Internet Pearls for NPs
Presented by Bob Smithing, ARNP on June 17, 1998
Must Have Programs
Eudora: Eudora is a program that you put on your computer to get your mail from the Internet, download it then allow you to read and respond to it. Eudora and it's sibling Eudora Light are available for Macs and PCs. Eudora Light is a free product which allows you to upgrade to Eudora Pro without loss of data. It's ease of use, filtering, and reliability make it a good choice for handling your email. Visit their web site at http://www.eudora.com/.
Adobe Acrobat Reader version 3.x: No one should be without this program. It allows you to read and print files that way you would expect them to be seen if you had a printed copy in front of you. It allows Macs, PCs, Unix and other computers to share the same files. For reading electronic publications this is the essential program. Many government publications on health are published in this format. (ARNP Care is also published electronically as a .pdf file.) The Acrobat Reader is available free from http://www.adobe.com/.
Web Browser: A web browser is needed to view the information on the world wide web. In general you want to stay current with which ever browser you like. Both Netscape Communicator and Internet Explorer (IE) are available for free. IE comes with the Windows 95 operating system or can be downloaded from http://www.microsoft.com/ie. Netscape can be downloaded from http://www.netscape.com/.
Instant Messenger: This is a mini-chat room that allows you to talk one-on-one with other IM users. Run it when you are on the Internet and you can have conversations with friends, or do a clinical consult while working at your computer. Free software sponsored by AOL. http://www.aol.com/aim.
Real Player: This program will allow you to see video and hear audio on the Internet. A free program at http://www.realplayer.com.
Search the Net
Metacrawler: Originally developed at the University of Washington Metacrawler will search several sites at once and combine the results for your review. Find it at http://www.metacrawler.com.
PubMed: Search MedLine from your local computer and find the clinical information you want. This user friendly interface can be found at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed.
NP Central: Positions available, salary data, clinical information, and much more. The oldest NP web site (started in 1994) it can be found at http://www.npcentral.net.
Centers for Disease Control: http://www.cdc.gov.
Organizations: Find your favorite organization by searching for it in Metacrawler or try putting www. in front of the organization's acronym and .org after it.
Legislative Power: Using email and web sites you can develop a cost effective, fast, flexible means of legislative activity.
Email is an unreliable protocol: This means the mail you send may arrive but there are no guarantees.
Mailing Lists: An electronic mailing list (listserv) is often much more than a means to receive email. It develops into a community of people who care about each other. A community that may be the equivalent to that which develops from talking over the back fence with neighbors.
Use a Signature: A signature is some information about you that is attached to the bottom of an email message. Include your name and email address as a minimum.