“When I googled my symptoms it showed that I have a rare form of cancer!”
You’ve probably heard something like this during a distress call from a friend or family member. When people turn to Dr. Google for answers, the sites with the most hits and the highest ranking are not necessarily the most reputable. People manage to find the scariest information and then need validation that they do indeed have more than 5 minutes to live.
As nurses living in today’s world, it’s part of our modern challenge to confirm or refute the mountain of information that is available at the click of a mouse. People look on the internet, they call us, they ask for advice. Even though we don’t know what they will actually do with the information we give them, it’s still our responsibility to make sure it is accurate and up to date.
So let’s talk about this Internet for a minute.
Though it does have a few drawbacks (disconnecting us from the “real world,” giving us bad information, the latest celebrity gossip) it does have a real purpose and great gifts to give us (connecting us to people we would never have known otherwise, giving us good information, the latest celebrity gossip.)
I’m not here to curse the world wide web. I like it. A lot. However, it’s very important for us as healthcare providers to have knowledge of which sites do provide reliable medical information. Below I’ve listed some links to reputable sources.
Some of my favorite links of websites pertaining to nursing and healthcare:
Lippincott’s Nursing Center has a good selection of resources for nurses, including drug updates and patient education packets.
Of course, the American Nurses Association and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, along with the board of nursing for your state are essential to bookmark for licensing information and requirements, legal updates and more.
The National Library of Medicine is a wonderful source for up to date information on medication, disease processes, and new developments in treatment and research. You can also sign up to subscribe to an RSS feed here.
Local hospitals and clinics, as well as nationally renowned health systems, usually have wonderful information available for practitioners and patients alike.
Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, Cook Childrens are some examples. I find that looking up information from local institutions is helpful when a patient is wondering what type of care they can expect when they are seen.
For information regarding complementary and alternative medicine, check out the American Chiropractic Association, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and Medline Plus. Mayo Clinic also offers information in this genre.