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Book club: your reviews

All posts from: January 2012

Fundamentals of Nursing (2nd Edition)

30 January, 2012 Posted by: -


Title: Fundamentals of Nursing (2nd Edition)

Author: Barbara Kozier et al

Publisher: Pearson Education 2011

Reviewer: Nigel Jopson, Operational Support Manager


What was it like?

The book is a comprehensive guide to practices and procedures and also looks at the history of nursing and many other areas related to it. It is well linked to the Essential Skills Clusters in the NMC Standards. There is the facility to set your own objectives and so personalise what you are doing and also incorporate your own case histories. It encourages self assessment by using the e-learning available as part of the package. I am very impressed by the contents of this book , if a little daunted by the enormous amount of information contained both in it and on-line linked to it. It appears that it is aimed at replacing every other book on Nursing and at 880 pages is having a good try. I do wonder if it is too large and covers too much as I am a great believer in using different resources to achieve knowledge in order to get different perspectives on areas.


What were the highlights?

There is a definite feeling of immediacy about this book that urges the reader to take on more that perhaps they were expecting to. Once the chapter is read there is the feeling that you want more, either by going on line for the assessments or by exploring other options and sources of material.  

Strengths and weaknesses?

There is an excellent index and a particularly good glossary.

It may have been useful to have consistency in examples. For instance in chapter 18 looking at pressure sore grading, photographs of 4 different sites are used. It may have been more useful to show the different grades in the same general area.

Who should read it?

My feeling is that this book would be useful to students and new nurses as a source book as it covers a lot of really useful areas. For more senior and experienced nurses and managers it would be a useful aide memoire.

Show Stress Who’s Boss!

16 January, 2012 Posted by: -


Title: Show Stress Who’s Boss!

Author: Carole Spiers

Publisher:  Filament Publishing, 2011

Reviewer: Dr. Jo Wilson, Senior Research Associate, Wilson Healthcare Services


What was it like?

A superb practical book which is an accessible guide to understanding stress and self-management of taking control and applying techniques to reduce pressure. If you are unsure what stress is or the impact it can have on your staff and colleagues this book is definitely for you.  The book uses 4 clear steps, Spotting the Symptoms; Gauging the Reaction; Getting to Grips; and Regaining Control; which take the reader through recognising stress and ways to cope with it including the cause and effect and impact on daily life.

The book is truly engaging and can be used as a reference book although once you start reading it you might find it very difficult to put down.  The author has great style in tackling complex issues and enhancing knowledge and understanding in a very practical way.

The support areas including changing behaviour, assertiveness, work-life balance, what to say and not say and changing your mindset are all very useful for team building and motivating colleagues.

The root cause analysis of identifying work related stress would be most useful for both individual and organisational analysis of recognising, coping and dealing with stress factors and behaviours.

What were the highlights?


The strategies and tools within this book are excellent.  It provides great “how to” tools and examples with case scenarios, exercises, measurement/progress scales and ways to toughen the mind and body.  There is great use of quotes, Cartoons, diagrams and easy to apply and relate to examples. 

Strengths and weaknesses?

Real life practical examples which are evidenced based and simply written to allow clear recognition and understanding.  The self-management, support and team based strategies provide a good approach for tackling individual and work based stress using effective techniques and controls.

Who should read it?

As a healthcare/senior manager and HR professional I see a very wide readership for this book and would highly recommend it.  It would be really useful for all healthcare and HR professionals, senior managers and executive teams, patients and families suffering from or living with stress related conditions.

Perspectives on Care at Home for Older People

3 January, 2012 Posted by: -


Title:  Perspectives on Care at Home for Older People

Editors:  Christine Ceci, Kristin Bjornsdottir, Mary Ellen Purkis

Publisher:  Routledge

Reviewer:       Greta McGough, Freelance writer, retired university lecturer


What was it like?

This scholarly book is a collection of essays by various excellent authors, dealing with different aspects of care at home for elderly people. Because it is still the preference of many elderly people to stay at home as long as they can, this topic is an increasing issue for professionals.

What were the highlights?

The variety of approaches in these essays makes it difficult to highlight any one section. But overall, the tone of the book – which combines high standard academic work with very clear writing is certainly a key feature.

Strengths and weaknesses?

Many of us who might pick up this book as professionals also have elderly parents for who these issues are becoming increasingly important. However, this is not a book for the lay person. Its format is very much aimed at professionals, and although it reads well and contains a great deal of food for thought, the paragraphs are dense and the typescript does not invite easy reading.

These are drawbacks in format, however, rather than content. Readers should persevere, however. The content is very well worth the effort, and if you are a student (at any level) who wishes to look in more depth at this topic, I doubt that there is a better book anywhere. The references and indices are excellent.

Who should read it?

The target readership for this book is qualified health professionals, who are already concerned with the issues that are discussed. This does not mean however that undergraduate nursing students would not benefit from it, too. There is much here that could add depth to discussion in any student assignment, and indeed would help to form and develop us as professionals, by stimulating thought and discussion.

What the future holds for the ageing population (in terms of care and care facilities) is uncertain. What is certain is that one day this issue will affect all of us, and all of our nearest and dearest. We need to address this discussion now, so that we can fight any cuts that will decrease quality of care in the future, and so that we can offer our weight to the promotion of care which offers a sense of quality to the elderly.


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