Category Archives: General

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.


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


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


  • 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.



  • 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.



  • 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


  • 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.



  • 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.



  • 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.



  • 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


  • 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.



  • 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.



  • 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.


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.


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.


Hand Washing & How to Prevent Dermatitis

Handwashing with Soap
Hand washing with soap Flickr | Arlingtonva County

During observational studies the World Health Organisation (WHO) found that health care workers cleaned their hands, on average, from five to thirty times during a shift. Whilst this is great for infection control you may be damaging your skin if you are regularly washing your hands.

Ecolab Spirigel Complete Pump 60ml
Ecolab Spirigel Complete Pump 60ml

The British Association of Dermatitis (BAD) suggests washing your hands more than 10 times a day increases your change of skin conditions such as Dermatitis. One of the most common forms is Irritant Contact Dermatitis which has symptoms from irritation, dryness and itching to cracking and bleeding.  It is very common amongst medical professionals.

Dermatitis can occur due to many factors, including soaps, harsh chemicals and repeated contact with water. Frequent hand washing can remove the oils in your skin that are vital to protect and moisturise it. Without these your hands can become dry and your skin will be more vulnerable to chemicals and irritants. Allergic Dermatitis can also occur with hand sanitising products and gloves.

Protect Your Hands

At Medisave we know how important it is to practice good hand hygiene but we don’t want your hands to suffer. The following steps can help to reduce soreness and protect your hands.

Love your hands
Love your hands Flickr | le vent le cri

Use an Alcohol Based Hand Sanitiser

When hand washing use an alcohol based hand sanitisers containingemollients (moisturisers) rather than soap to reduce Dermatitis symptoms. Emollients are a mixture of oils (creams), paraffin (ointments) and water. These hydrate and smooth the skin, helping to reduce soreness and prevent skin from become dry or cracked.

Ecolab Spirigel Complete Virucidal Alcohol 750ml Hand Gel
Ecolab Spirigel Complete Virucidal Alcohol 750ml Hand Gel

Swap to Hand Sanitisers

These use less fluid so they are gentler on your skin. These will also last longer than a regular handwash so can be great for your budget too!ecolab soap banner

Check Your Glove Material

Check your glove material if you are getting flare ups, you may be having an allergic reaction to the material. We sell a variety of gloves including latex free versions.

Ecolab Spirigel Complete Pump 500ml
Ecolab Spirigel Complete Pump 500ml

When selecting a glove material (PVC, Nitrile, latex etc) you should consider the chemicals or allergens being used. The British association of Dermatologists (BAD) advise that gloves should be clean and dry inside and not broken. This is important as applying gloves to wet hands can increase the chance of skin irritation.

Wear a Barrier Cream

Wear a barrier cream when you are dealing with chemicals and gloves can’t be worn. This should stop irritants from making contact with your skin. After the process you can then cleanse your hands with an alcohol based hand sanitiser or foam sanitiser.

hand moisturising

Moisturise Your Hands

Moisturise your Hands will help to reduce dryness, soreness and cracking. Non-scented products will be less likely to cause flare-ups. Some petroleum based moisturisers can cause Latex gloves to deteriorate, if you are working with these would be better to opt for a water based moisturiser.

Use pH Neutral Soaps

Some situations do require hand washing with soap and water rather than using a sanitiser.  The gentlest soaps will be pH neutral. Aloe Vera is often used in moisturisers as it has great healing properties, however we suggest choosing a lanolin option as this is a better moisturiser.

Ecolab Spirigel Complete Pouch 800ml
Ecolab Spirigel Complete Pouch 800ml

Although Lanolin is a great moisturiser it can sometimes cause allergic reactions, particularly if its not a pure form. There are many Lanolin products on the market, you should opt for a pharmaceutical product containing medical grade Lanolin. These will contain the purest form of Lanolin and will be less likely to cause allergic reactions or aggravate Dermatitis.

Visit Your GP

Please note that this is a guide to help prevent and handle dermatitis, however it should not replace professional medical advise or HSE recommendations. If you are experiencing extremely sore hands or the symptoms do not improve please visit your GP. They can check for any skin conditions you may have and in some circumstances they may prescribe medication.


10 Top Apps for Healthcare Professionals

Doctor Using Tablet
Photo by NEC Corporation of America with Creative Commons license.

Smartphones are a huge part of day to day life, and mobile health is developing at incredible speeds as mobile technology keeps expanding. More and more healthcare professionals are using their smartphone apps to provide more efficient healthcare.

We list 10 top apps that a healthcare professional could find beneficial in a healthcare environment.

1. Medscape

medscape apps icon


Medscape is one of the leading medical apps and resources used by healthcare professionals.

The app, developed by WebMD, allows Physicians to ask clinical questions, share images and discuss cases with only a registration required. With over 4 million registered users, this app is a must.



