Communication in the nursing context

Communication in the nursing context

Todq (1990) 10,31a322 0 Longman GroupUK Ltd 1990 0260691719010010-0318410.00 NursrEduatin BOOK REVIEWS Applied micro-biology P Caddow Scutari 1989...

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Todq (1990) 10,31a322 0 Longman GroupUK Ltd 1990




Applied micro-biology P Caddow Scutari 1989 262pp illus ISBN:




This self styled ‘handbook for health-care workers’ aims to give microbiological information in such a way that it can be used when taking a problem-solving approach to every-day situations. The 10 chapters and two appendices cover a wide range of topics from the scene setting historical perspective and overview of micro-organisms and their properties to discussion on the infection process; hospital and community acquired infection; pharmacological intervention and nursing interventions. Particularly helpful are a table, showing the routes of transmission of some 40 organisms and chapter 10 showing the changing patterns of microbial disease. The latter considers current trends and disease patterns and includes Salmonella, Legionnaire’s Disease, MRSA, AIDS and Hep. B amongst others. The whole book is enhanced by a wealth of tables and figures including some amusing cartoons. I particularly liked the inclusion of case studies to assist the process of application, and the extensive further reading suggestions. This book is a useful foundation text as it is very readable and current and is well worth a place on any nurse’s bookshelf and a must for nursing libraries. ANNE BETTS


Communication in the Nursing Context J C Bradley & M A Edinberg Prentice-Hall 1989 337pp illus ISBN: 0-8385-1322-O



This is a very sound text on interpersonal skills in nursing. Each chapter begins with objectives and includes examples and exercises relevant to nursing. It is backed up by references throughout and is clearly presented. It is clearly intended to be used by individual readers, who are given instructions on how to do the exercises which are an essential part of understanding and developing the skills. I think that this would be very difficult, and that the book would best be used as a reader for students and a guide for experienced teachers of communications skills. The exercises could then be done in groups, facilitated by the teacher. Lessons learned and issues arising from


the experiential work could then be discussed. I would recommend it both for Common Foundation Programmes and for more specialised courses such as mental health nursing and health visiting. CHRISTINE WEBB


Nursing the Dying D Field TavistocWRoutledge 1989 175pp ISBN:



The author of this fascinating book is a medical sociologist with experience of teaching the subject to medical and nursing students. He notes the way attitudes towards death and dying are affected by various negative emotional responses in Western society. It is not surprising therefore that the subject is inadequately covered and badly handled in the education of health professions. The book is organised in three parts reflecting issues of preliminary consideration, specific aspects of nursing the dying and discussions of matters of professional importance e.g. nurse-doctor relationships. Chapter 1 explores attitudes towards death and dying. The plan of the book as a cohesive and logical educational experience is clearly described. Chapter 2 notes the importance attached to routines in the organisation of hospitals and the consequent failure to recognise the personal needs of the dying patients. The perennial dilemma faced by doctors and nurses as to whether or not to tell the dying is examined with commendable sensitivity. The ethical problems are recognised but not fully developed. The strength of this book is two-fold. Firstly, it draws on sociological perspectives to examine professional attitudes towards the care of the dying and lays bare the dilemma facing nurses in this difficult area. The second is the reported empirical studies which bring the theoretical considerations into sharp practical focus. Thus chapter 3 reports on a participantobservation study of nurses while chapter 4 deals with the findings of interviews conducted with nursing staff working in general medical wards. The possible differences between hospitals and the community are examined in chapter 6 in which the role of relatives is examined. The author notes the isolation of community nurses from their colleagues in working with the dying in their own homes. This is