nursing diagnoses, this is the site!  J. Letson of the University of New Hampshire has grouped the nursing diagnoses using Gordon's Health Patterns: Health Perception/Management, Nutrition/Metabolic, Elimination, Activity/Exercise, Sleep/Rest, Cognitive/Perceptual, Self Perception/Self Concept, Role Relationship, Value/Belief, Sexuality/Reproductive, and Coping/Stress Tolerance.

Clinical Epidemiology for Effective Practice: An Online Tutorial
This internet self-directed learning workbook introduces you to EBM (evidence-based medicine), critical appraisal, research fundamentals, basic statistics for the clinician and systematic reviews.  It also discusses practice guidelines, quality of life and genetic epidemiology.  The end of the tutorial includes a self-test with answers you can check.

Trauma Moulage
What's a moulage? A moulage is a practice scenario, where you have a patient to assess and manage appropriately. These online moulages were the first on the internet and more are planned for the future.  Current moulages include initial assessment, pre-hospital care, cervical-spine clearance, pediatrics, neurotrauma and trauma team leader decision scenarios. The moulages require you to be using Netscape Navigator 2.0+, Internet Explorer 3.01+ or another internet browser that supports frames. Make sure Javascript is enabled. Though they should work in most screen modes, they are optimised for 800x600 with font size set to small.

The Electronic Phrase Book
GASNet - Yale University
This online phrase book is a searchable database you can use to convert medical phrases into other languages and vice versa.  Current languages included are: German, Hebrew, Italian, Spanish.

Differential Diagnosis of Abuse Injuries in Infants and Young Children
A complete differential diagnosis is essential when assessing potential child abuse injuries. The differential diagnosis provides clinicians with the opportunity to compare injuries that might mimic abuse with actual abuse-related injuries. The differential diagnosis should delineate the injury type, injury site, instruments used, patterns, and the appearance of old or repeated injuries. This article discusses differential diagnoses that should be considered when evaluating injuries in infants and young children.


NOTE:  To read the full article, click on the title

National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program
National Health Service Corps
Fully trained health professionals who are dedicated to working with the underserved and have qualifying educational loans are eligible to compete for repayment of those loans if they choose to serve in a community of greatest need. In addition to loan repayment, these clinicians receive a competitive salary, some tax relief benefits, and a chance to have a significant impact on a community. Maximum repayment during the required initial 2-year contract is $25,000 each year.

Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program
Health Resources and Services Administration, Bureau of Health Professions
The Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program addresses the maldistribution of nurses by providing funds directly to the trained nurse for repayment of undergraduate and graduate loans for nurse training in exchange for the participant serving in a federally designated nursing shortage area. Funds to repay loans are available to nurses who received a baccalaureate or associate degree in nursing, a diploma in nursing or a graduate degree in nursing. For two years of service, the NELRP will pay 60 percent of the participant’s total qualifying loan balance; for three years of service, the NELRP will pay 85 percent of the participant’s total qualifying loan balance.

IHS Loan Repayment Program
Indian Health Service
The purpose of the IHS Loan Repayment Program (LRP) is to obtain health professionals to meet the staffing needs of the IHS in Indian health programs. Applicants sign contractual agreements with the Secretary for 2 years and fulfill their agreements through full-time clinical practice at an IHS facility or approved Indian health program. In return, the LRP will repay all or a portion of the applicant's eligible health professionals educational loans (undergraduate and graduate) for tuition expenses. Applicants are eligible to have their educational loans repaid in amounts up to $20,000 per year for each year of service. In addition, the LRP will pay up to 20% of Federal taxes directly to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)--incurred as a result of payments made on behalf of recipients

NIH Loan Repayment Programs
National Institutes of Health
Qualified health professionals who contractually agree to conduct clinical or pediatric research for a two-year consecutive period are eligible to apply for this program. Participants in this program can receive educational loan repayment of up to $35,000 annually, depending on total educational loan debt, plus a Federal tax liability offset.

Perkins Loan Cancellation
U.S. Department of Education
Nurses who take out a Perkins Loan to help fund their schooling are eligible to have up to 100% of the loan cancelled after one year's full-time employment as a licensed practical nurse or registered nurse.


Quick-E Clinical Nurse Reference Guides On Sale - THREE Books for the Price of One!
Review by Stephanie Thibeault, The Student Nurse Forum

We were just notified about one of the best deals for nursing students we've seen! Bandido Books is having their biggest sale ever - for a limited time, you can get select titles from their popular line of Quick-E Clinical Pocket Guides for 50% off!  Plus, you can combine this sale with their standard "buy 2, get 1 free" offer to get up to 3 books for the price of 1!  You just aren't going to find a better deal anywhere, and these reference books are lifesavers on the floor in clinicals.  To read our previous reviews of some of the Quick-E titles, see Volume I, Issue 1 and  Volume I, Issue 4.