  • Medical news
  • Drug information & tools
  • Disease and condition information
  • Medical Calculators
  • Drug formulary information
  • Offline access
  • Medical education courses
  • Quickly look up medications and dosages with the Drug Reference Tool



2. Figure 1  

Figure1 healthcare apps icon

You could call Figure 1 the Instagram of the medical world. The idea is to view and share medical images and cases to sharpen medical knowledge on the go and ask healthcare professionals for instant feedback. Having over 1 million medical professionals using the app and being rated highly,  it could be seen as an essential learning and collaborative tool.



  • View thousands of real-world teaching cases from Physicians and Nurses in hundreds of specialities
  • Page healthcare professionals around the world for instant feedback
  • Communicate with your colleagues using secure, encrypted direct messaging
  • Recognise rare conditions in patients



3. UpToDate

uptodate apps icon

UpToDate is an evidence-based, Physician-authored clinical decision support resource with over 1.3 million clinician users in 197 countries.  With over 30 research studies confirming that widespread usage of the app is associated with improved patient care and hospital performance, it’s clear that numbers don’t lie and UpToDate is a worthy inclusion. Just be careful of the high individual subscription cost.

iOS/Android/Free to download (individual or institutional subscription required).


  • Persistent login
  • Easy search with auto-completion
  • Earn and track free CME/CE/CPD credit
  • Bookmarks and history
  • Mobile-optimized medical calculators
  • Print and email topics or graphics to patients and colleagues



4. Touch Surgery

Touch Surgery Medical Apps

Certainly a visually appealing medical app, Touch Surgery is an interactive (and fun looking!) mobile surgical simulator that guides you through a range of operations.

Though potentially more suited toward Surgical Trainees, there’s no doubt that more experienced healthcare professional can still learn and refresh their knowledge.



  • Learn operations step-by-step in the training mode
  • Experience realistic surgical environments created with state-of-the-art 3D graphics
  • Track your results and measure your progress
  • Build a personalised library of procedure
  • Learn new techniques from top physicians
  • Spy glass feature allows you to identify and learn about the instruments, tissues, muscles and bones contained in procedures
  • Access a wide range of 3D simulations
  • Share your progress with fellow professionals



5. Medtimer

Medtimer medical apps icon

Medtimer has been included because of its ease of use and accuracy. It has been crafted to enable health professionals to time heart rate (HR) and respiratory rate (RR) while removing the need to perform calculations or counting. Allowing full concentration on your patient and being a completely free and non disturbing app (no advertising) makes it a quick and easy essential to add to your smartphone.



•   Works for heart rate (HR) and respiratory/breathing rate (RR)
•   Count the number of beats or breaths for you
•   Calculate the rate per minute from the count (BPM)
•   Display comparison charts for all age ranges
•   Works across all of your Apple devices including phones, tablets and watches

Medtimer healthcare app icon


6. Epocrates

epocrates medical apps icon

Similar to Medscape, Epocrates is another popular drug reference app that also includes a few tools such as BMI checker. Users can search medications by generic name, brand name or using a list of conditions.

The app is free to download and use but has basic features until you pay for a yearly subscription, but with over 1 million users, it has to be worth it.

iOS/Android/Free – yearly subscription starting at £119.99.


•   Review drug prescribing and safety information for thousands of brand, generic, and OTC drugs
•   Check for potentially harmful drug-drug interactions among up to 30 drugs at a time
•   Identify pills by imprint code and physical characteristics
•   Access timely medical news and research information
•   Find providers for consults and referrals in the Provider Directory
•   Select national and regional healthcare insurance formularies for drug coverage information
•   Perform dozens of calculations, such as BMI and GFR
•   Coordinate care securely with HIPAA-compliant text messaging


7. Doximity

Doximity medical apps

Touted the LinkedIn for Doctors, Doximity is a social networking app with over 60% of Clinicians signed up. Staying connected with your colleagues is only part of the appeal as Doximity includes tools for HIPAA-secure communication, electronic faxing and custom curated medical news to name a few.

Having raised $54 million funding in 2014 and the extremely high rated app experience, you can be sure that you need this app on your smartphone.



  • HIPAA-secure encryption
  • Find colleagues, specialists, news, and more
  • Get your very own free HIPAA-secure fax line
  • Stay up to date with articles chosen just for you
  • Find consulting and career opportunities


8. Pocket Anatomy

pocket anatomy apps icon

Another app that could be more suited to a junior healthcare professional, Pocket Anatomy is similar to Touch Surgery due to its visual appeal.

With this app you can search through thousands of anatomical structures then move and zoom through high resolution complex medical structures. It will be a challenge and refresher for a junior or a more experienced healthcare professional.

iOS/£9.99 + Video Credit purchases.


  • Intuitive search – Suggestions after the first characters of the word
  • Intuitive navigation – Fly around the human body by swiping your finger
  • Rich content – Full 3D male and female anatomy
  • Clinical relevance – Anatomical structures in each layer are pinned for identification
  • Great study tool – If you’re studying for an exam you can enter notes next to a pin and bookmark content, and also quiz yourself or colleagues.



