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Book club: your reviews

Clinical Judgement and Decision Making for Nursing Students

30 June, 2015 Posted by: -

Title: Clinical Judgement and Decision Making for Nursing Students

Author: Mooi Standing

Publisher: SAGE, Learning matters

Reviewer: Emma Connolly, children’s and young peoples student nurse, University of Salford

What was it like?

This book was a pleasure to review due to the contents within the book. As a student nurse we often learn about using evidence based practice within clinical areas, which is why this book was ideal for me to read as a second year nursing student. I especially enjoyed the fact that it was aimed at student nurses in particular, as I feel like I could apply each aspect of the book to my current progress along my course. I feel as though it has been really well thought out and uses appropriate language for the reader to understand.

What were the highlights? 

Throughout the book are numerous activities, which helped me gain a clearer understanding of the information within that specific chapter. Also, some parts of the book are split up into the different years of a nursing course – first, second and third year. Here, I was able to apply all years to my current learning but focus more upon the second year literature. In addition I also enjoyed how many aspects used evidence based and up to date literature. We are continually encouraged to seek up to date literature in our studies, which is something this book displays well.

Strengths & weaknesses:

This book has really helped me when writing assignments and even with my personal development record. The book is nicely laid out and each chapter is clearly signposted. However, this book may put some readers off as it says it’s for student nurses. Nevertheless this book may be beneficial for any clinician as it displays a broad depth of knowledge and literature. In addition, I couldn’t fault the actual contents of the book as I feel as though it has covered extremely important aspects of clinical judgement and decision making skills.

Who should read it?

This book would be an ideal resource for student nurses, regardless of their stage of training. It may also be beneficial for other clinicians such as healthcare assistants and qualified nurses.

 

Clinical Judgement and Decision Making for Nursing Students

What’s Up With James? Medikidz explain Depression

30 June, 2015 Posted by: -

Title: What’s Up With James? Medikidz explain Depression

Authors: Dr Kim Chilman-Blair & Shawn DeLoache

Publisher: New leaf media

Reviewer: James King

What was it like?

This is an interesting approach to giving information to children suffering from depression. I was intrigued enough to want to find out if the old adage about not judging a book by its cover was applicable to this (it’s pretty garish). Thankfully, I think they have achieved what they set out to well; to give clear, age appropriate information about a serious mental illness. It’s essentially a comic book that uses a group of superhero’s “Medikidz” to represent the different areas of the body that are involved in an illness. No doubt most kids with be attracted to “Gastro” who talks about a “butt that poo’s”!, but this doesn’t detract from a serious message, which by its own admission avoids sugar coating.

I think this is well pitched for its audience, though I hope the more detailed information (the science) doesn’t get to lost amongst the chaotic imagery.

What were the highlights? 

I thought the highlight of the book is that it holds much hope for those that are suffering with depression. It is clear that there is plenty of effective support available and that that by using this help, life can move on from this potentially debilitating illness. 

Strengths & weaknesses:

The book’s main strength is in its age appropriate message. If there is a weakness, then I would suggest there is sometimes a bit much going on in the illustration. However, I am mindful that this is aimed at children, so this is most likely not such an issue for them.

Who should read it?

Obviously children that are suffering with symptoms of depression. They don’t suggest an age range, but I would suspect mid-to-late teens would find it patronising (thats not to say they wouldn’t learn something from the book). A good resource for health care professionals working with children and adolescents with depression, particularly in primary care.

Medikidz explain Depression

Medikidz: Explain Primary Immunodeficiency

29 June, 2015 Posted by: -

Title: Medikidz: Explain Primary Immunodeficiency

Authors: Dr Kim Chilman-Blair, Dr Columba Quigley and Shawn deLoache

Publisher: Medikidz Limited

Reviewer: Emma Connolly, children’s and young peoples student nurse, University of Salford

What was it like?

