February 27, 2012

How to Present iOS Nursing Applications to a Classroom

I previously discussed the technical aspects of how to display the output of an iOS device but now it's time to look at what to teach students in the use of an iPad or iPod Touch or iPhone (all using the iOS operating system).

1. The Hardware: Buttons and Switches. The first thing to do is to be sure everyone knows how to turn on the device at the Power button or by pressing the Home button if it is asleep. The next most important control is the volume toggle. Finally, show students the Lock switch. The Lock switch can be used to lock the orientation or as a Mute switch. It is best on this step and the rest to have students practice on their own devices as you teach.

2. Basic Gestures. The nice thing about iOS devices is that they are pretty intuitive but there a few gestures you should demonstrate. First, the swipe. From the Home screen show how to swipe back and forth through the home pages. Second, the pinch gesture. Open a Safari web page and demonstrate how to navigate with swipe and then pinch in or pinch out for zooming in and out.

3. Basis Settings. If you are teaching first time owners of an iPad they should know how to open Settings and adjust WiFi and General settings. The others can wait until later.

4. The Healthcare Apps. I recommend that all nurses have reference apps. My favorite is Nursing Central from Unbound Medicine but there are others from Skyscape and PEPID that many nursing schools use. Students should first be given a walkthrough the dictionary, drug guide, diseases, and lab guides. Be prepared with some initial search terms to demonstrate. Ask a student to give you a term, drug, or lab test and then show how you would look it up. Finally, give the class some terms to look up. Discuss and difficulties they are finding and solutions you or their colleagues found.

5. App Management. This is a good time to show how Apps can be moved around the home screen, be put into folders, and deleted. Also, go to the App Store app and show how an application can be purchased or reinstalled. Also show how to search the App Store for healthcare-related apps.

6. The Variety Show. At this point in the instruction it is good to give quick exposure to some of the other healthcare apps you recommend. Explain why you would use them, then show how they work. There are around 1000 free and inexpensive apps of in the App Store so there are plenty of examples to prepare for your particular teaching needs.

These are my recommended steps for students' first introduction to the iOS device. As they become more familiar you can add future classes on troubleshooting, backing up, and more specific clinical uses of the apps.

February 15, 2012

"Situated Caring": An Integration of Nursing and the Environment

Olga Jarrin PhD RN (who was a student of mine during her undergraduate days) has posted a very interesting presentation on her work on the concept of Situated Caring. Situated Caring is nursing care that is highly cognizant of the context, or situation, of the care. The context includes the external environmental influences as well as the internal influences of both nurse and patient (of course "patient" can be individuals, families, groups, and communities who interact with nurses). What I particularly like is her attempt to bring together what are often presented as competing worldviews of subjective and objective perspectives of health. She presents this as "left brain" and right brain" views. I never liked this dichotomy as most of us have two working hemispheres, and we approach the world with both. Her work really emphasizes that nursing care does not take place in a vacuum. As nursing educators we need to examine how we include context into our teaching of nursing concepts.

If your department is considering changes to the curriculum or philosophical framework I urge you to read her paper in Advances in Nursing Science: 35(1) 14-24. For a short time you can download a pdf of the paper here.