Category Archives: General

Why Choose A Career In Rare Diseases

There are so many career paths to chose from in the medical area and it can be hard to decide which path to follow. A rare disease is classed as a disease that affects up to 30,000 people but most affect many fewer than this. With an estimated 3.5 million affected by rare diseases in the U.K alone, maybe a career in rare diseases could be the direction to take.

Why work with rare diseases?

3.5 million sounds like a lot (17% of the the UK population to be exact) for something that is meant to be rare, but this is because there is nearly 8,000 rare diseases. With another 5 described in medical literature nearly every week, the list is only growing.

50% of the new rare diseases discovered and diagnosed will affect children, often leading to a shorter life of poorer quality. But with the help of professionals in the field of rare diseases, the people affected can lead full and happy lives and may even be cured one day.

Who can work in rare diseases?

At first it may seem that this would only be a career path for scientists and doctors but this is wrong. While those in the scientific field are needed to find cures, and doctors are needed to identify the diseases, there are many other roles. As with any illness, nurses are needed to care for the patients who suffer with these diseases and apply treatment in a hospital or at home. Care assistants are needed to help those with the more severe diseases to try to lead a more normal life.

Examples of rare diseases

Mesothelioma is a cancer that can affect the thin lining of nearly all your internal organs called the mesothelium but it mostly affects the lung and chest area. 80% of rare diseases have a genetic component but most cases of mesothelioma are asbestos related which is why  Mesothelioma Day was created on the 26th of September 2004 and continues to this day to raise awareness and funding for those affected.

Fibrosarcoma is a tumour found in fibrous bone tissue and is often very hard to tell apart from other tumours of a similar nature. Almost all cases of fibrosarcoma are due to a genetic fault.

Just mesothelioma and fibrosarcoma combined affects approximately 8,700 people, most of whom do not have appropriate access to care due to the rarity of theses diseases. Having a career in rare diseases could help cure these diseases or help those already feeling the effects of them on their lives.

Find out more about mesothelium HERE

Nitrile vs Latex vs Vinyl gloves – Which should I choose?

You need to buy some gloves so you head over to your favorite online store, Medisave, and notice that there’s 3 different types to choose from. Which one do you buy? This article should hopefully clear up any questions you have and help you decide what gloves are right for you.

Nitrile Gloves

Nitrile gloves are ideal for people who have latex allergies, as they are made from synthetic rubber. These are great medical grade gloves but also excellent for general use with solvents, oils and greases – also many chemicals. Nitrile gloves are thicker, this means it’s harder to puncture the glove – if you do tear the glove, it’ll be very visible. It’s essential you spot a tear early, especially when dealing with chemicals, so Nitrile gloves win on this front. Excellent fit around the hand.

A big con with these gloves is that they are quite pricey when compared to Latex gloves.

Sum up:

  • Fantastic alternative for people with latex allergies
  • Thicker than other gloves
  • Great fit
  • Resistant to many chemicals
  • Easy to spot glove puncture
Aurelia supermax gloves

Aurelia Amazing® 300 Nitrile Powder-Free Examination Gloves

£6.79

Thinner, lighter and more flexible than standard Nitrile, our new Amazing® gloves are so comfortable, you’ll feel the day just fly by.

Buy It Here

Latex Gloves

Latex gloves are probably the most popular in the medical industry. These offer the most comfort and allow the most movement to preform tasks. It’s harder to detect puncture holes in these gloves which could be a concern. The best alternative to these would be Nitrile Gloves. These gloves don’t offer great protection against chemicals.

A con with these is that they can cause allergies due to the latex.

Sum up:

  • First choice for medical professionals
  • Cost effective
  • Comfy fit
  • Hard to detect puncture holes
Aurelia supermax gloves

Aurelia Vibrant 100 Micro Textured Latex Examination Gloves 5.7g – Powder Free

£2.78

Thinner, lighter and more flexible than standard Nitrile, our new Amazing® gloves are so comfortable, you’ll feel the day just fly by.

Buy It Here

Vinyl Gloves

Vinyl gloves are the most popular choice when it comes to food and catering situations. These gloves tend to be less expensive than the other two, while providing high levels of durability and hygiene at the same time.

Sum up:

  • Latex Free
  • Best use is for catering
  • Loose fit
Aurelia supermax gloves

Vinyl Gloves – Clear – Powder Free

£1.99

Designed for short-term use, vinyl gloves offer a cost-effective alternative to latex while providing an effective temporary barrier against biological contaminants.

Buy It Here

 

Your decision to which gloves to get will depend on what your intended use is, however hopefully reading this article will have cleared up some questions you may of had about gloves.

The Essential Guide To Medisave’s First Aid Kits

Medisave have been selling first aid kits since our humble beginnings in October 2000. We now stock over 150 different first aid kits of varying sizes and uses. The guide below will take you through nearly every variation of first aid kit we do; it’s contents, uses and other important information.

