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Table 4 Students’ use of Internet enabled devices in clinical settings

From: The ‘connectaholic’ behind the curtain: medical student use of computer devices in the clinical setting and the influence of patients

Connection and devices
 SN_07 The laptop made my life… easier. I can take my laptop anywhere with me.
 SN_03 So I’m very dependent on my iPad. It helps me organize pretty much everything.
 SN_1 I found it really invaluable. I mean… when you’re on rotation, every once in a while you’ll get an hour or two when your team is not really up to anything. And besides, I guess carrying a textbook around with you all the time, there’s really no better way than just having the iPad..
 SN_15 It’s a horrible thing to be on the wards and not know what’s going on and not know what you’re dealing with. So it’s very comforting to have it, have the phone there and be able to go on straight away and look at things.
 SN_17 … I just get connected… maybe I get the urge… I’m a connectaholic.
Influence and interaction with patients
 SN_16 I don’t feel like it’s appropriate to use it in front of the patient, they might think that I’m just like playing with my iPad instead of doing something so.
 SN_1 I feel like I might be able to use it maybe a little bit more now that I’m in paediatrics. I’ve been meaning to try it, sort of just like to entertain the kids, get them on your side, that type of thing. Just because kids love tablets.
 SN_11 I think it would be strange to type in front of the patient firstly, and I think it interferes with the rapport.
 SN_15 I find that the second that the phone comes out in the clinical setting, that the patient just sort of…, a barrier goes up. I think they fear that we’re not paying attention to them if the phone is there. So I tend not to take it out, because I just think it kind of creates a barrier between me and the patient, and I don’t like that.
 SN_17 (the clinical teacher) was busy examining and talking with the patient, so I just went behind the curtain and just Googled it quick.
Interactions with staff
 SN_12 ... like the doctors will tell you…..It’s unprofessional to use your phone. Older patients especially won’t appreciate it.
 SN_14 the registrar…..told me...just don’t take out your phones, if you need anything just ask me……that is kind of the rules and stuff.
 SN_09 I would say it would be more comfortable using it in a GP setting where you have your own desk talking to a patient or like an out-patient clinic probably, more than in the ward .
 SN_06 ….you know just being on the delivery ward we’re with one patient for quite a long time and … and even if they’re asleep they are saying (staff) use of mobile phones is a big ‘no no’ is actually the wording they use ... you know we have a kind of list of rules and regulations and that’s one of them.
 SN_10 ..after the procedure was done, the surgeon then used the application and the diagrams of the (iPad) app to explain which muscles exactly he was cutting and which ligaments he was tightening, which approach he took, etcetera. So it was actually very useful.
  1. Representative quotes describing student perspectives on the use of laptops and iPads in the clinical setting. Themes are categorised into connection and devices, influence and interaction with patients and interactions with staff. SN = Study Number.