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Essential Clinical Skills for Nurses

Essential Clinical Skills for Nurses
Step by Step

Second Edition
Edited by:

Other Titles in:
Learning & Study Skills | Nursing

June 2018 | 232 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This little book is an ideal clinical skills reference for nursing students and junior health care practitioners. Its easy to navigate design and step-by-step approach allows for information to be accessed quickly to help students review skills while on placement and prepare for their OSCE exams.

  • Essential equipment tick lists helps ensure students know what they need to perform clinical skills. 
  • All fields of nursing are covered with tips throughout to help students support every patient group.
  • Introduces different approaches to performing clinical skills in community and acute settings
  • Helps students and new practitioners feel confident performing the skill in any situation.
Rose Gallagher
Chapter 1: Infection Prevention and Control

Using hand sanitizer

When to remove your gloves and why

Rose Gallagher
Chapter 2: Aseptic Technique and Specimen Collection
Principles of asepsis

Common steps for the collection of all types of specimen

Taking a wound swab

Collecting a faeces specimen

Collecting a urine specimen

Collecting a sputum sample

Taking a nasal swab

Taking a throat swab

Valerie Foley
Chapter 3: Clinical Measurement
Common steps for all clinical measurements

Counting a respiratory rate

Measuring SPO2

Measuring a pulse rate

Automated blood pressure measurement

Manual blood pressure measurement

Measuring capillary refill time

Measuring body temperature

Blood glucose monitoring

Ann Kettyle
Chapter 4: Pain Management
Undertaking a pain assessment

Irene Anderson and Catherine Delves-Yates
Chapter 5: Skin Integrity
Principles of caring for a patient with a wound

Pressure related injuries - quick reference guide

Dianne Steele
Chapter 6: Safer Handling of People
Efficient movement principles

A safe way of working when moving a patient

Chapter 7: First Aid

Chris Mulryan and Catherine Delves-Yates
The recovery position

ABCDE summary actions

Management of choking

AVPU assessment

Carol Hall and Catherine Delves-Yates
Chapter 8: Medicines Administration
Administering medication (oral or topical route)

Administering a subcutaneous injection

Administering an intramuscular injection

Chapter 9: Assisting Patients with their Nutritional Needs

Kate Goodhand and Jane Ewen
Common steps for all nutrition-related skills

Weighing a patient

Assisting a patient to eat and drink

Passing a nasogastric tube

Confirmation of position of a nasogastric tube

Maintaining a nasogastric tube

Removing a nasogastric tube

Caring for a PEG (pertcutaneous endoscopic gastronomy)

Stoma care

Peripheral vascular cannula care

Chapter 10: Assisting Patients with their Elimination Needs

Mairead Collie, David J. Hunter and Valerie Foley
Common steps for all elimination-related skills

Assessing bowel function

Assisting a patient to use a bedpan, urinal or commode

Performing catheter care

Emptying a patient's catheter bag


Catherine Delves-Yates
Chapter 11: Assisting Patients with their Hygiene Needs
Common steps for all hygiene procedures

Bathing a patient in bed



Assisting a patient with a wash (out of bed)

Trimming nails

Washing a patient's hair in bed

Jean Shapcott
Chapter 12: Performing Last Offices
Performing last offices


Great little pocket guide for our budding nurses. Wonderful for them to use with practice supplies.

Miss Holly Joanna Magenta Scott
Education Department, Newcastle College
April 15, 2019

A good pocket guide that covers Adult and Paediatric Nursing. The steps are clear and easy to follow even for the most junior student nurses. It also includes trouble shooting for when procedures have issues, such as not being able to retrieve gastric contents from a nasogastric tube to check placement.

Jeanette Braganza
Department of Children's Nursing, London South Bank University
April 6, 2018

Catherine Delves-Yates

Catherine Delves-Yates is an experienced nurse and a Lecturer at the School of Health Sciences, University of East Anglia, UK.  She started her nursing career as a student at the Nightingale School of Nursing, London and has worked clinically in adult and paediatric critical care in the UK and has taught and nursed in America, Africa and Nepal.  Her passion is to ensure all nurses have the knowledge, skills and professionalism to deliver effective compassionate care to each of their patients.  Catherine is an Honorary Lecturer at the University of Buea and the Higher Institute of Applied Medical Sciences, Cameroon and an... More About Author

Fiona Everett

Fiona Everett is currently a Nurse Lecturer within pre-registration and master’s level nursing programmes with teaching, co-ordination and research supervision responsibilities. Fiona has a wide range of clinical experience including adult nursing, midwifery, district nursing and research project management within primary care. She has particular interests in clinical skills, dementia care and developing contemporary, support mechanisms in nurse education. She has published in these areas in nursing journals and has disseminated her work at national and international conferences. She is also an editor and author for SAGE publications... More About Author

Wendy Wright

Wendy Wright is an Adult Nursing lecturer in the pre-registration and the master's level nursing programmes and is currently the BSc Adult Nursing Programme Lead.  Wendy has a wide range of acute clinical experience including infectious diseases, stroke and elderly assessment and rehabilitation.  Wendy has responsibilities interests including clinical skills education for student nurses, dementia, the frail older Adult and the student experience. With a particular interest in the development of Class in A Bag (CIAB) which has developed from the initial research of Dementia through the eyes of a child.  She has published in... More About Author