What are some good pda's for medicine and programs for them
December 10, 2008 9:20 PM   Subscribe

My sister is completing a course to become a paramedic and i really wanted to get her something special. She is asking for an EMS pocket field book. But I want to give her something more rigorous. I would like to get her an electronic one, like doctors use I would wholly appreciate suggestions as to which palm pilot or pocket pc or... and software I should buy.
posted by phllip.phillip to Health & Fitness (8 answers total)
She is asking for an EMS pocket field book. But I want to give her something more rigorous.

Not to second-guess your gift idea, but are you sure she wants an electronic version? Perhaps there's a reason she wants the hardcopy?
posted by jayder at 9:25 PM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

As an EMT, I have to say that the paper guides are probably a better bet than anything electronic.

With a book you can easily look up a dosage or whatever without having to turn anything on, use a stylus, or type. Also, books are also a lot more durable, which matters when you're crawling into a wrecked car, getting puked on, etc. etc.

I highly recommend this book, but this one is more current and also oriented specifically towards paramedics.

If a book feels like too little, there are plenty of EMS related watches, plaques and so forth readily available online; just google EMS gifts.
posted by charmcityblues at 9:43 PM on December 10, 2008

ask her about fancy stethoscopes. My dad is a paramedic and he always uses his own personal one. They range in price from $10 to $200. The only personal electronic device I saw that was useful for them was his partners pill database on a palm pilot. So he could id peoples pills based on the colours/shape.
posted by Iax at 1:02 AM on December 11, 2008

I'm an ED doc, and huge gadget/computer nerd, and I'm firmly on the book side of things, for several reasons: electronic gizmos get dropped, lost, fall out of pockets, left on the scene, bled on, etc. If you get blood/urine/vomit/poop on a book, it's easy to get a new one. Less fun on your electronic gizmo.

I also find it's still faster to lookup what you need in a book than on a gadget. I own an iPhone with epocrates on it and still either use a book reference or internet reference. Just faster.

I'd also recommend giving a bunch of pairs of trauma shears. They're cheap, get lost easily, and you always just need another pair.
posted by gramcracker at 2:18 AM on December 11, 2008

I'm a medic and would also recommend an actual book. This one is just about the most thorough medic field guide I've seen. It does suffer from being too big. I personally use the second one that charmcityblues linked to.
posted by brevator at 6:42 AM on December 11, 2008

Also seconding an electronic pharmacopia.
posted by brevator at 6:43 AM on December 11, 2008

I'm an EMT and 2nd the paper guide and/or the nice stethoscope. Paper books are easier to carry in that you don't have to worry about banging them up and breaking them when you're crawling around inside a wrecked car or shoving a cot into the back of an ambulance. Also, you can scribble notes in them easier. The last thing you want to worry about is breaking your PDA when you're working with a patient.

Also, the stethoscope is a great idea and very reasonably priced. Beyond that (even though this isn't really your question here), take a look at her uniform: does she prefer a specific type of socks? Belt? Carabinier? Good work gloves for cold weather, if your location merits such? (There are of course limits on what EMTs/medics can wear with their uniforms, some locations are uptight about conformity, so you'd have to check with her.) Also, if she stays overnight at a station, a nice sleeping bag may come in handy, or a comfy pillow, or a little care package of items she can take to her station with her (Purell <--- a biggie, lip balm, eye drops, mints, travel size toiletries, etc.).
posted by December at 8:14 AM on December 11, 2008

thank you. I think I will go with the paper version
posted by phllip.phillip at 8:16 AM on December 11, 2008

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