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Book club: your reviews

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

Best Practices in Midwifery – Using the Evidence to Implement Change

5 March, 2014 Posted by: -

Title: Best Practices in Midwifery – Using the Evidence to Implement Change

Editors: Barbara A Anderson and Susan E Stone

Publisher: Springer Publishing Company

Reviewer: Elisabeth McNair-Johnston. RN RM (former project midwife)

What was it like?

The focus of this authoritative US midwifery text is a collection of cases surrounding pregnancy and childbirth and providing the best way to deal with them. It is well written and as midwifery is growing in the US, the need to be absolutely solid and current in practice is essential. Notably, each case is presented with the most up to date researched and proven practice that is available. Models of care can be informatively designed by using the experiences clearly described. This provides support to midwives by encouraging them to change their practice where needed.

It is well established that evidence based practice is the basis for all practitioners of midwifery, nursing and healthcare generally. As the title clearly suggests, practice must be founded on what has been proven through thoroughly analysed research.

In a country that has more independent midwives and group practices than hospital based midwives this type of book could possibly become the cornerstone in terms of the standards of midwifery care.

Reading the book from a British midwife’s perspective was quite refreshing and revealing of the present day expectations of the American midwife’s practice and academic foundations.

What were the highlights? 

Simply, the book is a compilation of situations that may be encountered in midwifery practice and discusses the best evidence based ways to deal with them. This will aid in building a model of care for mother and child. The editors and contributors to the book go to great lengths to provide guidance on accepted practices in various situations from antenatal scenarios to acute postpartum haemorrhage and do this well.

Strengths & weaknesses:

As the editors note, maternity and child healthcare provision in the US is in crisis so using a convincing discussion of cases like this is most timely.

The main strength of this book is that the editors have drawn from an array of academic midwifery contributors from across the US and beyond. Taking its meticulously researched content from organisations such as the UK’s Cochrane Library known for its scrutiny of research give the book vital credibility.

The style and presentation of the book are clear and well organised with defined chapters covering each case. It is methodically referenced and indexed making searching for specific items relatively easy.

As a more detailed understanding of midwifery practice may be needed to put the books contents into context so the novice midwife learner may find the content complex to grapple with.

Who should read it?

In the first instance, US midwives at any level, particularly those looking for guidance on evidence based practice should read the book. Midwifery policy makers in the US would find the contents most useful in setting policies, protocols and implementing areas for audit of practice and its outcomes. It is a sound resource that should be available on the reference shelf wherever midwifery is taught or practiced in the US or beyond if only for insight into US midwifery.

The eBook format makes this useful by being accessible on portable devices.

Best practice in midwifery

Essentials of Physical Health in Psychiatry

4 March, 2014 Posted by: -

Title: Essentials of Physical Health in Psychiatry

Editors: Irene Cormac and David Gray

Publisher: The Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2012

Reviewer: Martyn Tee, independent trainer for Health & Social Care / custody nurse for  G4S Forensic & Medical Services Ltd

What was it like?

This books aims to cover the essential physical health topics that are most relevant to those caring for people with mental disorders and disabilities. It is divided into four sections, which concentrate on the areas of improving physical health, with section two divided by medical specialty, section three divided by psychiatric specialty and section four devoted to emergencies and injuries. Each chapter deals with a specific aspect. The chapters are approximately 15 pages long making them easily readable. For a specialty that can tend to marginalize physical health, this is a concise reference with some good pointers towards more detailed information where appropriate. Section two is particularly helpful in this regard. The vast majority of contributors to this book are medical doctors and as a consequence the book may be of more interest to medical students and doctors working within the area of mental health, with some of the language being possibly less accessible to other members of the multidisciplinary team.

What were the highlights? 

The book highlights the disadvantages to physical health faced by those suffering long term mental disorders. It stresses premature death and “diagnostic overshadowing” (the tendency to attribute physical symptoms to mental health problems), which often leaves psychiatric patients marginalised by both primary and secondary medical care.  

Strengths & weaknesses:

The layout makes this an easy to read reference, with summary boxes clearly colour coded for those in a hurry. Of particular use are the learning points at the end of each chapter. Perhaps some of the figures are more for esthetics than being of real relevant help to the reader. For example three photographs showing slides of fatty liver and liver cirrhosis are unlikely to be of assistance to those in mental health trying to recognize the broader symptoms of liver disease. Perhaps it would have been more helpful to include photographs of more general signs, such as a patient with jaundice or ascites.

Who should read it?

As previously mentioned this book will be of most use to the medical profession. However, section one does have interesting suggestions about brief interventions to improve physical health, which nurses in mental health and general practice settings should find useful.

Essentials of Physical Health in Psychiatry

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