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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Quickly look up medications and dosages with the Drug Reference Tool
2. Figure 1
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
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).
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 www.targetovariancancer.org.uk where you will find more information, downloads, and ways you can donate.
When you have your blood pressure tested it can be difficult to understand the results and how they are going to affect you. We have created the following guide to help you understand what blood pressure is, how to identify if you are in a risk category and how you can maintain a healthy blood pressure.
What is Blood Pressure?
When your heart beats it is pumping blood around your body and supplying you with oxygen and energy. Blood pressure is the measure of how hard your blood is pushing against the sides of your blood vessels as it flows around your body. High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) puts extra strain on your arteries and can lead to many health problems. These include stroke, heart attack, coronary heart disease, kidney disease and dementia. Low blood pressure (also known as hypotension) is generally not a concern. However sometimes there can be issues if your blood level becomes unnaturally low, such as dizziness or fainting.
Blood pressure is measured in ‘millimetres of mercury’ (mmHg) and will be made up of two numbers. The first number is your Systolic blood pressure, this is the highest your blood pressure reaches when your heart beats. The second number is the diastolic blood pressure. This is the lowest level your blood pressure drops to between beats. Ideally your blood pressure should be should be below 140/90mmHg.
What is Healthy Blood Pressure?
The systolic blood pressure (the first number, the highest level when your heart beats) should ideally be between 90 and 140. The diastolic blood pressure (the second number, the lowest level when your heart rests between beats) should be between 60 and 90.
Why you should monitor your Blood Pressure
It is estimated by the British Heart Foundation that as many as 7 million people in the UK are living with undiagnosed high blood pressure, this is more than 1 in 4 adults. The symptoms for high blood pressure are subtle and can easily be overlooked. The only way to know your blood pressure is to test it. You should particularly pay attention to this if you are overweight, elderly, have diabetes, are a smoker, are a heavy drinker or if you have a family history of high blood pressure.
The British Heart Foundation recommend that anyone over 40 has a health check with their GP or nurse practitioner. This includes a blood pressure test. You can measure your blood pressure at home or visit your GP if you would prefer them to check this. If you have any concerns with your blood pressure please visit your local GP.
How to Lower Your Blood Pressure
By keeping your blood pressure low you can reduce the chance of heart attack or stroke. You can lower your blood pressure by having a healthy diet and exercising regularly. A healthy balanced diet should include a variety of fruit and vegetables and be low in fat, sugar, salt and alcohol. Low calories or fad diets are not recommended as your body will not get the required nutrients for you to function efficiently, and you may find you feel lethargic or faint. Your GP may also prescribe medication to reduce your blood pressure.
You don’t have to be an athlete to increase your exercise – simple changes like walking rather than driving, taking the stairs rather than the lift or doing a 15 minute work-out will increase your fitness. There are also lots of fitness activates you can do, such as joining a local club, bowling, or swimming.
The independent charityDrinkawareare working to lower alcohol misuse and harm in the UK. They have been researching the effects of alcohol consumption and advise warn that one of negative health effects from excessive alcohol consumption is hypertension (high blood pressure). Drinkaware recommended we consume less than 14 units a week (spread through out) and have several drink free days. They note that excessive caffeine, lack of exercise and junk food can also lead to high blood pressure. Drinkaware suggest you should aim to cut down if you have more than 4 cups of tea, coffee (or another caffeinated drink) per day. If you are concerned about your blood pressure please visit your GP for a check-up. If needed they can prescribe medication to reduce your blood pressure.
At Medisave we want to give you the best service possible, whether it be the products we sell, low prices, customer service support, or our social media outreach.
Today we are asking you what you would most like to see and read on the Medisave blog. Over the course of 2017 and onward we are looking to make a huge push in our blog posts and make them as relevant as possible to our readers.
With this in mind we have created a poll to get a better idea of what topics and subjects you would like to see. We have several general answers of which you may choose up to two, and we would really value your input!
While we will certainly be listening to what you – our readers – have to say, we will still vary the type of posts to maintain some variety. It is important to us to gather information on what topics you would spend your time reading so we can focus on the most popular choices.
Thank you for taking part and voting. Our goal is to produce quality content related to everything that Medisave is a part of, and who better to decide on favoured content than the people who will be reading it.
3M™ Littmann® recently created a video walkthrough of their Learning Institute app, giving you education at your fingertips.
The app, available in the Apple App Store, or Google Play store, gives you exclusive training content on your mobile device that can help you improve your auscultation skills and use your stethoscope more effectively.
The app is free to download and includes:
Introduction to auscultation best practice
One normal heart sound
One sample test module
One patient assessment module
Purchase a qualifying stethoscope from us at Medisave and get PREMIUM access to the app!
Once you have purchased a stethoscope through Medisave, you just need to enter the stethoscopes serial number into the Littmann app and you will receive a larger and more rewarding learning experience.
The qualifying stethoscopes are:
Master Cardiology IV
You can also access premium via an in-app purchase of £39.99.
Premium content includes:
25 multiple choice questions regarding auscultation technique and sound formation
10 cardiac auscultations with associated heart sounds. These include multiple-choice tests with scoring and feedback
13 cardiology assessments in a practical examination style including real patient histories and sounds
10 cardiology assessments in a practical examination style, including real patient histories, auscultation sounds and ECG’s.
And much more!
The learning app is a must have if you own a stethoscope, whether you’re a student or a little more advanced. The app is a great learning tool and one you can go back to keep you on your toes via quizzes and tests included.