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Oxford Handbook of Clinical Skills for Children’s and Young People’s Nursing

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Title: Oxford Handbook of Clinical Skills for Children’s and Young People’s Nursing

Edited by: Paula Dawson, Louise Cook, Laura-Jane Holliday, Helen Reddy

Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2012

Reviewer: Kim Shrieves, child health nursing

What was it like?

This handy pocket-sized text book is a practical and evidence-based reference tool providing nurses with clinical guidance alongside the best available evidence upon which to base their professional decision-making in nursing practice. It is a concise yet comprehensive guide to the knowledge and clinical skills required to care for children and young people.

Following an overview of the main principles underpinning all aspects of care (such as achieving clinical competencies, policies, health and safety, infection control, communication, consent, confidentiality, assessment, family-centred care and care planning) this handbook goes on to cover a range of clinical skills associated with each particular body system from the respiratory system to the musculoskeletal system. Additionally, there are sections covering care of the perioperative patient and emergency and high dependency care.


What were the highlights? 

The major highlight within this handbook would include the additional practice tips and advise on possible courses of action when encountering difficulties with a procedure provided by clinical experts in their relative fields. As such it provides a strong evidence-based foundation upon, which nurses can develop and enhance their clinical knowledge and skills.

Strengths & weaknesses:

The major strengths of this book are that it is an accessible, logical, evidence-based approach to paediatric clinical care based on the most recent research, encompassing evidence-based protocols and practical insights with recommendations based on professional experience.

The information provided is set out following the inclusion of clear background information regarding each procedure/skill, equipment required, the procedure itself, practice tips, pitfalls and associated reading. It is complemented (however rarely) by the inclusion of pictures and tables for increased clarity, better use of illustrations would assist the reader to better visualise the procedures themselves rather than the purely the equipment used for it.

This book is presented clearly in a bullet point format, and despite being of small size it covers the range of clinical skills required by children’s nurses well. Less of the focus is on the theory, however it lays the foundations and includes references helpful for further focussed reading, without neglecting any important issues. As such, it makes an excellent source of reference for those involved in nursing children and young people.

Who should read it?

This book would be of benefit to all nursing students and nursing staff working with children and young people whether based on general paediatric or specialist paediatric wards or general to intensive care settings.

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