Book Review

Fundamentals of Paramedic Practice: A Systems ApproachTheory and application are two concepts I was sadly lacking in during my formative educational years! Fortunately, I appear to have outgrown such academic apathy and am now in a more informed position to appreciate a good paramedic text when I read one. This title would fall into that category, not least because it makes a distinction between the above.Learning outcomes for each chapter are succinctly presented and ‘Practice Insight’ boxes, while hardly revolutionary, contain some nuggets of sound advice and pertinent observations on different areas of paramedic practice. Similarly, self-test activities are not a new development in the literary world but are effective nonetheless, further enhanced by directing the reader to an additional online resource which accompanies the book. This sort of interactive publishing is becoming more common in paramedic literature and you'll hear no argument from me. Online resources permit a far broader exposure to a given topic and present a wealth of learning material not possible in the written form.The customary counterpoint is that the case studies presented are a touch shallow and resemble little more than a précis of incidents you may attend rather than any in-depth learning from a case example. This in fact reflects the age-old dichotomy for publishers of paramedic literature: breadth over depth. Consistent with paramedic practice in general, this is also a feature of this book. In terms of scope of practice, I would suggest this is best suited for student paramedics and the less-experienced clinician, but the give-away is in the title.Do not confuse that observation with a criticism of the content, it isn't. Overall this is packed with goodies: interactive resources, photographs, illustrations, glossaries of terminology, references, additional suggested reading and supplementary information in tabular format. The ability of the editors to combine all of these into a coherent whole is commendable in itself. Positive stuff.

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