HSE (Health and Safety Executive) First Aid Kits

50 Person HSE First Aid Kit

Our best sellers are the HSE range of first aid kits. HSE stands for The Health and Safety Executive which is “the body responsible for the encouragement, regulation and enforcement of workplace health, safety and welfare, and for research into occupational risks in Great Britain” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_and_Safety_Executive

This means that everything you need to adhere to the health and safety standards for first aid kits can be found inside these kits. The largest kit, which serves 50 people, contains the following:

  • 3 x Disposable Vinyl Gloves
  • 1 x First Aid Guidance Leaflet
  • 12 x HSE Medium Dressings
  • 4 x HSE Large Dressings
  • 8 x Non-Woven Triangular Bandages
  • 12 x Safety Pins
  • 6 x Eye Pad Bandages
  • 60 x Assorted Washproof Plasters
  • 20 x Sterile Saline Wipes
  • 1 x Wall Bracket

This first aid kit is ideal for home or workplace use and is very popular for use with non medical offices.

Buy them here.

BSI (BS 8599-1 Compliant) First Aid Kits

BSI First Aid Kit

The BSI first aid kits are designed to be compliant with the BS 8599-1 which is the  British Standard for the workplace. The difference between the BSI and HSE comes down to where it is being used. A small office of desk workers will only need a HSE for minor incidents whereas somewhere like a warehouse or workshop would need the BSI as they are more likely to suffer an injury that could be more considerable. For example, heavy objects, moving parts, etc. The largest BSI kit, which serves 50 people, contains the following:

  • 12 x Large Nitrile Gloves
  • 1 x First Aid Guidance Leaflet
  • 8 x Medium Dressings
  • 2 x Large Dressings
  • 4 x Non-Woven Triangular Bandages
  • 24 x Safety Pins
  • 4 x Eye Pad Bandages
  • 100 x Assorted Washproof Plasters
  • 40 x Sterile Saline Wipes
  • 1 x Microporous Tape
  • 4 x Finger Dressings
  • 2 x Resuscitation Aid
  • 3 x Emergency Thermal Blankets
  • 2 x Burn Dressings
  • 1 x Small Tuff-Cut Scissors
  • 2 x Conforming Bandages
  • 1 x Wall Bracket

Buy them here.

Catering First Aid Kits

Catering First Aid Kit

We have a range of first aid kits which have been specifically created for catering locations, from restaurants to school kitchens. All the bandages and plasters included are a blue colour making them easier to detect if they do end up in any food. The first aid kit pictured above contains:

  • 3x Cleansing Wipes
  • 4x Eye Pad Dressings
  • 3x Pairs Of Gloves
  • 1x Guidance Leaflet
  • 4x HSE Large Dressings 18cm
  • 9x HSE Medium Dressings 12cm
  • 40x Plasters, Assorted
  • 12x Safety Pins
  • 6x Triangular Bandages

However, we have many different kits for catering environments such as kits focused on burns, or wound cleaning for cuts that could be contaminated with food. These kits are perfect for any environment where food is being handled or prepared and injury is possible.

Buy them here.

Childcare First Aid Kits

Childcare First Aid Kit

These kits are specifically for applying first aid to children. There is no denying the importance of having a first aid kit specifically for children and can be invaluable for schools especially. The kit pictured above was created in conjunction with Ofsted and HSE to make sure everything you need for childcare first aid is included. The content includes:

  • 2x Large sterile dressing
  • 2x Eye pad sterile dressing
  • 6x Medium sterile dressing
  • 4x Triangular bandage
  • 10x Alcohol free wipes
  • 2x Bags of Washproof plasters
  • 3x Pairs of Medium gloves
  • 1x Bag of Safety pins
  • 1x HSE guidance leaflet
  • 5x Low adherent pad (5cm x 5cm)
  • 1x Resusciade
  • 1x Non woven swab 4 ply (5cm x 5cm)
  • 1x Scissors
  • 1x 1.25cm x 5m microporous tape
  • 1x Size 01 x 20m sterogauze
  • 1x Sterogauze applicator

We all know when children are playing there are going to be cuts and grazes so this kit is perfect to have around in any environment where children will be present.

Buy them here.

Sports First Aid Kits

Sports First Aid Kit

The sports kits are not just designed for sports injuries but also for use outside. The kit includes bags for the waste, waterproof casings and gel to keep the items as sterile as possible when applied. Our range of kits includes ones for pitch side use, AstroTurf related injuries, young people and many others. The kit pictured above includes:

  • 10x Alcohol Free Cleansing Wipes
  • 1x Cotton Wool Roll 15gm
  • 2x Crepe Bandage 5cm x 4.5m
  • 2x Crepe Bandage 10cm x 4.5m
  • 2x Crepe Bandage 15cm x 4.5m
  • 2x Eyewash Bottle 500ml
  • 2x Eyewash Pods 20ml
  • 1x Foil Blanket
  • 5x Gauze Swabs
  • 1x Hand Gel 50ml
  • 20x Plasters Washproof
  • 1x Resuscitation Face Shield
  • 1x Scissors -Tuff Cut
  • 2x Self Seal Waste Bags
  • 2x Sport Instant Ice Pack
  • 1x Spray Bottle 250ml
  • 2x Sterile Dressing Medium
  • 6x Sterile Dressing Large
  • 2x Sterile Eye Pad
  • 4x Triangular Bandage
  • 8x Vinyl Gloves
  • 1x Zinc Oxide Tape 2.5cm x 5m
  • 1x Touchline Bag

The sports kits can be used at the local community centre or on the professional pitch with kits ranging in size and  professionalism.