9. Induction

Induction medical apps icon

Induction is a single place to store all the numbers and bleeps you need every day as a medical professional working in a hospital.

Having a huge directory only a few taps away in an app that’s quick and easy to use, makes this one of our must have apps if you work in a hospital.



  • Location-based extensions
  • Private information
  • Healthcare professionals can contribute
  • Secure
  • FAQ database control

Induction healthcare app icon


10. Read by QxMD

Read by QxMD medical apps icon

Like to read? Then Read by QxMD is the app for you. It provides a place where you can keep up to date with new medical and scientific research literature, and search PubMed for articles.

With thousands of outstanding topic reviews and access to millions of articles in one app where you can organise your own personal collection, Read by QxMD is a clear choice if you’re an avid reader and learner of medical research.



  • Get full text PDFs with one tap
  • Keep up with the latest new research that will impact your practice
  • Browse through thousands of outstanding topic reviews
  • Search millions of articles from PubMed and our database of outstanding topic reviews
  • Read your favorite journals or browse article collections
  • Access full text through your university/institutional subscription or via open access publishers
  • Share articles with colleagues over email, Twitter and Facebook
  • Organize and review your personal collection of articles



Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

women laughing in restaurant

Every year over 7000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In our guide to Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, we aim to help raise awareness by going through symptoms, statistics, and general information which could help with an earlier diagnosis.

What is Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian cancer is cancer arising from the cells in and around the ovary and fallopian tube. There are many different types of ovarian tumours classified by the types of cells and tissue they originate from.

Ovarian tumours tend to develop from three kinds of tissue:

  • Around 85-95% come from epithelial cells. This means the cancer started in the surface covering the ovary. These tumours are more likely to occur in women aged 50 and above. They are sometimes referred to as carcinomas.
  • 5-8% per cent of tumours come from stromal cells. The stroma is the supportive tissue of the ovary. Stromal cell tumours may occur in women of any age, although certain tumours, such as androblastomas, may be more common in adolescence.
  • 3-5%  of ovarian tumours come from germ cells. They are the cells in the body that develop into sperm and eggs. Germ cell tumours tend to occur in younger women.


Research shows only 3% of women in the UK can confidently name a symptom of ovarian cancer which is dramatically small. Symptoms are:

• Pelvic or abdominal pain
• Increased abdominal size/persistent bloating
• Difficulty eating/feeling full quickly
• Needing to wee more urgently or more often

There can be other symptoms such as a change in bowel habits, extreme fatigue, unexplained weight loss, or loss of appetite. These symptoms will be frequent and persistent – usually happening around 12 or more times a month. If you regularly get these symptoms and they are not normal for you, it’s time to visit your GP.

Target Ovarian Cancer symptoms leaflet


A women’s risk of getting ovarian cancer increases with age, with most cases appearing in women that have gone through menopause (around 50 years old). However though, around 1000 young women develop a type of ovarian cancer too, which is why it is important that women of all ages are aware of the symptoms, and what the next steps are.

Next Steps

Act early  if you feel like something could be wrong. Listen to your friends and family for advice, and if they mention concerns. Make an appointment as soon as possible at your GP, and bring a family member or friend with you for support.

Your GP should do a CA125 blood test which will measure the level of CA125 (a type of protein) in your blood stream. Depending on the results of the blood test, they could recommend an ultrasound on your stomach and ovaries which creates a picture of the tissues and organs inside your body.

Man supporting woman


Treatment for this type of cancer is fairly standard in terms of removing cancer, but can vary depending on the stage of diagnosis and type.

It is common to treat cancer with surgery to remove the majority and then chemotherapy to kill the lasting cancer cells. In some cases surgery is deemed too risky and chemotherapy is recommended from the start, while in other earlier cases, surgery may be all that is needed.

Fundraising Ideas

  • Hold a coffee morning
  • Organise a garden/theme party
  • Hold a car boot sale
  • Hold a pub quiz
  • Have a casual clothing work or school day
  • Talent contest
  • Bake sale
  • Bucket collection
  • Sponsored run

Lady holding cup of tea coffee

Ovarian Cancer in Numbers

  • 7300 women are diagnosed each year in the UK
  • 4100 women lose their lives each year – that’s 11 women in the UK who die every day from ovarian cancer
  • A woman in the UK has a 2% chance of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in their lifetime
  • When a woman is diagnosed at the earliest stage, her chance of survival for 5 years or more doubles from just 46% to more than 90%
  • 44% of GP’s mistakenly believe symptoms only present in the later stages of ovarian cancer
  • Just 1 in 5 UK women can name bloating as a symptom of ovarian cancer
  • Almost half of women must wait 3 months or more from visiting their GP to getting a correct diagnosis
  • 26% of women with ovarian cancer are diagnosed though A&E
  • 31% of women mistakenly think the cervical screening programme would detect ovarian cancer

If you would like to donate, or fundraise on behalf of the charity and cause, visit where you will find more information, downloads, and ways you can donate.

Reference and images –