Author Archives: Jill Turner

Stay on Track with an Assignment Calculator

octoberDo you frequently underestimate the time it will take to complete an assignment … especially a research paper or presentation? There are online tools available to help keep you on track: Assignment calculators. They create a timeline that can help you determine when you need to have completed specific portions of an assignment, so you are not scrambling at the last minute.

Many university libraries have assignment calculators available. To use, all you need to do is put in the date that the assignment is due, and the calculator … calculates … a timeline for you to follow. Some also have links from the calculator to other sites that may be helpful when working on an assignment: choosing a topic, writing a thesis statement, and proofreading strategies.

Try some of them out and see if one of them works for you:

Research Project Calculator – although created for secondary school students, this site will save & share your assignments and send email reminders, if you create an account

University of Minnesota Assignment Calculator

SJSU – Assignment Calculator

University of Connecticut Assignment Calculator


Don’t wait until the last minute to begin your research!

Jill Turner, Librarian




Fireworks & Summer: Think celebration and … safety



There is a subset of people in this country who love to set off fireworks. (I think many live in my neighborhood.) When fireworks are mentioned, I think fun, but also safety. Reports of injuries resulting from firework accidents are still making news two days after the holiday. A quick search in PubMed reveals many articles on firework injuries. One of the more recent is a case report that includes a man in Italy who received a face and conjunctiva tattoo from an accidental explosion in the fireworks factory where he worked. Another details the autopsy report from a 4 year old girl who died as a result of eating a firecracker. A study from 2014 looked at the epidemiology of firework injuries over a 10 year period. There were over 97, 562 individual firework injuries treated in emergency departments in the United States that resulted in over 2,800 types of injuries. Head and neck injuries comprised 42% of those injuries. (Unsurprisingly, the injury rate for males was three times higher than for females.)

Technically, June was National Safety Month, but with the holiday just past and most of the summer still stretching out before us, let’s talk safety. There are a ton of websites that have materials on various aspects of safety.  Here are a few:

The National Safety Council collects safety data and provides safety training to companies. They also have a lot of information available on their website for the general citizen. I like the Safety Check-up where you can learn your own person safety risks based on your age, occupation, and where you live. The leading cause of unintentional injury death in Michigan is poisoning at 31%! Who knew! They have has information on safety at work, at home, and on the road. According to the Safety on the Road page, in 2014, car crashes killed 35,400 people. The fatalities were caused by alcohol (30.8%), speeding (30%), and distracted driving (26%)… so be careful out there. website states that “injuries are the leading cause of death for Americans ages 1-44.” also includes information on a variety of safety topics: everyday healthy living like first aid and emergency preparation; home safety issues like bed bugs and lead poisoning; and outdoor safety concerns such as bike safety and mosquito bite prevention.

The MedlinePlus website contains lots of of information dealing with the prevention and treatment of all kinds of safety issues: sports safety, child safety, water safety, gun safety, food, internet, medical device, ergonomics, and more.

ice-cream-1082237_1280As I missed the boat with National Safety Month, this being July and all, I thought I’d close this post by letting you know that July, besides including National Ice Cream Day and Slurpee Day (both way more fun than safety month), is the time to celebrate Sports Cliche Week (due to the MLB All-Star Game), so on that note …  I’ve run out of real estate, so stick a fork in me, I’m done. But, hey, I was just happy to be here.



Systematic Reviews: not just for the health sciences

1024px-Generic_forest_plotWhat is a systematic review? Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (Oxford University) defines it as “the application of strategies that limit bias in the assembly, critical appraisal, and synthesis of all relevant studies on a specific topic. Systematic reviews focus on peer-reviewed publications about a specific health problem and use rigorous, standardized methods for selecting and assessing articles.”  But that’s just it… systematic reviews need not only be health related.


There are basically 5 steps in the process:

  • identify all relevant published and unpublished materials
  • select studies for potential inclusion
  • assess the quality of each study or report; exclude the poor quality studies
  • synthesize the findings from individual studies or reports
  • interpret the findings, present an unbiased summary of the findings, report any flaws in the evidence

How does a systematic review differ from a literature review? To start, a systematic review is conducted by a team; it helps to distribute the tremendous amount of work that goes into a systematic review, and it also helps to reduce selection bias. Secondly, a systematic review requires a thorough search in multiple sources looking for as much evidence on a topic that can be retrieved both published and unpublished; it helps to reduce publication bias. Typically a literature search does not include unpublished materials or an all-out resource search. Finally, the goal of a systematic review is to present the best available evidence on the topic/question of interest. A literature review aims to summarize a topic.