Buy them here.

Travel First Aid Kits

Travel First Aid Kit

Travel first aid kits are perfect for people on the go.  Accessing medical care during travel can be challenging in some countries, especially when you do not speak the language. The kit above, designed for one person, contains:

  • 2x Alcohol Cleansing Wipes
  • 7x Safety Pins
  • 2x Triangular Non-Woven Bandages
  • 1x Pair Of Gloves
  • 1x Roll Of Bandages
  • 2x Plasters
  • 1x Carry Bag

Buy them here. 

Vehicle First Aid Kits

Vehicle First Aid Kit

It is important for health and safety first aid to extend outside of the office. With these vehicle first aid kits, you can make sure that the same standards are kept inside peoples vehicles. The picture above is for HGV use and contains:

  • 1x Guidance Leaflet
  • 1x Eye Pad Dressing
  • 2x Gloves (pair)
  • 1x Resuscitation Device with Valve
  • 20x Washproof Assorted Plasters
  • 2x Triangular Bandage
  • 1x Sterile Eye Wash 500ml
  • 4x Medium HSE 12cm Dressings
  • 2x Large HSE 18cm Dressings
  • 1x Universal Shears
  • 1x Survival Blanket
  • 2x Extra Large Dressing No.3
  • 12x Safety Pins
  • 10x Reliwipes

These kits are great for use in the car for personal use or in professional vehicles such as HGVs or delivery vans.

Buy them here.

Burns First Aid Kits

Burns First Aid Kit

You can get first aid kits specifically for burns that are both HSE and BSI certified. These kits are designed to treat burns, scalds and sunburn in all areas from professional to personal use where burns are a potential hazard. The kit pictured above is one of our larger burns kits and contains:

  • 2x Burncare Burn Gel Sachets (3.5g)
  • 2x Burncare Burn Gel Dressing (10cm x 10cm)
  • 2x Burncare Burn Gel Dressing (20cm x 20cm)
  • 1x Burncare Burn Gel Bottle (59ml)
  • 3x Conforming Bandage (7.5cm x 4m)
  • 5x Saline Eye Wash Pods (20ml)
  • 1x Low Adherent Dressing (5cm x 5cm)
  • 3x Low Adherent Dressing (10cm x 10cm)
  • 1x Microporous Tape (1.25cm x 10m)
  • 2x Gloves Vinyl (Pair)
  • 1x Wall Bracket
  • 1x Scissors

Buy them here.

Other First Aid Kits

E-Fab First Aid Kit

We also sell specialist first aid kits, such as the E-FAB Hard Hat Emergency Kit which is great for construction sites or exploration with a kit that fits inside most hard hats. We also offer evacuation kits, personal trauma kits, bleed kits and many others that can be found here:
https://www.medisave.co.uk/consumables-general-supplies/first-aid-supplies/first-aid-kits/other-first-aid-kits.html

 

5 Tips On How To Work Long Hours Without Losing Your Mind

The long hours and all-night working culture for some medical professionals is unfortunately a standard fixture. But despite the obvious downsides, 12 hour (and longer) shifts remain fairly popular compared with 8 hour shifts. The most prominent benefit  of the longer shifts is less handoffs, meaning patients are not being attended to by as many Nurses. This could mean less reports and less chance of miscommunication errors, while giving the chance for patients to feel more comfortable with the Nurses on shift.

While this particular point is beneficial to patients, when you’re doing your third 12 hour shift in a row, especially late into the night, it can be tough to stay energised and positive. The correct pair of shoes can help you feel more comfortable while you work but there is only so much help extra comfort can give you.

We have pulled together 5 of our favourite tips to help you survive those extra grueling 12+ long shifts with your mind and patients intact.

#1. Be A Creature Of Habit

Being a medical professional is unpredictable, not just in the patients you care for but also the hours worked. With working past your shift end potentially being a regular occurrence depending on your area, it is important to have a sense of habit and schedule outside of work.

Most Nurses recommend trying to keep a regular sleep schedule and going to bed or settle down at the same time, including on days off. Start and manage some routines in your personal life that you can rely on to be dependable and relaxing. This could mean a hobby, eating a meal with the family, or watching your favourite TV show.

lady performing a yoga exercise on a roof

It is also worth creating a ‘behaviour chain’, and instead of choosing an abstract goal such as, “I need to exercise three times a week”, create an action plan that leads to it. For example, “Once I get home from work I will eat a healthy snack, change out of my work uniform, and then go for a thirty minute run.” This kind of planning is more effective for creating healthy habits which in turn can help your daily routine.

