When I first started looking at apps for smart phones, I was sure I was NOT qualified. How would I know that the test and calculator values I retrieved were accurate? How would I know whether the TEAS and NCLEX questions were similar enough to those on the tests or in the study books? As it turned out, very little of this mattered.
The first test of any smart phone app was to make sure that it actually functioned as intended and had content, and that it also came with a minimum of nuisance. This meant:
- No bait and switch, which usually also meant very little content and an invitation to move up to a paid app.
- No cost. Free apps only!
- No misleading ads, as in "Your phone runs slow. Clean it up with our…" First, I clear my cache compulsively which is not that hard to do on an Android phone so my phone does not run slow. Second, apps that tell you you have viruses when you don’t…
Finding apps that met these basic qualifications was a fairly tall order. A sympathetic IIT worker was quite concerned about the risks to which I exposed Orange Man, my beaitiful Blu Studio 5+5 with a distinctive orange case and matching earbuds. Fortunately, I am rather fastidious when it comes to taking care of my electronics.
Now none of this is an endorsement, espeically for the calculators. I can’t vouch whether these things give accurate information. They do offer information. They don’t bombard you with ads, and they are free.
Medical Calculator figures body surface area, fluids, BMI, ideal heart rate, and a few other things. It is advertising free.
Qx Calculator by QxMD software offers many more calculations, not all of which I understand. They include coma scales, probabilities of dying or being rehospitalized and more. Many of the calculations resemble quizzes. Again, I can’t vouch for the accuracy of any of these apps. I just know there is little annoying advertising and a lot of material.
Nursing Calculator by Fring Solutions, is a bare bones drug dosage calculator with a pleasing, dark interface and no advertisements.
The other category of nursing apps that I can recommend with quite a bit more confidence are browsers. Quite simply, if you are an Android user you can do better than your phone’s default browser.
I started out with Opera because I heard it was fast, private, etc… Opera, however, is not the fastest browser out there.
There is also Dolphin which has tabbed browsing like a desktop and is blazingly fast. Its only drawback is that it fills in web forms with bright green check marks.
My new favorite new browser, and now my go-to is Boat Browser which ought to be renamed speed boat.
All browsers are cache hogs, but compared to many of the book-style apps that promise content, a browser plus the very, mobile friendly Medline Plus or World Health Organization site is a powerful, nuisance-free, health/nursing app.
So what is next? First (in no particular order of course) I need to see if the calculators are available for iPhones. I know squat about iPhones, but there is an iTunes store. Second, I need to verify if the apps’ content (The calculators) is accurate.
If you want to try any of these apps, they will not trash your Android phone or stick you with unwanted purchases, and the browsers will probably make you a lot happier. More to come soon….