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Rose Gets in Shape

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’This book is suitable for all pre-and post-registration students and lecturers especially when topics related to care and compassion are taught in the curriculum.’

Title: Rose Gets in Shape.

Authors: Roger Banks and Paul Wallang 

Publisher: Beyond Words

Reviewer: Andrew Southgate, Senior Lecturer and School of Nursing Lead for Internationalisation

What was it like?

This book is timely as there is a growing emphasis on managing obesity in the Western World. The first part of the book tells the story of Rose, who is overweight. However, the unique feature is that this done via pictures. Therefore, the book is suitable for people who may not be able to read, or those who have limited language comprehension skills. The story is easy to follow and blank pages besides each picture page allow the reader to add any text. There is guidance on how to use the book, which is informative. However, teachers, students and healthcare professionals could use the book in a variety of ways. The book is aimed at people with a learning disability. However, it has potential to be used in mainstream schools as students can adapt the pictures to create their own narrative and interpretation of Rose’s story. In addition, it can be used by and help healthcare professionals develop health education and health promotion materials that are accessible to a wide range of people of varying ages, reading abilities and cultural backgrounds. The second part of the book has an explanation of the pictures and informative information related to obesity, health promotion and healthy eating. Healthcare professionals and students could then create their own pictures based on this to help impart information.

The main audience for the book would be those working with people with a learning disability and those working with people who have limited reading comprehension skills. However, the pictures provide useful insight into how healthcare professionals can develop visual health promotion materials aimed at reach a wide audience.

A real gem as it can enable healthcare practitioners to explore a range of theoretical psychological perspectives in way that is accessible and engaging. The introduction defines psychology and explores physiological as well as psychodynamic, behavioural, cognitive and humanistic approaches. This provides a useful foundation to help readers connect with the contents of the chapters that follow. There is a clear focus on compassionate care throughout all the chapters. Scenarios that reflect real situations that healthcare professionals may encounter support the concepts and topics discussed. It is encouraging that the text is not limited to a single profession, which is reflected in the variety of scenarios. This supports the use of the book for Inter Professional Education as the scenarios and case studies can be explored from a range of different perspectives.

What were the highlights?

The chapter, ’Understanding Suffering’ was particularly inspiring to read. It explores health and illness concepts from a historical perspective and relates these to theoretical perspectives. Another engaging chapter was ’Maintaining a Culture of Compassionate Care’. Given the current emphasis on leadership and compassion, this is timely chapter exploring leadership and management in relation to delivering compassionate care. It also critically discusses the role of mentorship, preceptorship and clinical supervision in this context. However, all of the chapters are valuable and provide critical insight into the topics explored.

Strengths and weaknesses:

All the chapters are well referenced and incorporate a range of learning activities. These include reflection, mindfulness, critical thinking activities and case studies. This allows the text to become part of a blended learning or distance learning module. In addition, incorporating content into ’flipped classroom’ activities is possible. Furthermore, the quotes at the start of each chapter are thought provoking and can stimulate debate and discussion in seminars.

Each chapter commences with a succinct overview followed by clear learning objectives. Diagrams, images, tables are used effectively throughout the book; although some of these may not appeal to all readers. Each chapter concludes with a summary and useful guidance for further reading. The chapters are visually appealing way, which allows key elements within them to be located with ease. The structure of the book allows each chapter to be accessed as standalone reading. As a result, the book can link to a range of modules taught to healthcare practitioners during their education. This therefore makes the book very good value for money!

Who should read it?

This book is suitable for all pre-and post-registration students and lecturers especially when topics related to Care and Compassion are taught in the curriculum.

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