#2. Let Caffeine Be Your Servant, Not Your Master

Caffeine in one form or the other is the ultimate life saver for many medical professionals. It can be used as an initial boost at the start of the shift or or an absolute necessity throughout as a substitute for sleep. But a study from 2016 found that  after restricting sleep to 5 hours per night, caffeine use no longer improved alertness or performance after three nights.

As medical professionals, it is essential to understand the advantages and drawbacks of coffee consumption to fully claim the benefits, without affecting your work negatively. You wouldn’t tell a patient to constantly drink coffee throughout the day to get them through it, so don’t do it yourself!

Coffee with a happy face

The fact is, no amount of coffee can replace a solid night’s sleep and for your patients (and own) sake, it’s best not to rely on caffeine too much to get you through those long hours.  Start your shift with a strong coffee and avoid it all together for the last half of your shift. This way by the time you’ve finished, you’ll be ready to settle down to sleep if you need to, without having caffeine in your system keeping you awake.

#3. Fuel Your Body

You wouldn’t advise a patient to work long hours on an empty stomach, so why would you do it yourself?

There is plenty of advice out there on medical professionals getting enough sleep with their long shifts, but what about the fuel needed for your body and brain to keep you going while you’re working?

Hunger can be just as bad as sleep deprivation for mood and on-the-job performance so it is important that you make sure you get regular breaks for snacks. If you are in a rush (which you probably will be) bring a number of high protein snacks with you such as nuts and energy bars that will release energy over a longer period of time.  Don’t forget to drink plenty of water during your shift to hold off the dehydration and fatigue, while keeping you fuller for longer.

Snacks can be all well and good in a pinch, but ideally you’d like a healthier and fuller meal to keep those energy levels up. This is where meal prep comes in.

meal preparation with meat and vegetables

Work this in as part of your schedule as mentioned in point #1 and set aside a bit of time on a day off and create your meals to bring to work over the course of the week. It will save you money, time in the long run and could be much healthier than fitting in snacks where you can while at work. Plenty of meat, vegetables and rice or pasta will give you the energy you need to power through your shift without you getting too hungry again. The more meals you are able to freeze on meal prep day, the less you have to focus on meal prep during the rest of the week. Find some recipes here.

#4 Leave Work At Work

Medical professionals are dedicated, determined and can be self-diagnosed ‘workaholics’. Going the extra mile for your patient is truly wonderful and sometimes necessary, but you must know your own limits and learn to leave work at the door when you go home for the day.

A study in the United States showed:

“In hospitals which had higher proportions of nurses working longer shifts, higher percentages of patients reported that nurses sometimes or never communicated well, pain was sometimes or never well controlled, and they sometimes or never received help as soon as they wanted.”

So although you may have good intentions, taking a much needed break may not only be the best thing for you, but your patients too.person sleeping on a couch

#5 Keep Strong Friendships

You will find your friends will be a lifeline the more long hours you put in.

No matter what you talk about, whether you’re ranting about your day, or setting up your next night out together, a chat with a friend will leave you happier and more energised.

Working with friends can make you more productive as you can coordinate tasks more effectively without the awkwardness of working with strangers and not knowing what makes them tick. It may make the shift more enjoyable, less tiring, easier to manage and overall, get a better performance from you.

Team and friends bumping fists

Outside of work though, your friends can be an temporary escape from those multiple 12 hour shifts in a row. Taking a breather from you professional life reduces stress, clears your head, and can help you bring a new perspective to your work or personal life.

While you can be spontaneous with meeting your friends if you feel up to it, it is also important working with point #1 and schedule some time together. This way you will be less likely to waste your precious spare time by sitting on the couch all day watching Netflix, which although sounds tempting, isn’t nearly as fun as spending time with your friends!

Try planning ahead and booking fun activities from the likes of Wowcher and Groupon. Booking an activity with your friends will give you something to look forward to while you’re working hard and can make you more proactive while giving you that extra little push you need to get you through those long hours.4 friends looking at the sunset

Do you have any tried and tested methods for surviving those long shifts? Let us know in the comments!

Reduce Preventable Infections from Spirometry Testing

vitalograph bacterial filters infographic

Vitalograph’s Bacterial Viral Filters Could Save Practices Thousands

Between early October to mid-January, figures from the Guardian say, 120 people died of flu-related symptoms in the UK, nearly three times as many as the previous year. With up to 30,000 people visiting a GP each week with influenze-like symptoms, the chance of infection spreading during spirometry tests is much higher.

Using one-way valve cardboard mouthpieces during spirometry testing provides very little protection from bacteria and viruses passing straight through the spirometer, potentially infecting the member of staff administering the test. This lack of protection can lead to cross infection between patients, lost work from staff illness and increased treatment costs later on from infected patients.

