’This is an excellent tool to enable staff to undertake risk assessments – although written for nursing staff working in the US this is equally relevant for oncology nurses in the UK.’
Title: Safe Handling of Hazardous Drugs - 3rd edition
Author: Martha Polovich
Publisher: Oncology Nursing Society
Reviewer: Jane Brown, quality governance manager, specialised clinical services division, Worcestershire Acute NHS
What was it like?
This is a text book for oncology nurses, and many of them will prepare and administer cancer treatments and medications that will treat various cancers. What was surprising according to the author, many staff are not aware of all sources of exposure to hazardous drugs. Staff need to identify risks and change practice. This latest edition equips nurses with the latest information to keep them safe in their working environments.
What were the highlights?
Well set out and well researched, each chapter guides staff through surveillance, training, drug formulations, drug and post administration and importantly patient and family education (all too often a text book will outline everything, but the patient and family are either forgotten or not acknowledged). The chapters are easy to read and understand.
There are ten impressive pages of up to date references and authors with pharmaceutical and senior nurse backgrounds.
Strengths & weaknesses:
This is an excellent tool to enable staff to undertake risk assessments – although written for nursing staff working in the US this is equally relevant for oncology nurses in the UK.
The authors advocate that safe handling of hazardous drugs should be built in to the teaching plans for patients and relatives and ensure this is both verbal and in writing- this will then ensure effective and safe patient information and may assist staff in the community also.
Every time I went to look for an aspect of safe handling it was there – I then thought of policies this was there too ensuring these are written to be evidence based and easy to understand (and not 60 pages as I have witnessed in other areas). There are also templates to assist staff so that they are not reinventing the wheel or spending precious time away from their patients.
This will also help staff in CQC assessments in the UK, ensure risk assessments are carried out and ensure fewer drug errors will occur.
There were no weaknesses. This is a well written research-based text book.
Who should read it?
This edition would be useful for ward managers, clinical nurse specialists, nurses who administer oncology drugs, trust medical safety officers, risk managers, pharmacists, nursing staff training in Oncology.
safe handling of hazardous drugs third edition cover