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Psychology for nurses and the caring professions

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Title: Psychology for nurses and the caring professions

Authors: Jan Walker, Sheila Payne, Nikki Jarrett and Tim Ley  

Publisher: Open University Press

Reviewer: Helen Reeves, clinical nurse manager, St Giles Walsall Hospice

 What was it like?

The book enables the reader to learn and apply psychological principles in their everyday work. The book’s authors set out by wanting to offer ideas from psychology that can be applied to the arena of health and social care. It aims to enable the reader to become a reflective thinker, work more effectively as part of a multidisciplinary team, to enable the professional to promote the health and wellbeing of the patients that they care for and it also looks at ways for the reader to preserve their own health and wellbeing.

What were the highlights? 

For myself the particular highlights were chapters seven and eight. These chapters focused on stress and coping and emotional wellbeing. As a manager of a hospice inpatient unit I am aware of the impact that palliative care can have on the staff that I am responsible for. Chapter seven provides a useful tool in identifying burnout and also looks at the prevention and management of stress. Chapter eight identifies key concepts when dealing with negative emotions and loss. Both chapters have key concepts that I shall be taking forward in my workplace. Another key chapter is chapter ten, which focuses on pain and reducing suffering. This chapter highlights the psychological principles of pain, a key concept that I can transfer to the hospice setting.

Strengths & weaknesses:

The book’s strengths are its layout and its ability to be readable by a range of healthcare professionals. It deals with a range of topics from perceptions of self and others to improving memory, understanding and communication. It is well laid out and the contents page breaks down the chapters into sub sections enabling the reader to find key points with ease. The exercises throughout the book also encourage deeper synthesis and understanding of the topics covered.

Who should read it?

This book is well placed for all health care professionals ranging from nurses to physiotherapists and doctors to occupational therapists. It would also be beneficial for student nurses and newly qualified staff nurses as an introduction to psychology due to it being readable and well set out. 

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