The Solution: Vitalograph’s Bacterial Viral Filters

According to Dr Derek Cramer and Simon Ward, of the Royal Brompton Hospital, using a BVF is common practice in lung function testing in secondary care, however, it is far less common in primary care. By assuming any patient taking a lung function test is infectious and using a BVF for all patients, GP surgeries could dramatically improve their rates of cross infection and protect their equipment, staff and patients.

99.999% Cross-Contamination Efficiency

By reducing the contamination risk during testing, GP surgeries could save thousands of pounds in lost staff hours and the further treatment of patients.

How Do Bacterial/Viral Filters Work?

Vitalograph’s BVFs use an electrostatically charged material to trap bacteria and viruses (including TB, MRSA & influenza) with a validated cross-contamination efficiency of 99.999%. This doesn’t affect air-flow at all, meaning you will see the same results as with cardboard mouthpieces but with reduced risk to the patient and clinician administering the test.

On top of the hygiene benefits of using BVFs, they can also reduce the time spent cleaning and sterilising test equipment, which means more patients can be seen in a shorter time.

Conclusion

Introducing BVFs into your practice is not just a cost-effective solution to infection control, it also protects your staff and could end up saving a lot of money, both directly and indirectly.

To order a BVF pack or any other Vitalograph product, head to our store.

Work Experience in a GP Surgery: The Joy for an Aspiring High School Medical Student

Foreword

Last month, I received an email from Meghan Ray, a high school student from Glasgow who had spent part of her holidays working in her local GP surgery. She had written a short article on her experiences in the practice and asked if we could publish it on our blog.

After reading through her article, I was struck by Meghan’s drive, ambition and the obvious delight she took in being a part of a team dedicated to helping others. I hope you find her account and insight into life in a modern GP surgery as interesting and inspiring as I have.


Glasgow bridge
Flickr | John Loach | CC-by-SA

Hello, my name is Meghan Ray. I am 14 years old and I live in Glasgow, Scotland. During the Christmas holidays, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to spend a few days at my local GP surgery to observe what really goes on and with a wish to develop an insight to primary care and see whether medicine is really a career I want to pursue.

Continue reading Work Experience in a GP Surgery: The Joy for an Aspiring High School Medical Student

Stethoscope Royalty at NTI Event

Dr Littmann's original stethoscope
Dr Littmann’s original stethoscope

At the Littmann® booth at the recent National Teaching Institure & Critical Care Exposition, in Houston, Texas, the Medisave team had the pleasure of assisting a member of stethoscope royalty in choosing herself a new stethoscope…

Attending the event was Lisa Littmann Cranford – granddaughter of the legendary Dr. David Littmann, founder of Littmann® stethoscopes and inventor of the dual-headed chestpiece design that is still the backbone of Littmann® stethoscope technology to this day.

Whilst getting her new mirror finish Littmann Cardiology IV laser engraved at the booth Lisa was kind enough to share some fascinating insight into the human story behind the brand. She even brought along her grandfathers original Littmann stethoscope!

Lisa Littmann Cranford assessing our Technical Product Director, Matt Denton at the NTI expo
Lisa Littmann Cranford assessing our Technical Product Director, Matt Denton at the NTI expo

Last year was the 200th anniversary of the invention of the stethoscope by René Laennec. His innovation revolutionised medicine and lead to the development of many new tools and methodologies that are still in use today. You can read our article on René Laennec here.

If you need a new stethoscope or are interested in our laser engraving service, visit our website.

10 Top Medical Apps for Patients

someone tapping app on phone

Following on from our previous blog: 10 Top Apps for Healthcare Professionals,  we set our attention to the patients themselves.

While these medical apps shouldn’t replace a routine trip to the Doctor, they may just make your life a little easier.

1. Diabetes:M

DiabetesM Medical App Icon Keeping track of diabetes is essential to keeping it under control and Diabetes:M helps perfectly by being the logbook app you need.

The app includes a vast nutrition database so you can keep track of food and nutrition as well as exercise time. With detailed reports, charts and statistics provided on almost all aspects of the diabetes treatment, Diabetes:M could well be a valuable addition if you need help keeping it under control.

iOS/Android/Free to download – premium versions available

Features:

  • Calculate normal and prolonged insulin boluses using the highly effective, top-notch bolus calculator
  • Send the reports to your supervising physician via email
  • Additional lab result records – Add a comprehensive metabolic panel, kidney function tests and much more
  • Expanded Food Database – This will allow greater access to server food database, as well as an option to save selected food as Meals and Dishes
  • Synchronization – Automatically sync multiple devices on data change. Allows you to use any of your available mobile devices to keep track effortlessly.
  • Reports – Get your reports in PDF or XLS format

 

 

