Practical Medical Procedures at a Glance
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British Medical Association Book Awards winner - Young Author's Award 2016

Practical Medical Procedures at a Glance covers all the practical procedures required of UK medical students, Foundation Doctors, and other medical students worldwide, and provides a vital introduction and quick reference to support clinical skills sessions and ward placements. Providing clear explanations of each skill so that they can be efficiently learned, and ultimately, safely practiced, this guide is the perfect companion to clinical practice.

Practical Medical Procedures at a Glance:

  • Provides broad topic coverage based on the GMC guidelines as listed in Tomorrow’s Doctors, with concise and accessible explanation of the reasoning behind the skills
  • Includes aide-memoires, Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) and checklists for self-evaluation
  • Uses large, clear photographs and diagrams in a ‘step-by-step’ approach to each procedure and skill
  • Features valuable "contraindications" that show when it’s inappropriate to carry out certain procedures
  • Includes a companion website at featuring interactive multiple choice questions and videos demonstrating practical techniques

Beginning with basic procedures and progressing to more complex skills, Practical Medical Procedures at a Glance builds confidence and provides an invaluable overview of the skills needed throughout medical school and beyond, regardless of specialty.

This title is also available as a mobile App from MedHand Mobile Libraries. Buy it now from iTunes, Google Play or the MedHand Store.


Rachel K. Thomas  BM, BCh, BEng (Hons), BSc
South Thames Foundation programme, Croydon Hospital, London


Preface vii

Acknowledgements viii

About the companion website ix

How to use your textbook x

Part 1 Introduction 1

1 Overview of practical procedures 2

2 Non-technical skills 4

3 Waste, sharps disposal and injuries 6

Part 2 Common preliminary components 9

4 Identifying a patient 10

5 Consent, capacity and documentation 12

6 Hand hygiene and personal protective equipment 14

7 Scrubbing in 16

8 Asepsis 18

Part 3 Common non-invasive ward procedures 21

9 Measuring vital signs 22

10 Writing a safe prescription 24

Part 4 Common invasive ward procedures 27

11 Performing venepuncture 28

12 Taking blood cultures 30

13 Inserting a cannula in a peripheral vein 32

14 Measuring blood glucose 34

15 Suturing 36

Part 5 Administering medications 39

16 Administering intravenous infusions 40

17 Administering intravenous infusions of blood and blood products 42

18 Administering parenteral medications 44

19 Administering injections 46

Part 6 Common procedures – respiratory 49

20 Measuring arterial blood gas 50

21 Administering oxygen therapy 52

22 Using inhalers and nebulisers 54

23 Assessing respiratory function 56

24 Using airway manoeuvres and simple adjuncts 58

25 Ventilating with a bag valve mask device 60

Part 7 Common procedures – cardiology 63

26 Recording a 12-lead electrocardiogram 64

27 Performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation 66

Part 8 Common procedures – gastroenterology 69

28 Inserting a nasogastric tube 70

29 Performing a digital rectal examination 72

Part 9 Common procedures – urology 75

30 Performing urinalysis 76

31 Inserting a bladder catheter 78

Part 10 Common procedures – otolaryngology 81

32 Performing otoscopy 82

Part 11 Common procedures – ophthalmology 85

33 Performing ophthalmoscopy 86

Part 12 Common procedures – end-of-life care 89

34 Confirming and certifying death 90

Part 13 Supplementary resources 93

Multiple choice questions 94

Answers to multiple choice questions 104

Further reading and references 114

Index 117