Authors

  1. Perry, William

Article Content

The Internet has brought the spirit of global communication and collaboration to nurses and other healthcare professionals in ways never before thought possible. These resources are offered to expand your opportunities for discussion, reference, education, and research.

 

The Web is a powerful tool for information retrieval, education, collaboration, and research. It entertains, informs, and provides a global forum to exchange ideas. Though its growth has been phenomenal over the past few years, many healthcare professionals do not have access to the World Wide Web, and many others do not have access to a critical Internet tool ... e-mail.

 

For those who have a computer and modem but no Internet access, there is a free e-mail service called Juno. It is a Windows 95 software package; unfortunately they do not plan to develop a Macintosh version. Supported by advertising, this service offers free e-mail accounts with more than 1000 access telephone numbers in the United States. This is not an Internet account allowing access to the web using a browser such as Netscape or Internet Explorer, but an e-mail only account with dial up access. You can get the free software from the web at www.juno.com.

 

Another way of obtaining free or inexpensive e-mail accounts is through a community freenet. International lists are available at www.y4i.com/freeaccess2.html and www.lights.com/freenet/.

 

For those with an e-mail account, a wide variety of Internet services are available. Using special e-mail addresses and commands a user can browse World Wide Web pages, send and receive files using File Transfer Protocol, and read newsgroup postings. An electronic mail account empowers an individual with the potential to communicate locally, nationally, and globally regardless of time or location.

 

There are thousands of e-mail-based discussion groups (often called lists) on just about any topic you'd care to imagine. There are several dozen (at least!) nursing- and healthcare-focused groups around the world. Newsgroups are different than mailing lists in that the reader must go to the site to view the information rather than having the information delivered to their electronic mailbox.

 

Ron Ward has an extensive listing of both mailing lists and newsgroups on his web site Nursing and Healthcare Resources on the Net at www.shef.ac.uk/~nhcon/. Brian Short has several listed at his World Wide Nurse site www.wwnurse.com. A huge list of discussion groups is available at www.liszt.com.

 

There are two free resources the individual who has only e-mail cannot be without. The first is "Accessing the Internet by E-Mail, Dr. Bob's Guide to Offline Internet Access." Get it by sending an e-mail message to mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu. In the body of the message, type: send usenet/news.answers/internet-services/access-via-e-mail. Almost immediately you'll receive an e-mail with an extensive document detailing the e-mail commands and procedures to access a huge range of Internet resources. If you have access to the World Wide Web you can get the file in HTML format at www.cis.ohio-state.edu/hypertext/faq/usenet/internet-services/access-via-email/faq.html.

 

Another very useful e-mail guide to Internet access is Bob Appleton's 4U Series, which is available in compressed (zip) form at members.xoom.com/netbyeml/4useries.zip. The individual files of the series can be viewed or down-loaded from members.xoom.com/netbyeml/netbyeml.htm.

 

Armed with an e-mail account and these resources you can join and read newsgroups, retrieve files, programs, and documents, as well as send and receive e-mail. Shatter the barriers of time and place. You have a tool for global communication, collaboration, education, and research.

 

Contributed by

 

William Perry