2. St John Ambulance First Aid

St John First Aid Medical App IconThe first aid app from the extremely reputable St John Ambulance is a simple but potentially life saving one. It’s basic, simple and doesn’t necessarily replace the benefits of learning first hand first hand, but what it does,  it does right. When there is an emergency the app will help you know what to do in those crucial moments when basic knowledge is needed.

iOS/Android/Free

Features:

  • Latest first aid advice and protocols for dealing with emergency situations
  • Simple to follow with illustrated guides and voiced instructions
  • Teaches common techniques such as using an AED, the recovery position, and treating shock
  • Covers both major and minor subjects in an easy to find category layout system. Major subjects include burns, choking, poisoning and strokes, while minor subjects include allergic reactions and feeling faint

St John Ambulance First Aid App Screenshot

3. iTriage

iTriage medical app icon

iTriage is a huge healthcare and medical database where you can search for answers to do with medication, diseases, symptoms and procedures.  It was created by two ER doctors and the medical content is reviewed by Harvard Medical School to prove its authenticity and how safe it is.

Over 12 million people have downloaded iTriage giving it a 4.5 star rating from over 100k reviews proving that it is a well known and loved app that can perhaps put your mind at ease or potentially save your life. It may sound dramatic but with critical warnings included with some causes depending on the issue, it could well be the motivation you need to get you to the doctor.

iOS/Android/Free

Features:

  • You can search symptoms, learn about potential causes, and then iTriage will help you find the most appropriate treatment, facility or doctor
  • iTriage Doctor Search lets you find any doctor or physician quickly and easily
  • Thousands of medical symptoms, diseases, conditions, procedures, medications and drugs
  • Find the nearest hospital, emergency room, urgent care, retail clinic, pharmacy, physician, doctor, imaging center, mental health clinic, substance abuse clinic, and community health center
  • Save your personal healthcare facilities, doctors, diseases, conditions, procedures, medications, insurance information and health plan advice lines
  • Emergency hotlines, and physician and nurse advice lines

 

 

4. Instant Heart Rate: Heart Rate & Pulse Monitor

Instant Heart Rate Medical App IconContinuously rated as the world’s best mobile heart rate measurement app, Instant Heart Rate can measure your heart rate by using the camera on your phone.

It works by detecting a colour change in your finger top each time your heart beats, using an advanced algorithm to show your heart rate. Judging by the reviews and Apple’s usability of the app in its “Strength” TV ad, Instant Heart Rate produces accurate results – especially coming from a smartphone.

iOS/Android/Free/£4.99 – ‘ad free’/Premium models

Features:

  • Heart rate measurement
  • Heart Rate Activity Zone Calculator
  • Pulse waveform graphs
  • Real-time photoplethysmogram (PPG) graph
  • Continuous or Auto-Stop mode
  • Unlimited data storage and tags
  • Export data for registered users
  • StandUp test for fatigue and fitness testing
  • Apple Health App Support

Instant Heart rate Medical App icon

5. BabyBump Pregnancy Pro

babybump medical app iconBabyBump is one of the many popular pregnancy apps out there but we’ve chosen this on in particular due to it’s ease of use, many features, and it’s reviews.

BabyBump keeps soon-to-be parents informed about each stage of the pregnancy, making for an even more in-depth experience that you can track and share with family and friends. The forums and community are a great inclusion to help you get prepared for the big day and years to come.

iOS/Android/Free

Features:

  • Pregnancy forums
  • Countdown
  • Daily info/images – schematic embryo picture of your baby each week
  • Journal/weight tracking
  • Graphical charts
  • Contraction tracker
  • Kicks counter
  • Create a slideshow of belly photos

Babybump Medical app image

6. CareZone | Health Info Organiser

CareZone Medical App Icon

If you and/or family members need medications, it can be hard remembering names, dosages and days that they need to be taken, especially if you’re looking after an aging parent. This is where CareZone comes in.

With CareZone you can stay organised, coordinated, and in sync by always having medication details and schedules on hand, and helpfully gives you notifications when it’s time to take a med, refill a subscription or record a taken dose. Being able to create a detailed med list by taking photos is another great and time saving idea – making this app the full package.

iOS/Android/Free

Features:

  • Journal: document symptoms and privately share updates with family members
  • Calendar: keep track of appointments and share access with others
  • Contacts: organise & share info for doctors, pharmacies, and insurance providers
  • Notes: store insurance info, online account credentials, and other hard-to-remember details
  • To-do lists
  • Store important files and documents
  • News: receive helpful info & tips on health topics relevant to you and your family

Carezone medical app image

7. Migraine Buddy

Migraine Buddy Medical App Icon

Hopefully you don’t suffer with migraines, but if you do, it needs be dealt with in the quickest and easiest way. Ideally the migraine would be prevented in the first place.