From a children and young people’s student nurse perspective I can honestly say that this book is ideal for children increasing their knowledge regarding different conditions. This particular issue discusses primary immunodeficiency, which has been artistically portrayed in this short book using an array of bold superheroes who wish to combat the common cold. From cover to cover this book has 32 pages, which may be rather useful for grabbing children’s attention and sustain it for a short period of time. The front cover alone may attract any child regardless of their intentions, whether it was to learn about immunodeficiency or just to look at the bright, bold images. 

What were the highlights? 

One major highlight of this book is the age appropriate writing style that has been used, grabbing the attention of the reader. On the first page the superheroes are introduced in a way that makes them seem like any other mainstream superhero, indestructible. As the book is laid out in a comic book style, the reader would not feel overwhelmed with text, instead they can focus on the bright and bold images.

Strengths & weaknesses:

After finishing this book, one key strength to this book is the concise information that is displayed. There has been evident use of relevant information, without overloading the proposed target audience of the book. I have also enjoyed the bright and bold colours that have been used inside the book, which again may enhance a child to pick up this book. After deliberation I have come to the conclusion that for me, I cannot fault this book.

Who should read it?

This book would be an ideal resource for children in primary care settings such as a hospital wards, as the children who may have immunodeficiency disorders may be able to read more about their condition. Furthermore this book may be useful in a school setting to raise awareness about the common cold for example and the importance of excellent hand washing.

Medikidz: Explain Primary Immunodeficiency

From Farms to Pharma

26 June, 2015 Posted by: -

Title: From Farms to Pharma

Author: Ron Stark

Publisher: Matador                                  

Reviewer: Helen Cowan, RN

What was it like?

The title of this book intrigued me. I had never been a farmer, nor worked in the pharmaceutical industry. What could it teach me as a nurse? The author Ron Stark convinces the reader (nurse or not) of the book’s absolute relevance from the first page, stating, “There are few people on this planet who will not take a medication at some time in their lives”. The title alludes to Stark’s childhood in a farming town in Scotland, and his work in the pharmaceutical industry. The biographical element merely serves as a structure on which to build a rollercoaster ride through drug discovery (involving drugs that all nurses will have used); catastrophic safety fears (every nurse has worried whether they have inadvertently caused harm) and management issues (relevant at all nursing levels). More than that, the book exudes humour, humility and a patient-centred attitude: all essential attributes of a nurse. For these reasons this book is a rare treasure, being applicable to ward nurses, specialist nurses, ward managers and students.

What were the highlights? 

Stark’s first exposure to drug discovery was during the typhoid outbreak in Aberdeen in the 1960s. Written as a diary, the reader feels as though living through the dark days of wondering what the cause was (a tin of corned beef) and whether a dubious drug would be successful. Problems arise as he researches oxygen therapy for patients with pulmonary hypertension and is tackling the logistics of supplying numerous oxygen cylinders to patients’ homes; meanwhile a possible drug treatment for COPD is unsuccessful, but a providential meeting turned this failure into the successful development of a novel drug delivery system. The emotional and eventful journey as propofol is used on the first patient and then released for mass use is worth reading.

Then catastrophe strikes: one drug is proven to cause serious side effects. Another is rumoured to cause chromosome damage similar to that caused by radiation: months of turmoil and tests ensue, and as a reader you will be on the edge of your seat. Remarkably, Stark can even extend sympathy to those whose clumsy research had led to the allegations. A similar kindness is seen in his management role, when he does not speak badly of a medical writer whose safety report was so long and arduous that it threatened the success of the entire project. He does, however, sense friction and threat from middle management: something all nurses have witnessed.

Strengths & weaknesses:

Stark’s humility is impressive: he has clearly worked on important projects with eminent people yet always credits team members of all ranks. He states, “the team’s failure is the manager’s failure”. His work with drug addicts in retirement is inspiring: could more NHS managers follow his people-first example?

Humour is also essential to his writing: we meet the patient having a sneaky cigarette whilst on oxygen, and the keen golfer seeking a hayfever cure. As nurses, we value the characters we meet.

