Title: The Neuro Care Manual – A guide to neurology for nurses and family carers
Author: Steve Smith
Publisher: Health Harmony 2011
Reviewer: Debbie Quinn, MS specialist nurse, Northamptonshire Healthcare foundation Trust
What was it like?
The book is divided into five main easy-to-read sections: basic anatomy and physiology, diagnoses, shared aspects, more issues and big decisions. This book tries hard to meet its target audience of nurses and carers and while the anatomy and physiology and diagnoses sections manage this quite well, it fails to continue to do this in the latter sections of the book, which is far more relevant to both formal and informal carers. The author gives many examples of his own experiences that at times were useful but appear to be too frequent and required much more factual support. Many of these examples are from the author’s experiences in residential/nursing homes, which is where formal carers may well gain the most.
What were the highlights?
The broken-down sections allow the reader to dip in and out of the book as required. It does provide an easy-to-read quick starting guide to neurology as a whole. The anatomy and physiology section would be useful to anyone finding general neurology a bit of a blur as it clearly and simply explains the working of the central nervous system and brain.
Strengths & weaknesses:
The book, in places, makes the reader pause for thought and reflect on their care of people with neurological conditions, recognising some of the general mistakes that can be made.
Some of the terminology contained within the book is dated, for example: incontinence nurses and a few of the sections, despite the author stressing their importance are very brief with little useful referral systems such as communication and continence. It would have benefited from offering the reader examples of when to refer to other professional groups such as occupational therapists to assist with activities of daily living and speech therapists for communication difficulties.
Who should read it?
This book would be most useful to both formal and informal carers and nursing students who are wishing to gain a quick overview of neurological conditions and care.