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Essential Nursing Skills, Fourth Edition

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Title: Essential Nursing Skills, Fourth Edition

Author: Maggie Nicol, Carol Bavin, Patricia Cronin, Karen Rawings-Anderson, Elaine Cole, Janet Hunter

Publisher: Mosby Elsevier (2012)

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

What was it like?

This book covers the majority of clinical skills encountered in primary and secondary care settings.The level of detail is ideal for a student nurse from year one of training through to a newly qualified nurse. It is both colourful and informative. All subjects are well-researched and evidence-based. This is a good teaching resource for mentors to have access to when mentoring student nurses. Its layout with points for practice and comprehensive reading lists allow the reader to undertake independent study beyond that of just being able to perform the skill.

The range of clinical skills covered is broad. The section on observation and monitoring includes the basics such as blood pressure, pulse, respiration rates and temperature recording through to skills, which require increased proficiency like cardiac monitoring, seizure management and assessing the deteriorating patient.

I enjoyed the penultimate section of this book, which focused on reduced mobility and the need to prevent pressure ulcers since this is a current area being addressed in acute and non-acute care settings in correlation with national guidelines that are translated into local policies for practice.


What were the highlights? 

The highlights of this book are its visual aids and its use of points for practice to allow learning, while pointing the reader to learn about national policies and drivers as well as checking they are practicing within the level of their personal capabilities and local protocols.

Strengths & weaknesses:

There is no obvious weakness to this book. It is both clear and methodical in its layout with clear references sourced for the reader to employ. The main strength to this book is that it is a starting point to learning; it does not provide all the answers but encourages a certain level of autonomous reading and learning through the inclusion of comprehensive reference lists and bibliographies at the end of each chapter.

Who should read it?

This book would definitely be of benefit to students of nursing and nurses who may need a refresher guide to some nursing skills. Mentors of nursing students should read it as it is a great resource they can recommend to their students.




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