This is a guest post by Bret Norwood from Learning-Laboratory.

ChecklistRN’s sister project, the Study Putty web app, wants to help you master tedious memorization material, whether for class or for the NCLEX.

Tell Us What You Need to Study, Like Right Now

And We’ll Give You a Free Tool on the Spot

Rote memorization is horrible…but sometimes it’s just what you gotta do. If your time for cramming has come, we can help you drag yourself through the miserable mire. StudAd04

Study Putty is in public beta. Anyone can use our activities for free. We’re still in development, and in particular we don’t have nearly enough content for students of nursing.

So for a limited number of participants, on a first-come-first-serve basis, I want to hear what you need to study right now, and I will do my best to slip that content into our nursing topic page as fast as I can–within a day or two. Heck, need to study it tonight? Tell me how urgent it is and I will do my best, but no promises. Read more…

In addition to the free, editable nursing brains of our last post, we would like to offer the lab work sections by themselves to make it easier for you to create your own custom report sheets. They are as follows, downloadable as gif files. If you are using Microsoft Word to create your brain, it should be a simple matter of selecting “insert picture from file” from the program’s menu and selecting the gif file where you have downloaded it on your hard drive. Gif files should be compatible with all (or most) modern word processors and image editors. Read more…

Based upon feedback our nurse friend Denise gave us about the various downloadable nurse brain sheets we found floating around the Internet, we have decided to offer our own assortment of report sheets in pdf and doc formats. While the pdf files are only editable with special software for most people, we are providing the doc files for convenient editing and customization in your word processor, because every nurse knows just how his or her brain should be. Read more…

Seth Godin

Seth Godin, copyrighted image from his site

Seth Godin is not a health care professional.  But he is a smart guy who knows a lot about human nature and about process — what works and what doesn’t work for real people.  His solutions to problems aren’t high tech and shiny.  They are low tech, high touch, and effective.

So when the title of his post from yesterday, The simple form that could save your life, caught my eye, I took a closer look.  And it surprised me to see what could reasonably be described as “a patient’s report sheet” or “a patient’s brain.”  Not, of course, for the patient to use at shift change but to be used at ‘caretaker change’ when he or she sees a new doctor or nurse practitioner and is supposed to regurgitate a full health history on demand.

Seth’s idea isn’t particularly original.  My Dad certainly crafted a pair of Word docs something like this, for my Mom and him, a few years before he died.

But, in traditional Seth fashion, Godin a) sought professional help on the contents and b) is ‘going big’ on the distribution

Seth’s motto seems to be “if I think it is useful then everyone should have a copy.”

Take a look.  You may want to download the doc and help a parent or friend fill it out.  Or you might want to suggest the link to a patient who is embarking on one of those long voyages through the healthcare system where having the right info at the right time might just make a bit of a difference.

Here’s the link in clear text, so it is easy to copy and put in an email:


I’ve been talking to my friend Nurse Denise about how to keep our popular Nursing Brains page up-to-date and relevant.  It gets a lot of traffic and I want to be sure that we continue to give value with the discussion and links that are there.

One of my questions was pretty basic but hit a nerve:  Why, in this age of Electronic Medical Records, do nurses still need paper report sheets?  Shouldn’t they be going the way of . . . land-line phones or big cathode-ray TV sets?

She immediately answered that the EMR simply doesn’t give a nurse the big picture view of the patient’s status that she needs. Read more…