Are you a brand-new nursing student who is gearing up to begin your studies? Do you want to make sure you have all the tools and equipment that allow you to succeed and excel in your schooling? While much of that will depend on the time and effort you devote to your higher education, investing in certain tech tools can also make your life as a nursing student a whole lot easier. Even if you’re already a student and are halfway through your program, it’s not too late to check out the available tech gadgets and ask yourself how they could help you.
So, let’s take a look at six tech gadgets that every student nurse needs, no matter how far along you are in your program.
A USB Mini Voice Recorder
Perhaps one of the most-used tech gadgets that you can purchase as a nursing student will be a mini voice recorder with USB compatibility. Once you get one of these, you’ll wonder how you ever did without it. The fact is that you don’t always have a pen and paper handy, or a laptop, so you need a way to take down notes while on the go. It may not even be a long note, rather you just need it as a quick reminder. Then again, maybe you want to be able to record an entire lecture.
When shopping for one of these devices, pay close attention to the battery life and the internal memory. You want the maximum in both categories. In general, a mini voice recorder with 8GB of internal memory could hold about 36 hours’ worth of files.
What’s great about these mini recorders too, is the fact that they are so small. Not only will they fit in a purse or knapsack, they can fit in your pocket they are that small. This makes them all the more portable. Just be sure to also read customer reviews before making a purchase, as you want to ensure that the sound quality is crisp and good. There’s nothing worse than playing back your voice files only to have them sounding all muffled.
Invest in a Good Quality Laptop
Another must-have tech gadget for nursing students is a reliable and high-quality laptop. While a desktop computer can perform the same tasks, a laptop will give you the freedom of flexibility and mobility. For nursing students attending classes in-person, you can bring the laptop with you, making all notes right on your device, and referring to the study/reading material through digital means.
Even if you’re pursuing your nursing degree through an online program at home, you still may prefer the flexibility that a laptop can offer over a desktop. Take a look at the Marymount University online program to get a sense of just how much online work will be required of you over the course of the program. When there is clinical placement involved, it can be helpful to have that laptop in your car or locker to access. The laptop will give you the ability to study and make notes from any location not just your house.
But what should you look for in a laptop? There are a couple of key things that nursing students will want to watch out for:
1. Screen size –
Choose your screen size wisely. The first consideration will be your own personal comfort when using your laptop, and the screen size has a huge impact on this comfort. There is no perfect screen size as each person will be different, but in general, you don’t want to go too small as this can cause eye strain. Considering how long you’ll be spending on the laptop, the less eye strain, the better.
2. Battery life –
The battery needs to last long between charges. The last thing you want to be dealing with is your laptop dying while in class, at a coffee shop studying, or in the middle of an assignment. Thanks to today’s technology, there is no reason to settle for low battery life.
3. Platform –
What platform makes the best sense? The question of whether you should go with a MAC or Windows-based system is usually a big concern. Experts suggest you base your answer on the curriculum. Whenever a curriculum features video editing, 3D graphic creations, CAD drawings and so forth, you need something extremely powerful, and Windows-based laptops tend to fit the bill. However, as a nursing student, you shouldn’t be dealing with that, which means your options aren’t as limited.
4. Features –
For example, do you want to go really high-tech and get a touch display with pen support? For some, this may be a must-have feature, but for others, this isn’t a priority.
5. Durability –
This may also be a concern, especially if you plan on taking it with you on a regular basis. You want to know that it can handle being moved around and even roughed up a bit without any concern to its integrity.
6. Budget –
Then we have the budget, which is going to be a big concern for students in particular. There is no doubt you have a tight budget, but the good news is that even a limited budget allows for plenty of great options. So, stick with the budget and don’t feel pressured to go over it.
Choosing the ideal laptop shouldn’t be a rushed process as you want to be sure you’re getting something that ticks off all the must-have boxes, and won’t end up being obsolete a year from now.
A Mug Warmer
This is the perfect tech gadget for nursing students who spend long hours at home studying. If you want to have that continuously warm hot drink next to you, a mug warmer is essential. These are extremely easy to operate, heat up fast, and some may even have temperature controls so you can adjust how warm your drink gets. You’ll be able to find mug warmers that plug into the wall, as well as battery powered warmers to use on the go. Take a look at your desk and study area to figure out which is best for your needs.
The Wearable Notepad
Here is a device that is perfect for those who are going through a clinical placement, or who are making the transition from student to graduating and working in the field. A wearable notepad is a small device worn around your wrist. You can go with a low-tech model in which it is essentially a miniature whiteboard that you use a dry erase marker on, or you can look for something more high-tech and feature rich. These are very lightweight, don’t get in the way, and are ultra-convenient. Again, it’s the kind of item you wonder how you got by without.
Wearable Activity Tracker
While this device won’t add to your studies, if you’re trying to be mindful of your health and well-being then a wearable activity tracker is another must-have. Once you’re working in a hospital or clinic, it will be really interesting to track your daily steps and calories burned, as well as your heartrate.
Many of these trackers also offer insight into your sleep patterns, which can help you to make tweaks to your bedtime routine and ensure you’re getting enough rest. A well-rested student is one that will perform well when it comes to their studies.
Smart Water Bottle
Another tech gadget that will aid in your personal well-being, helping you to stay alert and focused, is a smart water bottle. These are perfect for anyone who has a hard time keeping track of their water intake for the day. It’s easy to get lost in your studies and, before you know it, you’re way behind on your hydration levels. The way these smart water bottles work is that they track how much water you have had. This information can then be accessed through a companion app on your mobile device. You can take it much further too and start to identify trends thanks to the graphs and charts the app can display. You can set goals, and even a reminder to drink at specific intervals.
You’ll find these available from a number of companies so they range in price, size, style, color, and type of features. One tip is to make sure you’re buying a big enough bottle so that you don’t have to constantly refill it during the day. Other tips include picking one that is easy to clean and is insulated to keep the water cold. If you’re particularly active, you may also want to look for one with a handle or strap so that it’s easier to take on the go with you.
Fabulous Tech Gadgets Worth Picking Up
So, if you’re a student nurse who is on the hunt for tech gadgets that will assist you in a variety of ways, each of these is well worth looking into. Whether you just need one item on the list, or you decide you could make use of all six, it will help to make you that much more efficient and productive overall.