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10 Apps for UK Nurses & Healthcare Professionals

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by Matt Bodell.
10 Apps for UK Nurses & Healthcare Professionals

Mobile Apps are the new hot-topic in Nursing, they allow nurses access to a vast array of information quickly in a simple format without leaving the patients bedside. Here is a rundown of the apps no Nurse should be without.

1) NICE BNF - Drug information.

Why: The app, developed by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence provides you access to the last drug information, side effects, dosages and much more. You can also download the BNF specific to children.

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AVAILABILITY: iOS and Android; Free

2) NICE Guidelines - Guidelines & Policies.

Why: Developed by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence the app provides you with access to the most up-to-date and gold standard policies and procedures.

AVAILABILITY: iOS and Android; Free

3) Eponyms - Dictionary of Terms.

Why: Eponyms brings a short description of more than 1'700 common medical eponyms to your device.

AVAILABILITY: iOS and Android; Free

4) Medscape - Directory of Information.

Why: Although based in the US, Medscape can provide you with a fountain of information on drugs, diagnosis, symptoms and patient management.

AVAILABILITY: iOS and Android; Free

5) Drug Calculations - Medical Calculations.

Why: Learn the formulae to calculate and administer drugs for adults, practise your skills and see how well you’re doing with this 40 minute app.

AVAILABILITY: iOS; Free

6) WebMD - Patient Information.

Why: Again based in the US but most of the information is transferable, be aware of differing brand names for drugs.

AVAILABILITY: iOS and Android; Free

7) Lab Tests - Blood Result Interpretation.

Why: This fantastic tool allows you to interpret blood test information, find normal ranges and suggest tests for specific conditions.

AVAILABILITY: iOS; £1.69

8) Twitter - Social Media.

Why: Ton of organisations now tweet out information and updates to their followers. If used correctly twitter can be a fantastic tool for nurses. Remember to follow us @NursingNotes on twitter.

AVAILABILITY: iOS and Android; Free

9) Shift Worker - Rota Manager.

Why: This allows you to easily keep track of your shifts, study days and days off. It is a fantastic tool and can help you plan your life for a better work life balance.

AVAILABILITY: iOS, £1.49

10) Figure 1 - Diagnostic Tools.

Why: Figure 1 is like Instagram for Healthcare professionals, the content is upload by its users and gives you an insight into the weird and wonderful of the medical world.

AVAILABILITY: iOS and Android; Free

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Education

NMC launches new educational standards to 'shape the future of nursing'

Part of the changes includes the removal of the cap on the number of hours students can spend on simulation activities.

Published on

by Ian Snug.
NMC launches new educational standards to 'shape the future of nursing'

Student nurses will start to train against the new standards from January 2019.

Last week the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) launched 'ambitious' new standards of proficiency that set out the skills and knowledge the next generation of nurses need.

Alongside the new proficiencies, the NMC has introduced a more modern and innovative approach to the way universities and their practise partners train nurses and midwives - the NMC claim these changes will allow greater independence of assessment, and greater innovation by placement providers.

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The NMC has also removed its standards for medicines management and instead encourages employers to instigate rigorous medicines management procedures.

Unlimited simulation.

Finally, part of the changes includes the removal of the cap on the number of hours students can spend on simulation activities - despite concerns this could reduce the total amount of time student nurses could spend on placements.

The new standards represent two years’ work and have been developed alongside nurses - as well as students, educators, healthcare professionals, charities and patient groups from across the UK.

Jackie Smith, NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, said: “Our new standards represent a huge leap forward. They raise the bar for the next generation of nurses and not only match the demands of the role but the ambition of the profession. This is vital as in the coming years many thousands of new professionals will join our register, delivering care to millions of people.

“We’ve also overhauled the way universities train nurses and midwives. They’ll be given more flexibility to harness new ways of working and embrace technology so they can equip the nurses and midwives of tomorrow with the skills they need to deliver world class care for years to come.”

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Education

Do I really need to count a patients respiratory rate for a whole minute?

Just four breaths either side of the normal range could be indicative of impending clinical deterioration.

Published on

by Matt Bodell.
Do I really need to count a patients respiratory rate for a whole minute?

Some staff feel that sixty seconds can be better spent.

It is well documented that the respiratory rate is the least accurately recorded vital sign but yet it can be the most important.

Reseach suggests that many students and registered nurses believe they are enhancing patients' outcomes by performing tasks other than counting a patient's respiratory rate for the full sixty seconds.

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The research, completed by Flenady et al, suggests that this debate isn't rooted in laziness but instead staff believe they are enhancing patients' outcomes by performing tasks other than counting a patient's respiratory rate.

Do I really need to count for a whole minute?

Yes! It is vitally important you count a patients respiratory rate for the full sixty seconds rather than counting for a shorter period and multiplying, or worse, estimating.

Respiration has differing patterns and without observing these for a whole sixty seconds you are unlikely to obtain an accurate measurement.

Do I really need to count a patients respiratory rate for a whole minute?

The critically unwell patient also sometimes tend to have apneic episodes and counting for a short period may not reveal these until a patient is in full respiratory arrest.

Just four breaths either side of the normal range could be indicative of impending clinical deterioration.

Finally, documenting an inaccurate respiratory rate could, potentially, have legal implications.

How should I count a respiratory rate?

You should count each full cycle of inspiration and expiration for a full sixty seconds.

Anecdotally, it is better to count a patients respiratory rate when a patient when they are not aware you are doing so - this ensures a patient is less conscious about their breathing and thus their respiratory rate is more natural.

Why is respiratory rate important?

Haemostasis and the bodies compensatory mechanisms mean that a change in respiratory rate could be one of the first indicators of deterioration in physiological condition.

Changes to a patients respiratory rate can indicate a number of things such as hypoxia, neurological or metabolic changes.

Picking up on these changes early should lead to earlier medical intervention and therefore better patient outcomes.

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Education

Student nurses to receive ‘political lobbying lessons’

The session is designed to equip students with practical skills and knowledge they can use to develop a good relationship with their local MP.

Published on

by James M.
Student nurses to receive ‘political lobbying lessons’

Nursing students will learn how they can work with MPs to promote the nursing profession in a new training session organised by the RCN.

Members of the RCN’s student committee and student information officers - the RCN’s representatives in universities - will learn their way around the UK parliament and the government from the UK Parliament Outreach and Engagement Service.

The session is designed to equip students with practical skills and knowledge they can use to develop a good relationship with their local MP.

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The RCN’s public affairs team will talk through the college’s approach to engaging with parliamentarians, especially the crucial role members can play. The team will explain different tactics and approaches students can take as well as what they can ask MPs to do to show their support for nursing staff in their constituencies.

Janet Davies, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN, said: “To work effectively, any union must be able to engage MPs and ministers.

“We know our members make the most powerful advocates for the profession. When frontline nursing staff sit in front of parliamentarians, you can see they listen.

“It’s through the hard work of members that vital issues such as safe staffing, harassment and health policy reach the top of the agenda.

“When nursing faces challenges on every front, the RCN wants to make sure our advocates are fully-equipped.”

Charlotte Hall, chair of the students’ committee, said: “Student nurses represent the future of the profession. Learning to engage with MPs is vital if we are to effectively shape that future and ensure the best possible care for patients.

“With these skills, committee members and student reps will be able to help other nurses make their voices heard on behalf of the profession and patients.”

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