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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Mary Allen Carey, PhD (University of Oklahoma College of Nursing)
Description: This pocket reference guide for practicing nursing assistants includes a quick reference table of reportable observations by body system; a recap of infection control principles; standard precautions and transmission precautions; detailed guidelines for nursing care in specific situations; a summary of safe positioning and ambulatory techniques; safety hints when dealing with agitated or violent individuals in the workplace; and recommendations for palliative care for the dying.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide rapid answers to questions arising in the practice arena for students and nursing assistants. The authors make the observation that the transition from classroom to workplace can be overwhelming as learned procedures and knowledge are applied to the care of patients. The handbook serves as a reference for ready access to definitions of forgotten words, reminders of critical actions in patient care, or the signs and symptoms of common conditions. The objectives are worthy and the handbook generally meets them.
Audience: The audience is nursing assistants who have finished their formal education. The handbook is intended for use as a reference guide and not as a primary textbook. The authors are credible authorities.
Features: The handbook is divided into 10 parts and begins with "technical talk" which includes a review of information on vital sign, various observational parameters of importance when formulating an assessment and information on documentation. Subsequent content modules address infection control, common disorders and related care procedures, communication, human development, the relationship of safety to patient mobility, nutritional needs, special care considerations, healthcare practice settings and the expanded role of the nursing assistant. Several good photos and illustrations depicting a variety of techniques enhance the presentation of content. Well placed tables also help to clarify information. In addition to technical skills, the handbook also addresses such topics as caring for the emotionally stressed patient and death/dying issues.
Assessment: This handbook is of good quality overall, although it contains very few references. The index is extremely helpful in locating topics.