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Book club: your reviews

The Great Ormond Street Hospital Manual of Children’s Nursing Practices

23 April, 2014 Posted by: -

Title: The Great Ormond Street Hospital Manual of Children’s Nursing Practices

Edited by: Susan Macqueen, Elizabeth Anne Bruce and Faith Gibson

Publisher: Wiley Blackwell

Reviewer: Hannah Marriage, student health visitor, Leicestershire Partnership Trust

What was it like?

This book is a textbook outlining all of the key skills a paediatric nurse would need in their day-to-day practice as well as the rarer cases they may come across. It outlines all procedure guidelines for pre- and post-operative care as well as full guidelines for procedures a nurse may carry out. 

The layout of the book made it easy to read and locate exactly what I wanted to know more about and each section could be read individually.

What were the highlights?

The layout of the book was important to me as it made it so easy to read and locate information I needed. The contents were clear and easy to follow, as well as each chapter being broken down nicely, also aiding with easy reading.

Strengths and Weaknesses?

Due to the layout the book was easy to read. They discuss all possible procedures, medications for these procedures and the guidelines surrounding them.  However, any nurse using this book must also refer to their own trust guidelines, as there is always a possibility that the care guidelines outlined in this book may differ to local trust polices.

Who should read it?

This textbook would be most suited for either student paediatric nurses or paediatric nurses working in a ward setting.

The Great Ormond Street Hospital_Manual of Children's Nursing Practices


Global health: an introduction to current and future trends

22 April, 2014 Posted by: -

Title: Global health: an introduction to current and future trends.

Author: Kevin McCracken and David R Phillips

Publisher: Routledge

Reviewer: Alison Taylor, paediatric practice development nurse, Western Sussex Hospitals Trust

What was it like?

This is a comprehensive and highly detailed text covering every imaginable facet of global health, from epidemiological concepts, data and measurements to the sociopolitical and ecological influences on people’s health around the world. As its title suggests, the book’s focus is contemporary although the authors also neatly summarise historical global patterns of disease and health transitions to date.

The book takes a logical approach to a huge topic. Split into three parts, the first gives a basic introduction to fundamental concepts, definitions of key terms and major determinants of population health and disease such as mortality and morbidity data. A section on health transitions follows, explaining how the health and disease profiles of the world’s nations have developed over time. National and sub-national inequalities are scrutinised, as are the complex interrelationships between various dimensions of social and health status, such as age, gender, occupation, education and income.

The third part, deals with present and future. The subject of health systems is explored; how these are planned, financed and reorganised, using specific national examples. Significant attention is also paid to the impact of environmental and climate change on the world’s health; the broader themes of international aid and political security are also well explored.

What were the highlights? 

Data from the World Health Organisation and other global authorities and official statistical sources are interwoven throughout the text in countless tables, boxes and diagrams. These illustrate clearly the points being made, and along with a good glossary and a number of searching questions posed as discussion points after each chapter, make digesting the many complex topics more enjoyable.

Strengths & weaknesses:

As a newcomer to the study of global heath I found the statistical details heavy going at times and therefore hard to retain. Overall though, this is a highly readable book written in an intelligent and thought provoking style.The last chapter on the future of global health is somewhat bleak. The prolonged speculation on a future of uncontrolled infection, a generation of Alzheimer’s sufferers and a world punctuated by more natural disasters, accelerating urban growth and political instability does not make for a happy ending.

I don’t think I would have found this book accessible as a student nurse for example, due to the complexity of the subject matter. However, for experienced health professionals I think it is essential reading to gain a well rounded understanding of the health of human populations around the world and it has already provided me with a good grounding in the subject. As the authors say, global health is important to everyone, everywhere.

Who should read it?

The book is broadly aimed at students of global health, public health and development studies. However anyone with an interest in international health, politics, sociology or health economics would gain much from reading it.

Creating & Sustaining Civility in nursing education

7 April, 2014 Posted by: -

Title: Creating & Sustaining Civility in nursing education.

Author: Cynthia Clark

Publisher: Sigma Theta Tau International

Reviewer: Taryn L Hill, PhD, MSN, RN Chamberlain College of Nursing

What was it like?

This valuable book covers the topic of incivility in nursing education. The author offers informative information related to identifying and managing uncivil behaviour in the classroom and beyond. Information related to identifying victims of incivility is presented in a way that allows the nurse to self-reflect on possible uncivil encounters. The author takes you on a journey through her personal experience, as well as extensive research related to the topic of incivility. Correlation between stress and uncivil behaviours is examined in detail. The author provides descriptive lessons on introducing and sustaining topics of civility with nursing students and within the work place.

