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A Nurse’s Survival Guide to The Ward, Third Edition

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Title: A Nurse’s Survival Guide to The Ward, Third Edition

Author: Ann Richards and Sharon Edwards

Publisher: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier (2012)

Reviewer: Anne Duell, registered general nurse, Birmingham Community NHS Trust

What was it like?

This book is robust and sturdy enabling it to stand up to frequent use with its hard-wearing cover. Its components build on the skills learnt during student nurse training as the transition from student to registered nurse. It is basic and concise in its layout. The chapters break down and cover areas that include how to organise working in a ward environment, legal and ethical issues, patient-centred care and how to effectively communicate with our patient to achieve the best outcome for them.

The authors of this book have included the majority of clinical skills employed in all care and nursing environments, as happens in many books of this nature. However, what the authors do incorporate into their book is a section covering the systemic approach to patient-centred care. This section makes up approximately half of the book. The work put into this book is clearly evident to the reader. For example, with the increasing prevalence of type two diabetes the data presented educates the reader in the pathology of the diabetes, insulin, clinical features, testing and monitoring, how insulin and tablets work. In conjunction they address the issue of diet and nutrition as well as short- and long-term complications of poor glycaemic control.

The writing throughout this book maintains a strong learning style, which is user friendly.  This book does not contain many pictures to aid learning but where it does they are relevant and focus on aiding the reader to understand the skill being explained, for example when discussing ECGs  and the PQRST wave or when discussing anterior and posterior sites for subcutaneous injections.


What were the highlights? 

The highlights of this book are its comprehensive contents; and the manner in which subjects are covered, specifically the systematic approach to managing patient care. 

Strengths & weaknesses:

The strength is the sheer volume of information covered by the authors. It is comprehensive in the data provided. It has expanded from previous editions to include issues related to professional practice for nurses. Being revised, it is up to date and this is seen through the inclusion of the current resuscitation guidelines.

Who should read it?

This book should be considered by newly qualified nurses who are beginning to take on responsibilities of ward-based nursing, while it could enhance and refresh the knowledge of more experienced nurses. Students of nursing may also benefit from this book as it will be a good resource to support them through their training to qualification and into their nursing career.


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