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A Survival Guide To Children’s Nursing

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Title: A Survival Guide To Children’s Nursing

Author: Sharon Edwards and Imelda Coyne

Publisher: Churchill Livingstone: Elsevier, 2013

Reviewer: Kim Shrieves, child health nursing. RN (Child).

What was it like?

This user friendly, pocket-sized text book is a practical and evidence-based guide providing those in the early stages of their careers as children’s nurses with clinical information and insights in a concise, structured and informative way to assist and support them in obtaining the knowledge required and clinical skills needed to nurse children today.

This book begins with an overview of the general principles underpinning all aspects of care such as achieving clinical competencies, infection control, communication and knowledge of child development, reflective practice, care planning and documentation. It divides into six main sections relating to the daily practice of nursing children from birth to sixteen years of age within the context of the family and includes: the latest guidelines on emergency care; assessment of a child; investigations such as haemodynamic monitoring and diagnostic procedures; nursing interventions in a variety of settings, common medical and surgical conditions in children inclusive of mental ill health; psychosocial care, legal and ethical aspects of professional practice; palliative care and the principles of safe drug administration. Finally, a reference list and useful websites to inform and support further reading of current specialist literature.

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What were the highlights? 

The major highlight of this book is the information and support it provides to the novice practitioner. The factual information will provide a strong foundation upon which nurses can develop and enhance their clinical knowledge and skills so as to be able to assist the provision of holistic care, improve patient care and enable adaptation to children’s wards and other settings.

Strengths & weaknesses:

This book is structured systematically and clearly in a bullet point format and is complimented greatly by the inclusion of visual aids (for example pictures, tables and flow charts) for increased clarity assisting the reader to better understand the information being presented. Despite being of a small size, it covers the range of clinical skills and background knowledge and understanding required by children’s nurses well. It lays the foundations of practice knowledge and stimulates further discussion and reading including references and useful websites helpful for further focussed reading without neglecting any important issues. Additionally, this book includes a glossary of terms and abbreviations used within the text and frequently within nursing practice. It makes an excellent starting point and source of reference for those involved in nursing children and young people.

Who should read it?

This book will be of benefit to all children’s nursing students throughout their training supporting modules covered both at university and on specialist practice placements. Additionally, qualified nurses undertaking relevant specialist courses and modules would find this text book informative. Those new to and in the early years of practice will be able to refer to this survival guide when working to answer day-to-day practice questions, obtain clinical information on conditions and procedures and understand underlying pathophysiology of relevance within hospital and community settings.

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