The final chapter, entitled “Seeking and Keeping Civility in Nursing Education” includes Dr Clark’s own civility wisdom list that embraces concepts such as make a difference, don’t interrupt, be on time, and think before you speak.

Dr Clark offers a valid perspective on the topic of incivility through personal experience, empirical research, and coaching. She encourages nurse educators to identify and espouse to a statement of civility and through role modelling, inspiring a culture of civility within the organisation students and faculty alike.

What were the highlights? 

The author offers specific strategies that are grounded in empirical evidence and recommendations from the National League for Nursing. Real life scenarios are highlighted as examples for raising awareness on the issue of incivility. Dr Clark provides detailed information on how to process through each scenario. The most impressive gift from this author is the civility tip section that allow for critical reflection and identification of concepts related to incivility.

Strengths & weaknesses:

The strengths of this book reside in a strong organisational format. The foundation for discussion is grounded in personal experience. It follows a path of creating a culture of civility within any organization. The book also outlines effective teaching strategies for students in the classroom to encourage active learning and improve the student experience. Dr Clark integrates works from other colleges into creating a positive educational environment for students; one that fosters civility. She also encourages self-awareness within faculty so that the true emotional feelings of the faculty are identified and managed in a way that supports civil behaviour in all encounters.

Who should read it?

While this book focuses on the work of a nurse educator with incivility and creating a culture of civility, anyone who works within the healthcare setting and interacts with patients would benefit from reading this book. 


Creating&Sustaining Civility in Nursing Education

The Business of Nurse Management. A toolkit for success.

2 April, 2014 Posted by: -

Title: The Business of Nurse Management. A toolkit for success.

Author: Nancy Bateman

Publisher: Springer Publishing Company

Reviewer:  Helen Reeves, clinical nurse manager, St Giles Walsall Hospice

What was it like?

The business of nurse management is a book designed and developed for nurse managers and provides a toolkit for them to undertake their job. The book is divided into several chapters and covers topics ranging from budgeting skills, staffing models, effective communication with staff, conflict resolution and time management. The book identifies that new nurse managers often start in roles with little knowledge or skills regarding leadership and management and provides chapter by chapter useful, tools, tips, resources and education to expand their every developing and changing roles.

What were the highlights? 

As a new manager in an inpatient setting I found chapter five, developing leadership skills, particularly beneficial. This chapter focuses on the nurse managers development of their own personal management skills and focuses on management styles, positive and negative; communication and time management. I also found the subsections change management and conflict resolution useful and found that it provided useful tips and suggestions on how to best facilitate change and conflict.

Strengths and weaknesses:

The main weakness of this book is that it is largely based on an American health model making comparison for certain areas difficult, for example chapter 4 looks at centers for medicare and Medicaid services reimbursement which cannot be compared to the health service in the UK.  As a toolkit for managers this book covers a wide range of topics allowing the nurse manager to grow and develop into their role and provides useful tips and resources for them to evolve in their role and to gain new perspectives.

Who should read it?

This book would be well suited for new in post nurse managers or nurses considering a move of career into management. Also to other health care professions wanting to gain a better understanding and insight into what being a manager can entail.


The Business of Nurse Management. A toolkit for success



Manual of Peri-operative Care: An Essential Guide

1 April, 2014 Posted by: -

Title: Manual of Peri-operative Care: An Essential Guide

Edited by: Woodhead K and Fudge L

Publisher: Oxford: John Wiley & Sons

Reviewer: Ed Shields, nurse lecturer, Queen’s University Belfast.

What was it like?

This book addresses the central tenets of peri-operative practice; namely, clinical quality, patient safety, governance, controls assurance and clinical effectiveness. The foundations of safe peri-operative practice, infection prevention, patient safety and risk management, peri-operative care for different patient groups and different approaches to surgery (laparoscopic and endoscopic) are all dealt with across five sections in the book. Visible coloured “tabs” along the page edges make navigating to various sections very quick and easy; given that many may use this book as a reference source, this is helpful.

Given the specialist nature of much of the material in the book, the use of figures, tables and photographs helps organise and illustrate the information.  While this may not be necessary for established peri-operative specialists, it is helpful for those who are studying this area of practice for the first time, or for those reacquainting/updating themselves.

Overall, the book is readable, given the way it is organised and developed. The chapters are not too long, yet contain much up to date information. This is supplemented by extensive reference material at the end of each chapter. Peri-operative practice is put into a modern context early in the book and emerging new roles are also introduced. It is a serious book with much to commend it.

