Technology, at its best, is a way to stay connected. That’s perhaps no more important than when you’re a working nurse parent.
Whether you work eight-hour shifts or 12 — nights, days or weekends — once you set foot into your role as a nurse, you lose all sense of what’s going on elsewhere in your life. Especially when you have young children that someone else must take care of, working a long shift can feel like an eternity.
This is where a new app, called Tykester, comes in handy. Gannett Co. Inc. — the parent company of Nurse.com — asked me to take it for a spin. Although at the moment I work from home, it wasn’t so long ago that I was putting in those grueling 12-hour days (and with commuting, it was always more!) and feeling out of touch with my children. When the opportunity arose for me to go away for the weekend with some friends, I knew it was the perfect time to give Tykester a try. Though the kids were under the safe care of their father, I felt even more secure knowing that I’d be able to easily find out what they were up to.
The set-up was intuitive and fast. Tykester prompts you through a simple registration process. Once I’d set up my own profile, I was able to download the app to my husband’s phone. With secure info, I was able to connect our profiles, so that whenever he updated things on his end, I would be able to view the changes. In order for him to connect to my profile, he needed a four-digit code assigned to each of our children, along with my email address. I, as the parent account, was able to see who had access to my child’s profile. I was relieved to discover that unless I specifically gave the information to someone, no one could access my account.Tykester allows you to keep track of a number of status updates, including eating, toileting and emotional state
Tykester allows you to keep track of a number of status updates, including eating, toileting and emotional state. For a busy nurse, being able to check on how your child is doing at a glance, without having to make a phone call or send a text message, is convenient and reassuring. You can set up your profile so that when the caregiver updates your child’s info, you receive a push notification. I loved getting little notifications, that my kids were happy and smiling, or that they’d eaten their whole dinner. I got to see all those little updates that would otherwise be lost in a sporadic text message or a phone call.
Tykester may be more appropriate for a single-person caregiver rather than a group daycare setting. A larger daycare provider might not be willing to download and use the app. On the other hand, a group daycare might want to offer it as an option that may increase parent satisfaction and trust. Another possible application for Tykester could be to get to the bottom of common young child issues, such as sleep disturbance, potty training, constipation or mood. However, at the moment, there is no function to trend certain activities over time. With the addition of a function such as that, Tykester would be of even greater utility.
If you’re a working nurse parent, Tykester can help you feel connected to your children while at work. The app is free on all Apple and Android phones! Give it a try and tell us what you think!
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