Nursing References

Written by Rachel Arieff
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Nursing reference materials are essential tools for practicing nurses as well as nursing students. As crucial to nurses' success as their medical equipment, nursing reference books constitute the first step in the assessment and diagnosis of patients. The accuracy of these diagnoses depends in large part on the quality of nursing handbooks, which are only as good as the information they contain.

No medical professional would intentionally use an inaccurate or outdated nursing book. Yet through the years, nurses have had to rely on reference materials that could compromise the quality of their work. This was due not to poor quality of information, but rather to the way in which the information was presented. Specifically, these medical texts were often over a thousand pages long. The useful, practical information was usually buried within loads of confusing medical jargon, and organized without regard to the harried pace of the nursing profession.

Old vs. New Nursing Reference Materials

Indeed, the way the old nursing references were written could require an equal amount of time looking up the terms and deciphering them into understandable English. In a nurse's life, there is simply no time for these extra steps, which only serve to frustrate and drain nurses of their much-needed energy and concentration.

As a response to these problems, a new breed of reference book has been invented. These new nursing texts are organized much like the "Cliffs Notes" from high school. They get to the essence of the matter, lay it out in clear, simple English that everyone speaks and understands, and organize the information according to the needs of hardworking nurses. This makes the information not only easier to find, but also easier to remember.

How the New Nursing References Are Organized

For example, today's user-friendly nursing books often categorize information according to disorders. This definition is as brief as can be without sacrificing meaning. Recommended nursing interventions follow. Overall management plans, such as long-term treatments. In these best resources, the different types of information are color-coded.

All this color-coding is a simple but essential trick to help nurses and nursing students find just the information they're looking for, as quickly as possible. Over the course of a few months, a simple technique such as color-coding can save nurses many hours of searching and confusion. In today's overtaxed hospital environments, many of which are in financial crisis, this is a valuable accomplishment.

The Needs of Today's Nursing Professionals

Nurses want to do a good job. They have worked and studied long hours to attain their certifications, many while juggling busy lives as single mothers or full-time employees. Today's new nursing reference books have been designed to avoid the frustration that often leads to dropout, and instead accommodate the needs of these busy but dedicated people. For instance, a reference book company may condense a 2,000-page text into 30 concise, easy-to-follow pages, or an 800-page text into 10 pages, and so on.

Nurses constitute the backbone of any medical environment. They are therefore crucial to its success, whether it be a hospital, clinic, emergency room, nursing home, or private care situation. However, in order to deliver this success, nurses must be adequately supported with only the highest quality reference materials, both in their initial training, and throughout the course of their careers.


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