What were the highlights? 

In my view, section 3 of the book will have broad appeal, both to specialists and non-specialists; it contains 17, short, concise chapters dealing with a wide range of peri-operative issues, ranging from medicines management, intra-operative care, thermoregulation and pain management etc.

Strengths & weaknesses:

The wide range of peri-operative issues dealt with in the book makes it a good reference source for both specialist and non-specialist nurses. There is also useful, up to date material that will be of use in specialist situations such as care of neonates, children, adolescents, the older patient and pregnant patients.

Who should read it?

The target audience for this book is specialist peri-operative practitioners, those who are studying peri-operative care (possibly those undertaking a specialist course) and anyone who needs an up to date reference book for peri-operative care. It is quite a specialist book but might be of some benefit to some pre-registration students in particular placement areas, dealing, as it does, with wound healing, surgical site infection, World Health Organisation “Surgical Safety Checklist”.


Manual of Perioperative Care: An Essential Guide

The Call of Nursing. Stories from the front lines of health care

27 March, 2014 Posted by: -

Title: The Call of Nursing Stories from the front lines of health care

Author: William B Patrick

Publisher: Hudson Whitman/Excelsior College Press

Reviewer: Helen Reeves, clinical nurse manager, St Giles Walsall Hospice

What was it like?

The call of Nursing is a book that details the tales and stories of 23 nurses in varied settings. The book identifies the jobs that nurses undertake, why they do what they do and what has inspired them most in their career to date. The Call of Nursing provides an honest and valuable insight into the varied role of nurses and gives honest accounts of nurse’s experiences in their jobs.

What were the highlights? 

As a nurse I found looking at the accounts of other nurses interesting and thought provoking. Be able to draw comparisons from nurses who undertake the same work as yourself enables and encourages you to reflect on your own practice and the choices that you have made and why you have made them. The Call of Nursing also allows you to look at other nursing roles and draw experiences, knowledge and choices. Due to vast range of nurses that have been interviewed, ranging from hospice nurses to psychiatric nurses, critical care nurses to fight nurses and navy nurses to paramedics allows for a book that it is engaging, personal and insightful and leaves you wanting to read more stories from nurses.

Strengths & weaknesses:

The varied settings and stories throughout the book provide an invaluable insight into the role of nurses today. Their honest and individual accounts make for an enthralling read. As a nurse in the UK it is interesting to look at nursing from a different perspective and how the roles differ in US. However, this also proves difficult to make comparison with nursing in the UK due to the differences in the healthcare setting and also the differences in roles.

Who should read it?

This book would be beneficial for anyone thinking of undertaking a career in nursing. It would also be well placed for already qualified nurses wanting to gain more of an understanding of the different settings and jobs of the nursing profession. For anyone with an interest in nursing or who have wondered what nursing involves, this book would be well placed to provide a valuable insight into the often complex role of a nurse today.

The Call of Nursing

The Call of Nursing by William Patrick has recently become a finalist for ForeWord Book of the Year


Essentials of Pharmacology for Nurses (second edition)

18 March, 2014 Posted by: -

Title: Essentials of Pharmacology for Nurses (second edition)

Authors: Paul Barber and Deborah Robertson

Publisher: Open University Press

Reviewer: Hannah Marriage, student health visitor, Leicester Partnership Trust.

What was it like?

I found this book easy to read and it covered all the relevant topics around the pharmacology of medication. Each chapter looks at a different aspect of pharmacology in relation to a medication group. It is clearly laid out with a Key Learning Points section at the end of each chapter, as well as quizzes to aid your learning.

I feel this book covers went into enough depth to cover all of the basics necessary for a good understanding of pharmacology, though if I required to look into a particular type of drug, I may refer to something more detailed. 

What were the highlights? 

The best features of this book for me were the learning objectives outlined at the start of each chapter, which allowed me to decide on the chapter’s relevance to my learning.  And the Key Learning Points listed at the end of each chapter, which described the entire chapter in simple and easy to remember bullet points.

Strengths & weaknesses:

This book was clearly laid out, and enabled me to read each chapter as an individual module as well as allowing for the book to be read front-to-back. 

I found no direct weaknesses, though would advise that this book covers only the basics making it a good starting point, but if more in depth knowledge is required this book may not contain all of the finer detail.

Who should read it?

I feel this book would be beneficial to anyone working with medication who would like to know more about the pharmacology behind drugs, or as a good textbook for those studying their nurse prescribing course.

