I spent the morning at the Warner Library (Mid Essex Hospitals NHS Trust) in Chelmsford, where I was given a crash course in the use of the Royal Marsden Manual. The course was led by Janet Broome of Wiley publishers, and ended up being a rather Cambridge-heavy affair – more than half of the attendees came from my own library!
The Marsden Manual is a resource designed to be used by nurses seeking quick, reliable, evidence-based information to assist them in procedures and clinical skills. Users can search its contents for information on broad topics (‘diabetes’, ‘wounds care’ and so on), or do a more targeted browse of specific procedures or chapters in the manual. There are also extensive illustrations, which are downloadable and free to use (with attribution) in presentations, handouts or other educational material. One drawback that we noticed in the session is that the illustrations themselves are not easily searchable – you cannot search them in the same way as you can procedures or chapters, or indeed the contents of the resource as a whole.
Users of this resource are able to access it off-site through OpenAthens, and it is designed with mobile functionality in mind – particularly as many nurses are unable to access computers while working on the wards. A mobile app is in development.
From an administrator’s perspective, admin accounts are able to add news items visible only to members of their Trust, advertising things like upcoming training or external resources. Admins are also able to add local guidance to the material in the Marsden Manual – for example differences in procedures – that is visible only to their Trust’s users.
We will certainly be incorporating the Marsden Manual into our inductions and training for nurses and nursing students, and working with senior nursing staff to incorporate any local guidance that they may require to be added to the site. It’s certainly likely to be extremely helpful for nurses’ ongoing professional development, revalidation, studies, and day-to-day work on the wards. Our challenge is to make sure they’re aware of it!