A “patient champion” and not a “product champion” defines Stark: when critics attack his product, his main concern is to reduce patient anxiety and to prove safety. Can we truly say that we always put patients first?

Who should read it?

Ward nurses, specialist nurses, ward managers and students.

From Farms to Pharma

 

A Man’s Guide To Healthy Aging

25 June, 2015 Posted by: -

Title: A Man’s Guide To Healthy Aging

Authors: Edward H Thompson Jr, and Lenard W Kaye

Publisher: Johns Hopkins Press

Reviewer: Paul Watson, head of child development and PSHE, Marshland High School

What was it like?

This book asserts the assumption that as men reach middle age, most of them begin looking forward to “what’s next.” Claiming that men gear up to experience renewed productivity and purpose, going on to explain that men are now more conscious of their health. This book reports itself to be an authoritative resource for men reaching middle age as well as those older men. In collaboration with a variety of medical experts, the authors provide a comprehensive guide to healthy aging from a man’s perspective. One section describes the actions men can take to stay healthy, with information about how to eat well, reduce stress, and stay active for better overall health. While another section considers how physical health and state of mind are connected, exploring sleep, drug and alcohol use, spirituality, and attitudes about appearance, explaining how all of these factors affect mental health. A section on bodily health examines how body systems function and what changes may occur as men age, looking from head to toe and reviewing how to manage chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart conditions. In the final section the authors show the importance of interacting with friends and family, with such topics as sexual intimacy, friendship, and caregiving, as well as how men can make the best decisions about end-of-life issues for themselves and their loved ones.

What were the highlights? 

This is a well written book that is easy to pick up and get reading. The style and structure allow you to look for things that you might want to know the answer to, or to browse through looking for bits of interest. One such snippet that I found interesting was in the section looking at health and diet. In a interesting table was a list of activities and how many calories you would burn while doing them. I was excited to see in this table (on page 19) that sexual intercourse would burn off 450 calories. I was then almost unable to carry on reading the rest of the book as I realised that 450 calories referred to one hour of sexual activity!! Even at the age of 20 this might have been an achievement, but I would definitely shake the hand of any middle aged or old aged man who loses calories in this way at 450 a time. I continued looking down the table and decided that I might just go with the first entry on the list “Lying down or sleeping” 85 calories per hour. In fact I’m going to start that tonight!

Strengths & weaknesses:

Apart from being an US text, this is a well written book that generally flows well, with interesting facts. There are a few contemporary sketches, drawings and photos, which really enhance the stories and facts that are being told. The information was at times a little basic, although I felt that it was accurate and stimulating, in the sense that it left me wanting to know about the next step. Therefore if while reading I was alerted to the fact that I had a problem or needed more information about an issue, this text has provided me with the confidence to ask questions to the right people.   

Who should read it?

I am unsure who would really go out and purchase this book and feel that it would possibly end up being purchased by organisations such as GP’s surgeries or colleges. While it was a fun read, it didn’t tell me many things that I didn’t already know. What it did do was to remind me of so many things that I had chosen to forget or to actively ignore (like so many men, until too late).

A man's guide

Activities for Older People in Care Homes: A Handbook for Successful Activity Planning

24 June, 2015 Posted by: -

Title: Activities for Older People in Care Homes: A Handbook for Successful Activity Planning

Author: Sarah Crockett

Publisher: Jessica Kinglsey

Reviewer: Anne Olaitan, community matron: South East London

What was it like?

The book is based on the author’s personal account of learning, while trying to create suitable activates for people living in care homes and who have dementia. It includes a focused index, which attempts to provide solutions on how and what can be done, with realistic outcomes. The contents range from the authors personal experiences of how the idea started. It later progresses to offering rational for the particular activities, with reference to the need to understand what is considered to be an activity. The book follows with guidance on how to match actives to a person. There is reference to planning and the organisation of events. Furthermore outlines how to achieve group participation in the sessions. The importance of environment and the effects of distraction are also considered with reference to using actives to problem solve, such as sharing a hobbies. The section on the effectiveness of behavioural charts and relating this back to life histories show how past events can shape a persons beliefs. The reader is advised to consider the balance of risk assessment against an individual’s independence.

