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The Invisible Work of Nurses

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’The book is readable for all healthcare professionals and it might be useful for non exec directors as well to enable them to understand the complexities of nursing.’

Title: The Invisible Work of Nurses

Author: Davina Allen

Publisher: Routledge

Reviewer: Kerry Bloodworth, assistant director of nursing, Nottingham University Hospitals

What was it like?

I was really looking forward to read this book, as the art of nursing has become so complex over the years and I wanted to see what the author thought was invisible. The book had numerous observational records between staff from a variety of settings within an acute hospital setting.

The book wasn’t the easiest to read, but it did flow with many clinical examples of how nurses interact with medical colleagues. Nurses using their experience/skill, to influence/challenge/patient care, in several guises whether it’s about resources or being the patients advocate of care. The book made several references to the fact, there is little that moves in healthcare without passing through the hands of a nurse, the book tries to articulate the formal ways that nursing has developed rather than for us saying that we are the glue that holds things together and that we often find difficult to articulate what we do. The book was well researched and referenced and will help nurses identify what’s hidden in their role, and will enable them to articulate the complexities of what nursing is in the 21st century.

The book also looked at all the intricacies of what nurses have to juggle not only in relation to bed management and the pressures that brings when hospitals are over 90% occupancy. The challenges ensuring those drugs, medical equipment and other resources that patients require are in place and to hand. The issues of ensuring that transfer of care of patients out of secondary care is the safest and timely for patients, the challenges of not having a complete knowledge of the social care system.

What were the highlights?

The real life examples and quotes from nurses working in practice, this brought the book to life.

Strengths & weaknesses:

The strengths of the book is the depth of content,which is well researched and evidenced, this also makes the book its weakness as it’s not an easy read as you need to think and concentrate when you read it.

Who should read it?

The book is readable for all healthcare professionals and it might be useful for non exec directors as well to enable them to understand the complexities of nursing. Nursing staff should read this book as well to highlight the hidden components of the role, although nursing does glue healthcare together, I think we should be able to articulate what it is that we do.

the invisible work of nurses

the invisible work of nurses

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