Thursday, 6 November 2014

My Student Paramedic Reading List

So you've got an offer, or you've just began your studies and you're wondering what books should be filling that space on your shelves/drawers/floor (depending on the organisation of the Student...). Most Uni's will give you a reading list, some won't, but some of the ones that do will have a list as long as your arm that will lead you to think they get royalties from some of the Publishers.

So, what I thought I'd share with you is the books that I'VE found useful, you can make your own minds up from there! Read on for a breakdown of what I've got on my shelf and what I use them for.

So working left-to-right, top to bottom (like we were reading a book - oddly!).

The ECG Workbook
Goes with my other ECG text book we'll get onto, this is like a page by page activity book on interpreting abnormal ECGs that you write/draw in. It's not a text-book in it's own right, each page helpfully gives you a reminder of what it is you are looking for with this particular activity and signposts things to go and read up on if you're not so hot on that particular area. Unless you're particularly sadistic and love ECG interpretation then this is a must for getting your head around what can be an annoyingly difficult but absolutely critical subject for the Student Paramedic.

Nancy Carolines Emergency Care in The Street
The photo above doesn't do the size of this book justice, it's expensive but it will have everything you need to know about clinical procedures plus some fluffy stuff about the profession itself. I use this to read around subjects that I know are coming up so I don't go into Lectures/Skills Sessions blind to what I'm about to learn. If you choose to buy this, make sure you get the UK Edition (6th is okay but 7th is the most upto date - both of these are UK-based rather than US - this critical as US Paramedics are a very different beast to UK ones). I also have "The Manual of Clinical Paramedic Procedures" by Pete Gregory and Ian Mursell as an e-book on my tablet, similar sort of book but wrote exclusively in the UK by UK practitioners - both are good so it's upto you really! I ended up with both so I have a portable clinical skills book and the giant wedge of my Nancy Caroline one for back in my room.

UK Ambulance Services Clinical Practice Guidelines 2013 (AKA JRCALC)
Now this book is essential as it lays down your scope of practice and drugs that you use as a Paramedic in the UK. There's two versions, the reference edition (pictured) and the pocket edition - you really need both. The Pocket one stays in your uniforms cargo pocket so it's always to hand on placement to check drugs etc.

Cite Them Right
Putting the "Student" in "Student Paramedic" - yes, there is Assignments to do at Uni, unfortunately it's not all practical poking and prodding. You are studying an Academic Profession so expect Academia! Cite Them Right is for all your referencing needs, yes you can find all the weird and wonderful ways to cite the most obscure things like TV programs and lecturers notes online but this book structures it all very nicely and it doesn't break the bank! 

Ross and Wilson Anatomy and Physiology in Health and illness (12th Edition)
Yes, my copy is the 11th Edition however a newer 12th Edition is out but having looked at it I can't see enough to make me want to buy it when I have the 11th! Ross and Wilson has been the staple of many a Health Care Professionals education for a great many years (this is the one I used as an Army Medic going through training also). There are ALOT of A&P books out there, however I've never had anything taught at Uni or the Army that wasn't in this book so it's on my reading list! You will absolutely need an A&P book, it's a pillar of your Paramedic Education in Year 1 and likely into Year 2 as you move onto Pathophysiology.

British Medical Associations New Guide to Drugs and Medicines
Drugs! Yes, all of YOUR drugs are in the back of JRCALC - however you will come across all sorts of weird and wonderful drugs in Patients houses. I use this to read up on drugs I've never come across at the end of shifts so I know more about it next time. 

Pocket Prescriber
This one is an absolute Gem and lives in my cargo pocket with my mini JRCALC. It has around 500 of the most common drugs in it, what happens if someone overdoses on them, and what drugs they interact with. It doesn't give as much detail as the big BMA drug book I have but it's enough to get me by mid-shift before I can get back home and research the new drug in-depth.

The Study Skills Handbook
In the spirit of Cite Them Right and the fact that you are a Student not just a Student Paramedic, this book is great for helping you through your first year at Uni as you get used to the step up from A-Levels or your College Access Course (and it is a step-up believe me! Everyone kept telling me that and I didn't believe them till I got here...). It gives some helpful direction on things like Reflections, Revision, Academic Writing and Assignments. Great little book and cheap!

The ECG Made Easy
Don't let the title fool you, I struggled to learn ECGs from scratch with this book. I had to watch alot of Youtube videos and videos on Acadoodle before I had enough base knowledge to then understand even the first few pages of this book. However, now I'm progressing nicely in my knowledge of ECGs I find this book compliments the ECG workbook and the videos I've been watching nicely.

Foundations for Paramedic Practice
If you were going to do any pre-reading before Uni, I'd say this is a good book to do it. It can feel abit of an effort to read but it gives you a great insight into the legal and ethical issues of Paramedic Practice and will certainly get you in the mindset of what you are about to undertake. Don't expect it to teach you how to stick needles in peoples chests, do expect it to give you a good idea of the more mundane but essential bits of knowledge you'll need as a Practitioner - if you read up on this sort of stuff before Uni then it's one less thing to worry about when you start!

Assessment Skills for Paramedics
This book is excellent, more for when you have started Uni - it will give you a great understanding of the myriad of physical examinations we have to perform. Also things like Patient Encounter and taking a good Patient History are covered in great depth - absolutely essential book for your shelf!

PARAMEDICS! Test Yourself in Anatomy and Physiology
I have an A&P exam in my first year and I'd be shocked if you don't too. This book is just page after page of exam style A&P questions aimed at the Student Paramedic - I'm finding it very useful to assess my understanding of a particular system after an A&P lesson and I'll certainly be using it to aide my revision for my Exam. The same authors also do a Pathophysiology testing book which I'll be buying in my Second year.

British National Formulary (BNF)
This is an older edition however it was also free, I asked in a local Hospitals Pharmacy if they had any old editions - they had loads so gave me one and most of my colleagues got theirs the same way. They bring out 2 of these each years so whatever you buy will fall out of date quickly! So what is it? Well it's a giant book of every drug that can be prescribed in the UK, it doesn't go into great detail about each drug as my others do but unlike the others it has alot more drugs in it! Essential? Probably wouldn't buy it, worth getting if you can get it free which is quite easy. There is a BNF app but you need an 'Athens Account' which most universities provide for you so wait till your course starts before you part with any cash for this one (or try and get a free one!).

Illustrated Medical Dictionary
There is quite a few Medical Dictionaries out there, just make sure you try and get a British Medical Assosciation one. This is another essential book, you're going to get lots of complicated words thrown at you, medicine seems to love making things needlesly complicated for seemingly no other reason than to sound clever - you'll need to know these words so a Medical Dictionary goes along way. I like pictures so I got the illustrated one!

So there you go, these are the books that are populating my collection. No doubt a couple more will get added in my second and third years however for now these are doing me just fine.

Hope this helps!

No comments:

Post a Comment