What were the highlights? 

A strong point is the acknowledgement of the different stages of dementia, which can affect levels of participation from an individual in latter stages of dementia. A highlight is the author’s encouragement to the reader to consider health and spiritual needs during the planning stages. Further suggestions are provided on how to establish communication and develop social engagement by noting and documenting personal characteristics and outcomes for further sessions. This suggestion is supported with a reference list that adds evidence to the importance of realising the effects of a personal life on the own beliefs and interests.

Strengths & weaknesses:

The chapters are short and concise that helps to illustrate the main points and gives detailed accounts of lesson planning and ideas.

Who should read it?

The book covers the message to remain client centred, which is the basis of all health care workers - yet  this book is more suitable to those new to working within a recreational role and background reading for OT students.

Activities for Older People

 

Do No Harm – Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery.

23 June, 2015 Posted by: -

Title: Do No Harm – Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery.

Author: Henry Marsh

Publisher: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, Orion Books.

Reviewer: Louise Goodyear 3rd Year Adult Student Nurse

What was it like?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a brain surgeon? Well this book is an eye opening, jaw dropping read through the trials and tribulations of the author Henry Marsh’s career as a brain surgeon. Henry talks about what it feels like to hold the life of somebody in your hands, performing lifesaving operations on patients who are willing the surgeon to save them.

I found this book, as soon as I stared reading it, gripping me. Each chapter is titled with the name of a brain tumour, and looks at a particular patient and how they found the challenges of his talents stretched to their limits.

What were the highlights? 

The highlights of this book are many. It brought me to tears to think of how lonely the life of a brain surgeon can be, while I also laughed loudly when he talks about some of the crazy moments during his career.

Strengths & weaknesses:

Do No Harm is a fantastic read, though full at times of medical jargon, which somebody who does not work within healthcare may struggle with. This aside it is an amazing book, and one I can thoroughly recommended, and have done to many people already!

Who should read it?

I would recommend this book to any one working in healthcare. It gives a candid view of the compassion and care that Henry Marsh exudes within this book. Students, nurses doctors, pick this book up and enjoy the ride!

Do No Harm

Looking for Wonderland

22 June, 2015 Posted by: -

Title: Looking for Wonderland  

Author: Jane Ainslie

Publisher: Endeavour Press

Reviewer: Jane Brown, Quality Governance Manager Clinical Support, Worcester Acute NHS Trust

What was it like?

This is a light-hearted read but as nurses, there is always a bit of dark humour which this story has. The protagonist is Alice, a 44 year old burnt out nurse who has a dysfunctional family. Essentially this is a romantic comedy about this nurse Alice.

What were the highlights? 

This is book that will make you chuckle, a few cringe worthy nurse stories – you know the ones that everyone non nursing asks you about. Alice is real and she has her flaws and so have her friends –but aren’t we all try to find the way and trying to get out of the rut.

I laughed out loud reading exert from the medical ward, where Alice is working with Shanti and after handover states “can you believe we have a dead person to look after? … What a blessing, one less patient to worry about.” Then matter of fact states “shall I get on with the medications?”- In these days of overcapacity on the wards just how many times has a nurse or doctor had those thoughts? This is not meant to be malicious, this is merely relief. This is not new either, I expect I had some of these thoughts back when I trained in the early 1980s.

Strengths & weaknesses:

This is essentially a funny novel with a bit of romance, well written and the reader can read this in one sitting. It has the traits of a nurse, what goes on in our minds with patients, and we need a bit of humour when the going gets tough. We are all faced with choices and this book encourages us to make those choices – we can do it if we just try.

Who should read it?

All nurses, but equally this is for all readers of Alice’s age and above.

