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Nursing Course - Introduction

Nursing is a profession of vital importance to society, and can be a rewarding occupation that makes a real difference to those you come into contact with. However, it is also a profession with necessarily strict guidelines covering the competencies and skills of its practitioners; vital to ensuring safe, effective and ethical treatment of patients, who may be in vulnerable conditions.

Maybe you are a practicing nurse, but are looking for a refresher course in some of the key areas of practice. Maybe you're a student nurse looking for a simple guide to accompany your course. Maybe you're a carer, looking for jargon-free advice on care delivery. Whatever your circumstances, if you have an interest in the fundamentals of nursing, this resource can help you build on your existing knowledge and will positively inform your future practice!

This course consists of five modules. Of these, four are considered integral to all forms of nursing practice, while the fifth, Palliative Care, represents a branch that, while a frequent area of specialism, may not be a part of all nurses' careers. These five modules are as follows:

Chapter 1. Health Observation and Assessment is a process and series of skills that all nurses must be familiar with. This module covers the place of assessment in the nursing cycle, the keys steps in assessment and taking a health history, and how the data collected during an assessment should be interpreted and documented. Detailed chapters on the specialised techniques for assessing various organ systems, and the common normal and abnormal findings are also included.

Chapter 2. Professional Values and Ethics are also an intrinsic and important part of all nursing practice. This module describes the legal and professional expectations of practicing nurses, and the principles that should guide their care and approach to patients. Guidelines for the application of these concepts to practice are covered, as well as the rights of the patients, and the common ethical dilemmas that nurses may face in delivering ethical care.

Chapter 3. Drug Classification and Administration is also requisite knowledge for all practicing nurses. This module covers classifications and types of medicine that you may have to administer in practice, techniques of administration, and the professional and legal guidelines governing the use of various classes of medication. While not all nurses are qualified to prescribe independently, you should be familiar with the principles of medication, and how to handle common forms of medication.

Chapter 4. Emergency Care is another core requirement of the nursing role. All nurses are expected to be competent in delivering care under urgent or stressful circumstances. This module covers the principles of delivering an effective assessment when under time constraints, and describes a wide variety of emergencies that may be encountered, and how these are best treated. How to combat stress and burnout following this practice is also covered.

Chapter 5. Palliative Care may not be a focus for all nurses; however, nurses in all settings may find themselves caring for patients who are near death. This module describes the necessary considerations for delivering high-quality, patient-centred care to patients nearing the end of life, including common conditions, available treatments, and techniques to allow nurses to effectively self-care and care for their colleagues in difficult situations.

We truly hope you find this short course useful to you, wherever you may be in your journey as a nursing professional.

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