Limiting Harm in Health Care: A Nursing Perspective

Author: Frank Milligan


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  • ISBN: 9780632059966
  • Author: Frank Milligan
  • Publ Date: 2003-03-14
  • Edition:
  • Pages: 296
  • Imprint: BLACKWELL *#
  • Status: ACT
  • ID - 6635

Table of Contents :

Maps, medicine, nurses and health care; defining medicine, nursing and the nature of iatrogenesis; health professions, power, knowledge and expertise; shifting boundaries in current nursing practice; the hidden harm of drug therapy; drugging family therapy - shifts in the care of hyperactive children; talking harm - the medicalization of mental health practice; disabling professions - the lay perspective; lessons on managing risk - the medical experience; nurse diagnosed myocardial infarction - hidden nurse work and iatrogenic risk; talking death, talking harm; NHS Direct - the impact of information technology and shifting nurse roles; repercussions and possible future trends - limiting iatrogenic harm.


Media coverage of infamous cases including Beverley Allitt, Harold Shipman, and the Bristol heart inquiry has alerted medical staff to the possibility of malicious action and incompetence, and led to increased questioning of professional judgement. However, most medical harm is unintentional, and can result from nearly every aspect of medical treatment. This volume highlights the potential for medical harm in all areas of practice. Separate chapters explore the potential for medical harm in diverse areas of practice, from the use of medication, technology, hospital routine, and clinical procedures, to the role of "talk" in areas such as mental illness and palliative care, and via services such as NHS direct. The practitioner is challenged to assess the potential risks inherent in the health care system, to reconsider established methods of treatment, and to re-examine professional working relationships. The book concludes with recommendations for reducing medical harm within the expanding scope of nursing practice.


'A highly original book, where the authors succeed in taking a broad approach to the notion of risk within healthcare. It stipulates a nursing perspective but would be equally valid to a wider inter-professional audience.' Accident and Emergency Nursing


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