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Nursing and Health Survival Guides for: Drugs in Use, Clinical Skills, and Health Promotion

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Titles: Nursing and Health Survival Guides for: Drugs in Use, Clinical Skills, and Health Promotion

Authors: Kerry Reid-Searle, Trudy Dwyer, Jackie Ryan, Lorna Moxham, Ann Richards, Dominic Upton and Ann Richards

Publisher: Pearson, 2009, 2010

Reviewer: Adam Roxby, student nurse at Anglia Ruskin University


What was it like?

Pocket guides and mini reference books are the mainstay of a nurse’s apparel, so how can these books priced around £5 each compete with some of the cheaper or free options?


I have three books here from arguably the most successful range of pocket guides for nurses. The content is varied. For example, in the clinical skills book there is a rundown of all the vital signs observations, medication administration and full body assessment tools to name but a few. In the drug use guide there is a comprehensive list of some common drugs, which affected different systems within the body. This is certainly handy for students or newly qualified nurses getting to grips with medication. Finally, there is the student nurse health promotion guide, which feels slightly out of place. It covers  subjects such as smoking cessation through to advocating safe sex. I understand the intention but I question the relevance of a health promotion guide for students when a lot of its contents may go beyond the remit of a student nurse.


There is an awful lot of information crammed into each guide and it’s surprising how it manages to maintain its portable profile. On the flipside, it may be a little overwhelming for some people who would appreciate less text and more images. The fact that the text is all monochrome and there is no clear indexing could put people off.


To its credit it is physically presented well with a striking cover image and laminated pages. There is also some referencing of the information contained in the guides for those wanting to find out more.

In conclusion, despite some issues these guidebooks are some of the most comprehensive around. While not every subject will be relevant it’s highly likely some will be essential tools for your daily work.

What were the highlights? 

These pocket guides are portable size and offer a concise source of information

Strengths & weaknesses

The books feature lots of information, are well produced, and have some references but the guides are slightly overwhelming and could do with some more images.

Who should read it?

These pocket guides are more targeted to nurses on a ward but still useful for students.

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