Title: Introduction to Community Nursing Practice
Authors: Jane Arnott, Siobhan Atherley, Joanne Kelly and Sarah Pye
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2012
Reviewer: Paul Watson RN, SCPHN and secondary school teacher
What was it like?
This textbook is perfect for understanding how community nursing works and how to work effectively in community settings. The skills required to work with the challenges of community nurse activities are clearly introduced from working in people’s homes, working with carers and developing assessment skills, to working with other professionals.
By drawing on vivid case studies set in the fictional town of Chettlesbridge, the authors skillfully bring to life the world of community nursing practice, enabling you to apply new learning to real situations.
The book includes patient case studies, practical tips, bullet lists, sample worksheets, examples and simple visual aids, providing chapters with a series of guided exercises to stimulate a deeper level of reflection and discussion.
What were the highlights?
This book is full of good-quality, useful graphs, charts and tables and reference lists; which tie in nicely with the reflective style of this book. There are good examples of working practice with chapter summaries and chapter reflections. These allow the user to be fully aware of the given situation, while being given a full understanding of how to respond and what to do. As well as the nice style of these chapters, they are supported and reinforced by questioning sections and sections that challenge the reader to reflect on the chapter and other issues within it.
Strengths & weaknesses:
The idea of this book is great, just what any community nurse would benefit from. I was, however, disturbed and frustrated by one of the images on the front. When I look at the cover of a book it usually indicates what I expect to find inside. On this occasion the only picture of a nurse on the cover shows a practitioner taking a manual blood pressure; to my dismay the pulse is being palpated on the medial aspect of the wrist, a position that most people with normal anatomy do not have a strong pulse, with most people checking for a pulse below the thumb. I am sorry that I sound so pedantic about this point, but a query like this makes me question if there are other things to look for in this book!
As a former school nurse I was pleased to see the mention of the school nurse and their position as a community nurse, alongside other community practitioners.
Who should read it?
Introduction to Community Nursing Practice is key reading for pre-registration nurses undertaking modules that cover community nursing, community care, and undertaking community based placements. It will also help student nurses from the mental health, child and learning disabilities pathways where health care in the community setting is part of the curriculum. I would also recommend this book to newly qualified, mentors, practice teachers and even the “long-standing community nurse”, as I believe that all would benefit from this learning resource.