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.


Florida said...

In addition to a variety of learning styles, it seems there is also a broad range of skill mastery when it comes to technology and nursing educators/students. In my opinion, this presents the key challenge to the training process.

Florida said...

Hello Dr. Thompson,
I am finding your Nursing Educator Blog both resourceful and relevant. Your time is appreciated!
I am half-way through graduate school in a MSN Program, nurse educator track. I would LOVE to pursue work in Education and Nurse Informatics. I may be attending the Nursing Informatics Congress this summer in Montreal. It would be a self-funded trip. In your opinion, what benefits would be gained by this type of investment? Could you comment on the direction of future job opportunities in Nursing Informatics?
Best Regards,
Liz Collins

Brent Thompson, PhD, RN said...

Here's a question I ask nurse educators who are reluctant to learn about informatics: "Do you think in 10 years there will more or less use of technology in practice?"

The obvious answer shows that we have to keep up with the evolving technologies. Nurses who can stay ahead of the technology will in a better position to teach their students and mentor other faculty.

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