Migraine Buddy is an advanced migraine headache and tracking app that helps users record and identify triggers, symptoms, frequency, duration, intensity and location etc, so users can prevent and take the appropriate action if one does occur. This is an app that has thought of everything to help you get easy to read reports but make sure you fill in all the fields needed when you’re completely free of a migraine, because it might just give you one.

iOS/Android/Free

Features:

  • Easy to use, beautifully designed interface and icons with wizard style questionnaires that guides users through the recording process
  • Record ongoing and past migraines
  • Quick tapping motion to answer the questionnaire
  • Quick access to skip and record entries at a later time
  • Add a “Buddy”: Share your migraine status with your “buddies” within the app. Let each other know when you’re migraine-free, having a migraine, and how you feel.
  • Notes section to add additional information such as food, weather conditions, barometric pressure, mood, etc.
  • Add custom fields to the questionnaire so it becomes a permanent option for users
  • Customized reports including frequency and duration, pain intensity, pain location, migraine triggers, migraine medications, migraine symptoms and helps to understand the effectiveness of medication and other migraine relief methods
  • Data is secured and protected by HIPAA-compliant cloud

Migraine Buddy medical app icon

8. Calm: Meditation to Relax, Focus & Sleep Better

calm medical meditation app icon

High stress levels? Perhaps meditation is the way forward – even on a (usually) distracting smartphone.

Once you have download the app for free, you get a 7 day course of guided-meditation exercises, with more programs and features becoming available after buying a reasonably priced subscription. If you feel like you need to take a step back away for 10 minutes a day from an increasingly busy and stressful world, or if you need to work on topics such as calming anxiety, happiness, or non-judgment, then Calm is the app for you.

iOS/Android/Free/In-app subscriptions

Features:

  • Daily Calm: a new 10-minute program added daily to help ease you into the day or unwind with before bed
  • Guided meditation sessions including hundreds of programs
  • 20+ Sleep Stories: adult bedtime stories guaranteed to lull you to sleep
  • 7 day and 21 programs for both beginner and advanced users
  • Breathing exercises to relax
  • Unguided timed meditation
  • Open-ended meditation
  • 25+ soothing nature sounds and scenes to use during meditation, yoga or to help you sleep
  • Track your progress with daily streaks and time spent meditating

9. Bowelle – The IBS tracker 

Bowelle medical app icon

Bowelle is for those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome or other gastrointestinal symptoms and is a simple to use app that keeps a record of how you feel, bowel movements, and other elements.

The app was made in hope that it helps identify some of the triggers causing your symptoms – and with such a clear and easy to use app that is completely clear of ads, it could certainly be a useful tracker.

iOS/Free

Features:

  • Records how you feel, food &  water intake, stress levels, bowel movements
  • Charts
  • Daily average
  • Overview
  • Works with Apple Health

10. My Pain Diary & Symptom Tracker: Gold Edition

Pain Diary medical app icon

My Pain Diary does exactly what it says on the tin.  With the app you are able to record pain and symptoms you get, to report to and improve communication with doctors.

An incredibly useful app for a chronic pain sufferer, this highly customisable and well thought out app  can create PDF reports to send to your doctor or archive, so you both have a better idea on how to help yourself.

iOS/£4.99

Features:

  • iCloud Sync support
  • Universal app
  • Highly customizable
  • Easy to use
  • Track unlimited conditions
  • Track multiple/unlimited times per day
  • Add past entries (change entry timestamp)
  • Edit past entries
  • Medication tracking
  • Reports
  • Note important events

 

 

Top 10 Medical Websites for GPs




doctors surgery sign

Being a GP is a time pressured job which often involves juggling patients, consultations and paperwork. Having key resources at your fingertips makes a huge improvement on your working day.

From organising expenses and tax returns to CPD and medical calculators there are almost limitless options out there. Here are the top 10 most useful websites for GPs that we think you should know about.

Continue reading Top 10 Medical Websites for GPs

Start a Career in Nursing – Celebrating International Nurses Day 2018

Nursing requires strength, endurance and compassion. It is also one of the most rewarding careers there are!
 

Why Choose Nursing?

If you are caring person who wants to help others this may be the career for you. You will need to have strong listening and communication skills. Some patients may have difficult health issues so you’ll need to be understanding and resilient. Nursing can be a challenging role, however, it is also extremely rewarding.

Flickr | OnCall team

If you choose to work for the NHS you will have regular pay reviews and a starting holiday allowance of at least 27 days per year, this will go up with experience. You will receive enhanced pay for out of hours, shift and overtime work. Fully qualified nurses will usually earn a salary of around £23,000, which will rise with experience. You will also be entitled the NHS Pension Scheme.

Nurses work in a large variety of settings from hospital wards, GP surgeries, schools, nursing homes and patient homes to prisons and the military. The NHS currently has an extreme shortage of nurses and this is greatly increasing the workload for nursing staff. If you are a caring person, who wants to help others this could be the career for you.

As a nurse, you will train in one main field, which will be either adult nursing, children’s nursing, learning disabilities or mental health nursing. Qualified nurses can later train for specialised careers such as midwifery, general practice nursing or being a health visitor, as well as management positions.