So what’s so great about a systematic review? The power of a systematic review lies in the synthesized evidence of a topic. For example, at one time it was common practice to place post-menopausal women on hormone replacement therapy (HRT). As a result of a systematic review on the harm and benefits of HRT, researchers found that although HRT had its benefits, it also increased the incidence of stroke and the risk of venous clots and breast cancer. HRT is no longer administered routinely.

Systematic reviews do not need to be medicine, nursing, or dentistry based. A systemic review can be conducted with non-medical studies as well. The following are resources that can be used to search for systematic review examples:

Cochrane Library and PubMedHealth – for medicine, dentistry, nursing, addictions, psychology

CINAHL – nursing, allied health

Campbell Collaboration – crime and justice, education, international development, and social welfare

The following library resources, although healthcare related, are available for assisting in conducting a systematic review:

Boland, A., Cherry, M. G., & Dickson, R. (2014). Doing a systematic review : A student’s guide. London: SAGE. (Print Book)

Eden, J., & Institute of Medicine (U.S.). Committee on Standards for Systematic Reviews of Comparative Effectiveness Research. (2011). Finding what works in health care : Standards for systematic reviews. Washington, D.C: National Academies Press. (EBook)

Holly, C., Salmond, S. W., & Saimbert, M. (2012). Comprehensive systematic review for advanced nursing practice. New York: Springer Pub. (EBook)


Forest plot image by James Grellier (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

iMedicalApps – health care app review site

app with starDo you have any health care apps on your phone? Consumer health or patient apps like My Fitness Pal, WebMD, or Zipnosis? With the explosion of mobile technology and available apps, how do you know that an app is “good”? After all, anyone with a moderate level of coding know-how can create and sell an app. The app just has to work; the information it contains doesn’t have to be correct. Enter iMedicalApps. iMedicalApps is a renown blog written by a team of practicing physicians and other health professionals.  The blog’s purpose is to review mobile medical technology and provide readers with expert opinion and comments on available applications and technologies. Not only does iMedicalApps review technology in terms of usability, the writers review content. They offer sections that detail their likes and dislikes of an app, overall impressions, comments on user interface, and real world applications. Reviews include multiple screenshots of pages within the app so readers have a good idea how the app looks before they download it. Reviews also contain a 1-5 star rating for each section.

How do you know you can trust iMedicalApps? As you are probably aware, readers need to beware of potential biases and conflicts of interest between writers and their subjects. For instance, how do you know the 4-star ratings on that Apple store app you are considering purchasing aren’t written by reviewers paid by the developer? iMedicalApps writers and editors are an unbiased source; they do not create apps. They provide patient care.

iMedicalApps offers multiple lists of “top apps” to highlight apps in various areas: Best Medical Apps Released in 2015, Top 10 Family Medicine apps, 5 best note taking apps for Android, and more.

If you are thinking about using a health app in the future, why not check for an iMedicalApps review before you download. It could save you time and even money.




Symptom Media: new mental health streaming video library

symptom media home

UDM has purchased a new online library of mental health training videos: Symptom Media. This collection of 50 mental health videos is designed to assist health care providers with symptom recognition.  Videos range between 30 seconds up to 15 minutes long and include DSM 5 and ICD Guided Film Collections as well as Assessment Tools. The videos consist of patient interactions that offer samples of what a particular mental health diagnosis looks like.

The following are sample video titles from the collection: Coping Mechanisms and Defenses; Delusional Disorder – Somatic subtype; Adjustment Disorder with Anxiety; Post traumatic Stress Disorder – Combat veteran; Dissociative Amnesia; Suicide Assessment; and many more.



Make Your Mark … in a library book … without penalty!

Did you know that you can highlight and make notes in ebrary eBooks just like in a print book … all without incurring a library fine? To take advantage of this eBook functionality, sign in to your account. To sign in to an account within the ebrary eBook collection, click the Sign In link located in the upper right corner of the webpage.

Clicking on the Sign In link will bring up the Knowledge log in screen. Once you have logged in, you can use eBook tools like:

Bookshelf:  Add a frequently used book to a virtual Bookshelf for quicker access in the future.

Find the book you want to add to your virtual bookshelf. Click on the Add to Bookshelf button.

The next time you want to access that book, sign in, then click on the Bookshelf tab in the top left corner of the webpage.

Bookshelf also allows you to create folders for your electronic books so you can keep them organized by class, subject, or specialty.

Click image for how-to video


eBooks can be highlighted just like a print book … but the highlighting can also be removed … unlike a print book. To highlight a particular passage, select it, then click the highlight button above the text. If you change your mind, un-marking the book is just as easy.  Simply click the trashcan icon to the right of the passage you would like to remove.

Click on image to access a how-to video

Create Note:

Once in an eBook, you also have the option of making notes on a passage. Under the Info Tools drop down menu, is a Create Note link. Make your notation, click the OK button, and the note becomes part of your ebrary account.

