Title: Adult Nursing: Acute and Ongoing Care
Authors: Priscilla Lemone, Karen Burke, Ian Peate, Muralithan Nair, Laureen Hemming and Karen Wild
Publisher: Pearson 2012
Reviewer: Robert Becker, independent lecturer in palliative care
What was it like?
This is a multi-authored reference book that is competing in perhaps the most competitive area there is for a nursing text book, that is to win the hearts, minds and money of cash-strapped university libraries, get onto module reading lists and more importantly to be seen as a core purchase for the many thousands of student nurses in the UK each year. It’s important to understand that this book is written primarily by British authors for a UK market despite the lead authors being American and as such has a style and relevance that is spot on for the intended audience. In this regards its bang up to date and does its job well indeed with extensive reference to the practice NMC competencies, the use of learning outcomes, reflective points and suggested care plans being good examples of this.
This is a large book at close to 700 pages and the 17 chapters cover in detail the nursing care of all the most common areas that nurses are likely to encounter in clinical practise. By approaching each chapter via bodily systems rather than medical conditions they have avoided the pitfalls of over medicalisation and kept the accent on nursing. Alongside the well-designed pathophysiology component the emphasis is strongly on careful assessment, the use of recognised evidenced based tools and practical management strategies all presented in a user friendly way that makes this book stand out from the crowd.
What were the highlights?
The well-laid out text is easy to navigate with extensive use of case studies as an introduction, good-quality diagrams, bullet points and the use of emoticons with small snippets of text in colour coded boxes to help break up the text. Visually this works well and enhances presentation greatly. Some academics may not like this and I have read critical reviews of similar books where authors have been accused of dumbing down the presentation by their use. Clearly they’ve not spoken to many student nurses, because this is just what they find helpful.
Strengths & weaknesses:
Each chapter concludes with a useful summary of the main points, internet resources, a bibliography and some challenging multiple choice tests.
While the book is extensively evidence-based reference to the literature cited is surprisingly sparse in the text and what is perhaps most confusing for the intended UK audience, the reference lists are called the bibliography. Chapter one is the only place where you will find legal and ethical issues discussed, which is a missed opportunity, as awareness of such issues is integral to the complex care management addressed in the book and it deserves to be better integrated. Equally there is scant reference to the spiritual component, the multicultural element and perhaps most surprising of all, communication and the skills needed to build a trusting relationship with the patient feature on just half of one page.
Who should read it?
Overall, however, this is a high-quality, well-written textbook, which is user friendly, strikes just the right balance of detail and has a good focus on building learning. Well worthy of purchase as it can be used throughout the three-year programme and beyond.