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Legal Aspects of Nursing

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Title:Legal Aspects of Nursing  

Author:Bridgit Dimond

Publisher:Person Education Limited 6 Ed, 2011

Reviewer:Jane Brown, Patient Safety advisor, Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust

What was it like?

This book is a practitioner’s bible to all aspects of the law within healthcare.

I asked a group of nurses recently what legal aspects of nursing they were aware of, and the overriding majority was documentation and claims, but they were unaware of the whole process.

This edition is easy to read and understand, and is not too overwhelming or too heavy in law or jargon. It contains excellent sections with excellent real life case studies, and there will be at least one case study each nurse can relate to.

If you are looking for a subject they are easy to find as each chapter lists the topics that will be discussed, so the reader is not searching through the book endeavouring to find an important subject.

I was particularly concerned that obstetrics and midwifery should be included and was pleased to see that they are covered over several chapters.


What were the highlights? 

The book starts the nurse off by ensuring they understand how they can gain the most from the text, with a visual guided tour. So from page one the author immediately engages the reader. The author wants the nurse to ensure that she practises with legal awareness ensuring safety for herself and for the patients she is caring for.  

This is a complete package with access to the author’s MyLaw-Chamber website. What I particularly found invaluable was the legal newsfeed with the latest news articles.

This is the sixth edition and is up to date, including the NHSLA standards, Care Quality Commission, Coroners and Justice Act. It was ipressive how the new complaints system is being analysed along with the NHS quangos and their abolishment.

It is evident throughout the text that the author must have strong links with the nursing profession.

I was particularly impressed that safeguarding of children and the older adult was included.

Strengths and weaknesses?

I found only strengths within this book, from the guided tour at the onset, to real case studies and discussions with the reader. Chapter nine was of particular interest as this was the documentation and statement chapter. Nurses are often asked for a statement, but are invariably unsure what to include and this chapter sets it out in steps, it also includes what would be expected in a court of law or coroner’s court.

Every time I searched for a topical issue it was there which is not always evident in other books as it is not always possible to include. Dimond continues to strive to update the nurse in all aspects of legal issues.

Who should read it?

This book is for all grades of nurses including specialist nurses and managers. This would also be relevant to junior doctors who are often overwhelmed with policies and procedures when they commence a placement.

This edition needs to be on every clinical areas shelf, and as a manager, I would encourage this to be well thumbed.

This would be a good reference to use in the complaints and investigation process, reviewing the root causes, lessons learnt and compiling a robust action plan.


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