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Care Planning in Children and Young People’s Nursing

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Title: Care Planning in Children and Young People’s Nursing

Edited by: Doris Corkin, Sonya Clarke, Lorna Liggett

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012

Reviewer: Alison Taylor, paediatric practice development nurse, Western Sussex Hospitals Trust

What was it like?

As a nurse teacher I find that sometimes there is a poor understanding of the purpose of a care plan and indeed how to write one. This comprehensive textbook provides a great guide to this crucial part of nursing children and young people and discusses it from a wide variety of angles. Written by a large team of expert contributors, this text uses a scenario based approach to illustrate good care planning for a wide variety of conditions seen by childrens’ nurses in both hospital and community settings.


What were the highlights? 

The book is helpfully divided into sections. The first introduces principles of care planning, and clearly explains the need for and implications of care planning from many viewpoints, each with its own chapter. These include safeguarding, law and ethics and long term care. This serves to link theory and practice well.

The second section onwards deals with different illnesses and care needs, organised into groups. Each chapter begins with a case history of a child and 4-5 questions relating to the child’s care. Each question is then answered in turn, continually linking theory drawn from physiology, pathology, core nursing principles and psychosocial considerations with the practical application of care to the child in the scenario. This format really makes theoretical concepts come to life and the text refers throughout to nursing models commonly used in the UK, encouraging a systematic approach to planning care.

Although the chapters are constructed differently and employ several types of introductory questions, each forms an excellent guide and rich source of knowledge for planning the care of a child with the specific condition explored. The text is punctuated by helpful tables, photos, illustrations and activities to aid learning. A comprehensive reference list appears at the end of each chapter and appropriate national clinical guidelines are well used.

Strengths & weaknesses:

The organisation of the book is rather curious. Although it has clearly not intended to cover every condition, I was surprised by the omission of pneumonia and urinary tract infection, two of the commonest acute illnesses in infants and children.

The chapter on sexual health sits incongruously with the introductory principles and perhaps should be with the other clinical chapters later on in the book. Chapters on epilepsy, nut allergy, closed head injury and obesity are oddly grouped together in a section titled “Care of children and young persons with special needs”’.

I would like to have seen a chapter on documentation. Although covered in the first section, more detail and perhaps examples of good and poor written records would have been helpful. I find documentation is a skill that is not often taught but has to develop with experience and poor documentation seems to be at the root of many clinical incidents.

Who should read it?

The book is aimed at undergraduate students, but would serve as an excellent resource for any nurse wanting to improve his or her skills in planning children and young people’s care.

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