If you have any questions about how to access or use these ebrary eBook functions, please contact one of the librarians!

Jill Turner, Librarian Consultant

Resuscitation! – Mobile App

Resuscitation!Are you a healthcare provider? Do you want to practice providing simulated patient care in various health care settings? Do you want to kill a few minutes while waiting in line for something or another? Then download Resuscitation! to your mobile device. A free version of Resuscitation! is available for both Apple and Android devices through the iTunes store and Google Play. Additional patient cases are available for purchase.

Resuscitation! is geared towards students who have medical or nursing training, so the app may be too advanced for those without clinical experience.

Resuscitation! screenshot

Users can choose cases from a list that has been grouped by modules, topic or rank, or they can elect to receive a random case. For my first case, I choose a case by rank: a 55yr old man with chest pain. I could then read his history, check out his detailed physical exam, develop his differential diagnosis, and proceed to determine his course of treatment. Treatments include such actions as placing the patient on a monitor to determine his vital signs and heart rhythm; starting IV’s; “ordering” tests; performing procedures; administering medications; and initiating communication to outside entities, if needed.

Full disclosure: the free cases are limited in number (as you might expect of something free); there are about 12.

This app is a lot of fun and has received high customer ratings on iTunes. A few Android users have reported some bugginess in the Android version.

Happy diagnosing!

Jill Turner, Librarian


Study while you wait: NCSBN’s Medication Flashcards Mobile App

Make the most of your time while standing in line or waiting for an appointment… study! The National Council of the State Boards of NursingNCSBN Learning Extension Medication Flashcards has a free app that will help you study drug information in preparation for the NCLEX exam or a pharmacology exam. The app is only available for the iphone and ipad at this time, but an Android version is due for release next month (April 2015).

Benzo flashcard with circle

The app uses a flashcard format. Medications are grouped into categories (eg. anti-psychotics, beta blockers, lipid-lowering agents, etc.) or they can be searched by specific drug.

Tap the screen to flip the card. The back of the flashcard contains:

  • generic and brand names of drugs that fall into that category
  • drug uses along with an overview of the mechanism of action
  • information that is “nice to know” (eg. do not discontinue the medication suddenly), “good to know” (eg. exposure to sunlight may cause a severe sunburn), and “really important to know” (eg. may cause confusion and hallucinations and should be avoided in clients over 70).

There is an option to “Flag” what you don’t know or indicate that you “Got it” with the drugs that you are comfortable with. You can then come back and focus on the flagged medications.

Most of us have our smartphones with us most all the time. So as a study aid, NCSBN’s Flashcards are conveniently at hand. Plus, the price is right!

Jill Turner, Librarian

Why Rudolph’s nose is red: observational study from the Netherlands



Researchers from the Netherlands and Norway published an observational study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) explaining the morphology behind Rudolph’s famous red nose. They hypothesized that the extreme redness was caused by “the presence of a highly dense and rich nasal microcirculation”. In other words, Rudolph’s nose has an abundant supply of red blood cells flowing through a vast number of tiny blood vessels. Results of the study show that the hypothesis was proven. After a careful comparison with five human subjects, the researchers determined that while similar, the vascular network in a reindeer’s nose is 25% denser than that in a human.

Also, perhaps even more interestingly, the tiny blood vessels in the reindeer’s nose do not contain red blood cells during diastole (the time between heart beats); with systole (heart beat), an excess of blood is forced through the vessels. The figure below shows the infrared image of a reindeer’s head after a treadmill test. Notice the presence of a red nose.

reindeer image

The reindeer nasal anatomy and physiology observed in this study testifies to the eminent suitability of Rudolph to lead Santa’s sleigh.

Article: Ince, C., van Kuijen, A. M., Milstein, D. M., Yuruk, K., Folkow, L. P., Fokkens, W. J., & Blix, A. S. (2012). Why rudolph’s nose is red: Observational study. BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), 345, e8311. doi:10.1136/bmj.e8311 [doi]


Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Jill Turner, Librarian Consultant



Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer: GuitarHero188Rock

Infrared image of reindeer: Blix, As. Arctic Animals. Tapir Academic Press, 2005.


Nursing Streaming Video Database – MedCom/Trainex

MedCom logo MedCom/Trainex is a resource for streaming videos for nursing. There are over 250 videos to choose from in a variety of subject areas: airway management, anatomy and physiology, gerontology, infection control, and much more.

This resource also contains “extra” content:

  • course overviews
  • post tests
  • learning activities
  • suggested readings

You must create an account and set up a password, then log in to your account whenever you want to watch a video.

MedCom log in page editted

Access to the MedCom/Trainex streaming video database can be found in the databases list under “N” (Nursing Videos) and from the UDM nursing library guide comprehensive database list. Videos can be streamed from off campus.

Jill Turner, Librarian


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