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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 22 November 2011
Blaber and Harris have brought us a well set out and systematic book which is invaluable to any student studying paramedic education at any level. From students studying paramedicine for the first time, to qualified paramedics furthering their education at degree level this book is a must have addition to the book shelf.

The book aims to take the student through a chapter by chapter review of each major system of the body such as the cardiac and abdominal systems, but also includes some areas not traditionally seen in non-paramedic assessment books such as spinal injury assessments and trauma.

Each chapter is set out in a systematic method, taking you right through the assessment process starting from the initial assessment, through history taking and on to the physical assessment. In addition to this each chapter refers to specific conditions a patient may be suffering from, highlighted key assessment principles vital to that condition. A particularly useful chapter is the one on obstetric assessment. This is traditionally a challenging area for paramedics and one where training is often lacking detail. This chapter highlights all the important and relevant questions to ask and goes on to include the assessment of a neonatal.

For paramedic students undertaking OSCE examinations this book will help the student to understand what they are expected to know and perform but more importantly it provides the student with the foundations to become a competent practitioner who will be able to complete thorough examinations of their patients
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on 13 May 2016
Having done the IHCD course and now out on the road working for an NHS Trust I was looking for a book to bring it all together. I like the way it is organised into systems assessments and specific patient groups like child, older people and obstetrics. I like the DRABCDE format for each section - the trauma section does modify it in line with current practice to DRCAcBCDE - that works for me as I can remember the key points in an organised way. The downside to that is that it does make the book seem repetitive if you are reading more than one chapter at a time. More pictures/ diagrams would be welcome. At an early stage in my career I think this is a good book to start out with. This book and my JRCALC pocket book goes into my work bag every shift.
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on 4 January 2012
Assessment Skills for Paramedics is an ideal quick reference handbook and study guide for student paramedics and qualified paramedic mentors.

Separate chapters cover all of the major body systems (Respiratory, Cardiovascular, Abdominal/Gastro-intestinal, Neurological and Musculoskeletal) in addition to trauma, obstetrics, paediatrics, older person and mental health. Photographs, diagrams and summary boxes accompany the text.

Each chapter is structured using the `DR. ABCDE' primary assessment algorithm making it easy to follow the stages of assessment. Possible actions relating to normal and abnormal conditions are described, as well as Secondary survey, observation findings and previous medical history. Social, ethical and legal aspects are also discussed where relevant. In my experience this is the method that ambulance clinicians are taught to assess patients, and therefore the book is easy to identify with.

Although the book isn't truly `pocket-sized', it is small enough (approx A5 size) to be carried in a kit bag during shifts to be referred to when needed. The use of chapters and bullet-points make the content well organised and easy to follow.

In my opinion this book is an excellent resource to help any student paramedic underpin the knowledge and theory taught in patient assessment and pathophysiology modules, as well as a quick reference guide to support the assessment of patients during ambulance clinical placements. As a student paramedic nearing the end of my course, I only wish it had been released sooner!
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on 9 May 2015
A bit like IHCD meets a basic assessment type book. I would not recommend it for Paramedics studying or Practicing above basic Paramedic level.
If your a Practitioner you will need a more in depth book. It will not allow you to practice autonomously or even consider leaving patients at home. Full of outdated references and does not follow even the the new badly written JRCALC guidelines.
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on 4 March 2012
If you are studying Paramedic Practice buy this book, it's based on UK practice, it's a reasonable price and it's the only assessment specific book to Paramedics.
It is wonderful to find a book that is specific to Paramedic Practice- and written by Paramedics, not just written by other HCP's on what they think Paramedics should probably be doing!
The chapters are laid out clearly and logically and easy to understand, after all we aren't medical students.
Probably the most valuable book that I have, covering all areas needed for OSCE's and also drawing on social and legal considerations.
This is not an A&P book, if you want an in depth anatomy book then you will need to invest in a more expensive and intimidating A&P specific text. However if you would like a quick reference guide on how to carry out physical assessments on your patients, look nowhere else (in part because their aren't any, but also because it's brilliant!)
Suitable for the BSc course from years 1-3 this book will be a keeper the whole way through the course and I'm sure will be well thumbed!

If I could ask anything more from the book, it would be that there was an additional (durable) pocket guide as a learning tool to take out in practice that more concisely outlined the different assessments.
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on 26 March 2015
If you are an experienced Paramedic this book will offer you next to nothing. Bland, badly laid out with hardly any pictures. It doesn't even follow the current CACBCDE model which has been in for some time.
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on 19 August 2013
An excellent book that helps any student or qualified paramedic improve assessment skills and pass those all-important OSCEs!

With reference to JRCALC and NICE guidelines for best practice, it provides a good framework for assessment in easy to understand, a great help especially when it comes to report-writing.

A must-have for any student paramedic
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on 31 March 2014
Overall I was highly impressed with this book, it has a clear and understandable layout that allows the reader time to digest information, compared to some medical books that are full words, words and more fancy words this book is a realistic approach and uses short sentences which would be excellent for any newbie medic. In my opinion this book is not just brilliant for paramedics but excellent for many other medical roles, nurses, doctors, emergency medical technician, emergency care assistants and event medics. This book does interlink with other categories, for example if they are talking about a trauma patient, they will relate back to the musculoskeletal system chapter. I simply did not give this book high marks as I felt it lacked the amount of information about vital signs, blood pressure/ pulse oximeter/ blood sugars/ pulse I mainly got this book as I was hoping it discussed in more detail about the vital signs. However, I great book for all medical practitioners.
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on 26 January 2012
This book has tried to find the often difficult balance of knowledge and content with structure and clarity to allow for a good level of ease of use. The authors bring a wide range of specialist expertise and experience and have seemed to achieved this delicate balance.

Each chapter works through the assessment process of a specific patient group using the "D.R.A.B.C" mnemonic. The structure of the text allows for quick reference and often keeps to a simple bullet point format, handy if you are a student of pre-hospital healthcare. While this text's focus is on the assessment process, it also discusses the unique ethical and social considerations for each specific patient group covered in the chapters.

This book works well as a quick reference guide. However if you are looking for an in depth reference material to anatomy, physiology and emergency pathophysiology, this is not the text for you.

In summary, this book will prove to be a must have addition to the book shelf of any student Paramedic or any student involved with pre-hospital healthcare. Also any operational Paramedic who wishes to maintain a systematic structured approach to their practice would also find this text a valuable asset.
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on 6 April 2013
A very good book detailing the different procedures of assessment in different cases for Paramedics. THis book would also be of use to technicians, ECAs and anyone else interested in first aid.
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