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Intravenous Therapy: a practical guide

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’This book would be excellent for any nurse who is learning about the administration of intravenous therapy as well as those wanting to update their knowledge as it provides good coverage of all aspects of the process’

Title: Intravenous Therapy: a practical guide

Author: Nicola Brooks

Publisher: M&K publishing

Reviewer: Rebecca Myatt, clinical nurse specialist, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

What was it like?

This is accessible book, which covers aspects of intravenous (IV) therapy in a detailed yet understandable format. Starting with an overview that includes methods of administration and the advantages and disadvantages of using this route, it incorporates a concise review of the circulatory system and useful explanation of the difference between central and peripheral venous access and how to care for the different sites.

The book also provides an introduction to pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, which includes a refresher of the principles of safe medication administration and provides links to important legislation governing the administration of medication. A short section on calculating doses for both liquid and non-liquid forms of medication is followed by the safety considerations for this form of administration including preparation and delivery using an aseptic non-touch technique and selecting the correct infusion device from the wide range available. The book finishes with consideration of the risks, complications and adverse reactions of this type of therapy as well as the implications for clinical practice and professional responsibilities of the nurse.

What were the highlights?

The chapters are easy to follow and understand. Each starts with defined learning outcomes, a section of practical activities and a concise summary. The illustrations, tables and diagrams are clear. There are also three useful appendices, which incorporate competency checklists covering preparation of both bolus and continuous IV infusions and a record of supervised practice that would be useful to monitor learning progress. The key highlight though was the emphasis on safety throughout of the patient through correct administration and preparation as well as the nurse through understanding individual professional responsibility, potential problems that could occur and how to limit these.

Strengths & weaknesses:

The book was clearly laid out and structured in a logical format. The chapters, tables and diagrams were comprehensible and easy to follow. The use of colour ensures that each topic was well defined. The activities promote self-directed learning and encourage the reader to explore their own clinical environment and read around the subject in greater depth.

Who should read it?

This book would be excellent for any nurse who is learning about the administration of intravenous therapy as well as those wanting to update their knowledge as it provides good coverage of all aspects of the process. It would also make a useful addition to the ward bookshelf as a ready resource for those wanting to refresh their understanding of this critical subject.

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