Essentials of pharmacology


Understanding Laboratory Investigations: A Guide for Nurses, Midwives and Health Professionals, third edition

17 March, 2014 Posted by: -

Title: Understanding Laboratory Investigations: A Guide for Nurses, Midwives and Health Professionals, 3rd Edition (2013)

Author: Chris Higgins

Publisher: Wiley Blackwell

Reviewer: Phil Jevon, medical education, Manor Hospital, Walsall

What was it like?

Trying to understand laboratory investigations has always been a particular interest of the reviewer. Knowing when particular tests should or should not be ordered, as well as understanding the significance of the results, is helpful. The third edition of this book provides nurses, midwives and healthcare professionals with the necessary information on the common laboratory investigations. The emphasis is on how the results of such investigations contribute to the care and management of the patient. Even the practicalities of ordering particular investigations are covered.

What were the highlights? 

New additions to the third edition include:  

  • Increased number of case histories
  • Bullet point learning objectives at the start of each chapter (provide structure)
  • Paediatric considerations
  • A broadened focus to include midwives
  • Chapters and references updated throughout
  • A new chapter discussing screening for specific diseases (both neonatal and adult screening)

Who should read it?

The reviewer recommends this accessible and user-friendly style book to all nurses, midwives and healthcare professionals.

Understanding Laboratory Investigations: A Guide for Nurses, Midwives and Health Professionals, 3rd Edition (2013)


Practice Based Learning in Nursing, Health and Social Care: Mentorship, Facilitation and Supervision

13 March, 2014 Posted by: -

Title: Practice Based Learning in Nursing, Health and Social Care: Mentorship, Facilitation and Supervision

Authors: Ian Scott and Jenny Spouse

Publisher: Wiley Blackwell

Reviewer: Phil Jevon, medical education, Manor Hospital, Walsall

What was it like?

This new book, part of the publisher’s Advanced Healthcare Practice series, provides an overview of work based learning including mentorship, facilitation and supervision. It is aimed at both health and social care practitioners who are involved in facilitating learning, teaching and assessing students and learners in clinical practice.

What were the highlights? 

Topics covered in the book include how to become an effective facilitator/mentor, how to support work-based learning and how to manage students who are struggling or who have special needs. The principles of how to provide effective feedback and professional development issues are also covered in detail. Helpful case studies addressing common issues encountered with supervising students and learners are provided throughout the book. These help to bridge the theory practice gap and challenge the reader’s knowledge and understanding of mentorship, facilitation and supervision.

Strengths & weaknesses:

The two authors appear to be both credible. One is an experienced nurse while the other is a senior academic.  

Who should read it?

The reviewer recommends this accessible and user-friendly style book to all nurses, midwives and healthcare professionals who are responsible for students and learners in their clinical environment.  


Practise based learning

Simulation Scenarios for Nursing Educators: Making It Real, Second Edition

6 March, 2014 Posted by: -

Title: Simulation Scenarios for Nursing Educators: Making It Real, Second Edition

Authors: Suzanne Hetzel Campbell and Karen M Daley

Publisher: Springer Publishing Company, 2013

Reviewer: Adam Fitzgerald, staff nurse

What was it like?

A detailed book providing scenarios for nursing students.

What were the highlights? 

The book co-authored by two nurse educators from the US provides numerous scenarios and scripts to provide realistic cases that nurse educators are able to use for training of student nurse. The book is easy to read and is adaptable for varying levels of simulation.

Strengths & weaknesses:

The authors provide a clear format to the book, which enables you to find a scenario appropriate for the nursing student that you are to run the simulation with. It will then give you the learning objectives expected to be met, the equipment required and the rationale behind it along with the references for further reading. In addition to this there are prompted scripts for actors or nurse educators to use so that during assessments there is no argument about what information is given from the simulated patient. Another helpful feature of this book is the fact that it also contains assessment tables that could be used with that particular assessment. The main area that this book lets itself down within the UK market is that it is written by american nurses. Hence due to this a lot of the terminology and some specific assessments are written for the state board exams and have no relevents to UK practice. In addition to this the latter parts of the book, which focuses more on critical care relies on having patient simulators that plays a central part of the scenario. These often high priced simulators may not be available to all nursing schools.

Who should read it?

This book is primarily aimed at nurse educators and nurse lecturers. It would be an ideal addition to any collection routinely involved with educating students primarily within their university segments of teaching. As well as nurse educators, nurses that are currently reading for the US nursing conversion exams may find this book helpful.

Simulation Scenarios for Nursing Educators: Making It Real, Second Edition

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