What do I need to learn in order to progress through my course? How do I achieve the best possible patient-care?

Professional Skills for Nurses answers both of these questions and supports the development of key nursing skills underpinned by theory. Designed specifically to meet the needs of nursing students in the initial stages of training, the book focuses on the essential knowledge and skills needed for effective patient-care while at the same time helping students to achieve the NMC outcomes required for entry into branch programs.

Each chapter focuses on a key aspect of nursing care backed up with practical tips, examples drawn from all branches of nursing, and a range of study activities to help you reflect on your learning and get the most from practice placements.

Key themes in healthcare such as ethics, evidence-based practice and health promotion are discussed throughout the book, highlighting how these relate to everyday nursing practice.

Focusing on the core skills covered in the initial stages of training, Professional Skills in Nursing is the ideal introduction for students during the Common Foundation Program.

Nutritional and Hydrational Needs

Nutritional and hydrational needs

Learning Outcomes

This chapter is designed to help you:

  • understand the principles of nutritional assessment and screening
  • consider what constitutes (a) malnutrition and (b) normal eating and drinking
  • understand the types of nutritional support required by patients
  • be aware of professional responsibilities regarding nutrition and feeding
  • understand hydration needs.


Food is essential for life: it provides nutrients to sustain body functions and homeostasis. Eating is a basic human and social activity. Meal times may provide opportunities for families to sit down and eat together and ensure children eat a healthy balanced diet. Its importance is emphasised in the Essence of Care document (DH 2001), which states that patients should ‘receive the care and assistance they require with eating and drinking’. ...

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