Sunday, September 2, 2007

Where to look -- information on the web

My first inclination when looking for technology articles of interest to me as a nurse is to turn the web and poke around in the search engines. My personal favorite is Google (also the parent company of Google, like many other search engines, uses proprietary algorithms to find articles based on your searches. This is quick and easy, but depending on the search term, it can be a bit overwhelming. The University of Berkeley offers this page called Googling to the Max with information on how to get the most out of your Google searches.

From my university days not so long ago, we learned about the subscription databases, such as Medline and the greatest nursing database ever, CINAHL. These tend to be very expensive, and unless you're enrolled in a class with library access or your facility provides this access to you, you may have to seek alternative resources.

Searching the web for cogent articles for you as a nurse can be challenging, but there are a variety of free resources that are decent and referenced to quality research. Here are some of my favorites below:

Medscape Nursing
This section of the site discusses news, industry information and has sections on specialty areas of nursing, as well as opportunities for continuing education.

This site's entry paragraph says it all:

The original open access comprehensive medical textbook for all clinical fields
10,000 Contributors 6,500 Articles

I have found it to be very useful for a quick study on a disease process and its treatments. It was invaluable for me as a student because it allowed me to learn information quickly about a disease or disorder. I still use it today. I found it most helpful recently when I had a patient with Fournier's gangrene.

Finally, the National Institutes of Health also has a wide variety of information for both nurses and patients, as well as links to research topics, grant information, and links to specialty centers of the NIH such as National Cancer Institute and other centers.

Drug information abounds on the web. It is available from specific manufacturers or from sites such as NIH at MedlinePlus drug information,, or at Please note that some sites may require purchasing a subscription to access further data.

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