Looking for Wonderland

 

A Pain Doctor’s Guide to Relief –Confronting Chronic Pain

19 June, 2015 Posted by: -

Title: A Pain Doctor’s Guide to Relief – Confronting Chronic Pain

Authors: Steven Richeimer and Kathy Steligo

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press

Reviewer: Lynda Sibson, telemedicine manager, Addenbrookes Hospital

What was it like?

This book, written by a doctor specialising in pain management and a freelance writer in health topics, addresses the comprehensive issue of chronic pain, from its anatomy and physiology, traditional and complementary therapies to the impact of the family and the future of pain management. This paperback book represents an easy to read and easy to understand guide both for newly diagnosed patients and for patients with a long-term history of chronic pain.

Although written by US authors, the majority of the text is applicable to UK patients and provides some useful links to websites, a useful glossary and presents a range of articles and evidence that would be of use both to patients and their healthcare practitioners. The book is divided into 10 useful chapters, commencing with a useful illustrated chapter on the “science” of pain – outlining the key differences between acute and chronic pain – to chapters focusing on specific conditions causing chronic pain, medications, nutrition, exercise, complementary and alternative therapies, pacing, spirituality, the impact of pain on the family, taking control of the pain and finally the future of pain management.

What were the highlights? 

The book is easy to read, with comprehensive chapters, that readers can easily dip into the book as needed, and also has useful sections on patient’s experiences, providing useful examples of their experiences, which readers can relate to.

Strengths & weaknesses:

The book’s strengths lie the readability of the text – specifically patient’s examples and many clear, practical suggestions on pain management, which very much encourages self-management; encouraging patients with chronic pain to take control of their pain and their lives.

The only potential weakness is that this is a US text and therefore some of the treatments and medications may not be relevant or accessible to UK patients and healthcare system.

Who should read it?

This book is aimed at patients with chronic pain, but would also be useful for any healthcare professionals interested in chronic pain

A Pain Doctor’s Guide to Relief –Confronting Chronic Pain

 

Palliative and End of Life Care in Nursing

18 June, 2015 Posted by: -

Title: Palliative Care and End of Care in Nursing

Authors: Jane Nicol and Brian Nyatanga

Publisher: SAGE Publishing

Reviewer: Marie Stevens

What was it like?

This is an excellent read for nurses who care for patients at the palliative stage of their illness and those who are at the end of their life. It is not a book for nurses who need information on prescribing anticipatory medication or complex management. However, it does give a breath of fresh air to provide care for patients in a holistic way. The book is divided into eight chapters. The first chapter talks about pallitive care and achieving a multidisciplinary approach. The next chapters consentrate on holistic assessment and planning. These chapters are useful when planing care an adaption to the traditional nursing  process. The author gives examples of how these can written.  However, nurses may find thet can adapt these for any patient especially in care homes. There is also detailed view of the Pepsicola and combined with patient care. I would strongly reccomend chapter three, which deals with those difficult converstions and ways to approach this and the barriers. The book not only see this from a patient’s view but also from significant others and bereavement care.

It does not neglect the culture aspects and after reading this chaper it can make you think do I do enough for cultures? Especially with the UK being a multiculture society. However, the chapter is brief and you may want further reading.

The later chapters focus on the legal and ethical side and although aimed at end of life it it usefull for a refresher. It talks about withdrawing tratment advanced directives ect, however it iss obvious that the book cannot cover all these issues but the chapter is a good baseline and opportunities for further reading. 

What were the highlights? 

There are real case scenarios and chances for refection and critical thinking. This is usefull to put into practice for upcoming revalidation. Most of all it does make the reader think “Am I actually providing this patient good death?” and “What can I do in the future?”.

Strengths & weaknesses:

I honestly could not find any weakness within this book. It is reader friendly, also a good guide to keep at work so nurses can dip in and out for the resourses. Each chapter has further reading for further development.

Who should read this?

Originally it is aimed at student nurses but it useful for all nurses in hospice care home setting or newly qualified nurses. It makes a good resourse for mentors to ensure that students are meeting the proficiency as the NMC clusters are highlighted.

Palliative and End of Life Care in Nursing

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