Nursing is a reliable job sector and nurses will always be needed, with positions available worldwide. As nurses are required 24 hours a day, nursing is a great option if you prefer to work unusual hours or if shift work is more appealing to you.

Depending on your workplace, you may need to flexible with your working hours, however, this can be an advantage if you have children or other commitments at home. Working a shift pattern such as long days (3 x 12-hour shifts for example) may be more suitable than a five day week.

‘It’s much better for me to work three long shifts a week, then I only need childcare for three days. As my shifts vary between weekdays and weekends my family can sometimes help out with childcare.’

~ Lucy Foot, a nurse at Dorchester County Hospital, on balancing motherhood with a nursing career.

There is no upper age limit to start a career as a nurse and your previous work and life experience may give you useful skills that would transfer to nursing. Parenting, caring for a family member with disabilities, working with children or work in a team based environment can give you skills that are almost impossible to teach but are highly desirable in a nurse. If you are bilingual this is also a great benefit in any nursing environment.

How to Get into Nursing

There are a variety of routes into nursing. You can choose to gain experience in an entry level role and work towards further qualification through vocational training courses, such as an apprenticeship.

University

Nursing lecture theatre
Flickr | University of Liverpool Faculty of Health & Life Sciences

Alternatively, you can apply to a university and study for a nursing degree. Courses will be split between classroom study and work placements, with coursework to complete.

To complete your course you will be required to sit written exams to show your theoretical knowledge and practical examination scenarios so you can demonstrate your skills and experience.

If you opt to go straight into the workplace as a healthcare assistant you can always apply for a university course at a later stage if you decide to gain more formal qualifications.  Relevant experience will help when you are trying to progress in a nursing career and when your employer is assessing your pay scale.

Secondment

Another route into nursing is with a secondment, this is a great option if you want to keep earning while you work. With a secondment, you attend university part-time while you continue work as a health care assistant or practitioner for an NHS organisation.

If you are currently working as a healthcare assistant and you are looking to develop a career in nursing, talk to your employer as most workplaces will be happy to support staff development. If you do decide to choose this route please note you that you may not be eligible for a  for financial support.

Flickr | Walt Stoneburner

Entry level for University courses vary, there isn’t an official minimum requirement nationally. However, most courses will require at least five GCSE’s at grade C or above and two or three A-levels or equivalent qualifications.

You can check university courses online and they will advise the entry requirements. This will also give you a good overview of the course and what will be expected of you. For help selecting a university course and for advice on your application visit the UCAS site.

If you are completing your GCSE’s and looking to go into nursing in the future you should consider this when making your A-level choices. Subjects such as biology or social sciences will be useful in your future career and may give you an advantage on your application.

As well as general nursing, there are a variety of courses and positions available. You may want to consider your long-term goal and if you would like to work towards a specialist career. Having a long- term plan will also help you to stay focused during your studies.

Stand out on your Application

If you are applying for a nursing course at university you may want to consider getting some paid or voluntary experience first. This will give you the chance to make sure nursing is the right career for you. It also shows course admissions boards that you are keen and will make your application stronger.

Course admissions boards receive hundreds of applications every year, you want to make sure your application stands out. If you can demonstrate a genuine interest in the field and show you have relevant experience it will really enhance your application.

“I got into nursing because I had a desire to help people and liked the idea of being there for someone during the hard times of their life. […]

I was turned down by one University for failing a written exam despite having dyslexia, which affects my spelling. I applied for Bournemouth University because I loved the course layout and the area. The interview was about how humanising we would be as nurses rather than how well we could do maths and spell.”

~ Cody Kelly, second year nursing student at Bournemouth University

You will be required to write a personal statement to explain why you want to start a career in nursing and work experience will give you a good basis for your personal statement.

Volunteer Nursing Abroad
Flickr | US Army Africa

Voluntary Work

Voluntary work doesn’t have to be limited to UK hospitals or care homes, you could apply for work experience abroad, this also shows you are happy to work in new environments and that you can be independent.

Useful experience doesn’t have to be in a nursing setting, any roles that show you work well in a team, have leadership skills, demonstrate strong communication skills or roles that show you are interested in working with people will look great on your application.

If you would like further information on starting a career in nursing you can visit the NHS career planning and National Career Services websites.

References:

https://www.nursingtimes.net/students/how-do-i-get-into-nursing/5041120.article

https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/I-am/considering-or-university/studying-nursing

https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/about/faqs/faqs-nursing

https://www.rcn.org.uk/professional-development/become-a-nurse

http://www.nursecareertips.com/benefits-of-nursing-careers/

https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/about/careers-nhs/nhs-pay-and-benefits

https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/adult-nurse

https://www.ucas.com

https://www.ucas.com/ucas/undergraduate/getting-started/international-and-eu-students/tips-international-applications

https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/nhs-pensions

http://www.slc.co.uk

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nhs-bursary-reform/nhs-bursary-reform#repaying-student-loans