Titles on sale include:
Medical Surgical Clinical Reference
E.R. Clinical Reference
Pediatric Clinical Reference
Intravenous Clinical Reference
Spanish Guide for Nurses

Each of these Quick-E Nursing Reference books retails for $19.95 - and now, you can get 3 for the price of 1!  Don't miss out on this fantastic sale - stock up now, expand your nursing library and get 3 invaluable pocket guide books you can use right away on the floors!

For full descriptions of the Quick-E books and to order, visit Bandido Books today!


This month, The Student Nurse Advisor offers a reader-submitted tip for preparing for the NCLEX:

From Isabelle L. of Denver, CO:
I have been accepted into the Regis University Nursing School in Colorado but won''t start until August. However, I have already purchased the NCLEX exam preparation guide for 2001-2002. I figure, if I use this CD on an ongoing basis to challenge myself, by the time I complete school in 2004, all I'll need is the updated version and I should be set. Here's to nursing!

From Julie R. of Cohoes, NY:
Although I still have another year to go, I have already been studying for the NCLEX. As we cover an issue (i.e., we are doing Orthopaedics right now), I get out my study guide and test..test...test myself! This helps not only to study for the boards, but also for the unit we are covering. Plus it helps to learn the drugs quicker! Another advantage is that if I have any question or simply don't understand something, I can ask one of my professors and get the facts....which would be impossible after I graduate.

From Christine R. of Athens, GA:
I've used NCLEX study guides to prepare for all my course exams - often the questions are directly out of the study materials. With NCLEX being only a few months away, I find the best way to study is to review questions and really understand the rationales behind the answers. Instead of trying to memorize every condition and situation, it's important to zero in on critical thinking skills and pay attention to what the questions are really asking. I reread notes and outlines in weak areas and concentrate heavily on those questions. By practicing the questions, you can get a good feel for what the examining board will be looking for. Best wishes to all those taking the test this year!

Want more great tips for NCLEX prep?  Click here!  And don't forget to enter our April Student Nurse Challenge to be entered to win a Quick-E Medical Surgical Clinical Nursing Reference Guide from Bandido Books!


Read Clinical Nursing Books Online Free in Our Reading Room!

Students - check out our new online Reading Room!  Here you will find a number of quality clinical e-books you can read online for free!  With's e-books, you can read books from cover-to-cover using your standard web browser.  There's nothing to download, no special devices required!  If you enjoy the books, they are also available for purchase from  Simply click on the picture of the book you are interested in reading, settle in with a cup of cocoa, and expand your nursing knowledge.  Current e-books include:
Advanced Health Assessment of Women
Advanced Practice Nursing
Cardiac Nursing
Quick Reference to Critical Care
Hospice & Palliative Care
Management of the High Risk Pregnancy
Oski's Pediatrics - Principles and Practice
Protocols for Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Research Guide for the Digital Age
Touched By A Nurse
Stop in to browse our Reading Room today - and happy reading!


Test Your Critical Thinking Skills - Do You Have What It Takes?

The following is a test of your critical-thinking skills and your ability to quickly analyze events. Scroll down slowly -  read and answer the question before viewing the answer.  Move on to the next questions and do the same.

1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?

The correct answer is:
Open the refrigerator put in the giraffe and close the door.

This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way.

2. How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?

Wrong Answer:
Open the refrigerator put in the elephant and close the refrigerator.

Correct Answer:
Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door.

This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your previous actions.

3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference. All the animals attend except one. Which animal does not attend?

Correct Answer:
The Elephant. The elephant is in the refrigerator.

This tests your memory.

OK, even if you did not answer the first three questions correctly, you still have one more chance to show your true abilities...

4. There is a river you must cross. But it is inhabited by crocodiles. How do you manage it?

Correct Answer:
You swim across. All the crocodiles are attending the Animal Conference.

This tests whether you learn quickly from your mistakes.

According to a famous consulting firm, around 90 percent of the professionals they tested got all questions wrong. But many preschoolers got several correct answers. The firm says this conclusively disproves the theory that most professionals have the brain of a 4-year-old!

This fun test was received from the SNurse-L group, an international student nurse e-mailing list.  To join this fabulous online student nurse community, sign up here:

Thank you for subscribing to The Student Nurse Advisor!  We welcome your thoughts always. Please e-mail Stephanie Thibeault at with your comments and suggestions!

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