Patient monitoring apparatus for use in an environment which includes a communications network and a plurality of sensors. The apparatus provides collection and display of patient data signals collected from a medical patient using the sensors. The apparatus comprises a portable monitor coupled to a plurality of data acquisition modules, which are in turn coupled to the sensors. The data acquisition modules include cartridges, which mount on the portable monitor, and independently positionable pods. The pods reduce the number of cables extending between the patient's bed and the portable monitor by combining signals from many sensors into a single output signal for transmission to the monitor. The modules collect patient data in analog form from the sensors and provide digital data signals to the monitor. The portable monitor includes: a display device for displaying the patient data, and storage for the patient data. The portable monitor is coupled to the docking station. The portable monitor receives power from the docking station, and transfers data to the network by way of the docking station. Patient data are displayed on either one of the portable monitor or a remote display device attached to the docking station. The portable monitor is rapidly detached from the docking station for transporting the patient.