Words that inspire me and why…

So my second blog…

Just noticed fellow tweeps mentioning a few of their favourite books and thought I would share just a few that have moved, inspired, educated and energised me.  Naturally they are mostly about patient safety, but not all as you will see from the first few…

New jobs

A must for anyone who is going for a new job; Perfect CV and Perfect Interview – both by Max Eggert.  Perfect CV provides really sensible help for writing a short but clear CV which has impact and gets you an interview, Perfect Interview helps you prepare for the interview and provides tips on all the things you should do and all things you should not to do for an interview.  I can vouch for this because I did all the things you shouldn’t do once and didn’t get the job.  Once you have the new job, then move on to ‘The First 90 Days’ by Michael Watkins who can ‘guarantee you success in your new job’ if you follow his 90 day plan. Worth a try.

Subjects that are difficult but shouldn’t be

A must for anyone in healthcare are Kate Granger’s books; The Other Side, and The Bright Side.  They are beautifully written and the true story of a young doctor’s experience of being diagnosed with cancer and then how she is coping with what is now a terminal illness.  Provides invaluable insight and especially good lessons for communicating bad news. On the subject of grief, I would also recommend a fictional book by Maggie O’Farrell, titled ‘After you’d Gone’ – stunning book about a love and loss.

Patient safety and change

You know I have to recommend Complications and The Checklist Manifesto both by Atul Gawande.  Complications was one of the first books I read that really captured patient safety but not in any theoretical sense, much more interesting than that; the story telling style ensures the reader is engaged from the start and truly understands the complexities of providing healthcare, how easily it can go wrong and the impact on both sides of the story, the patient and the clinical practitioner.  The Checklist Manifesto debates all aspects of the use of checklists far better than I ever could.  Both are written by a sublime writer, I have no idea how he finds the time to do all that he does – maybe that should be the subject of his next book!

To really get into the detail I have my ‘bible’; Diffusion of Innovations in Health Service Organisations – A systematic literature review by Trisha Greenhalgh et al. I tour de force (I think even Sir Liam Donaldson said that in the foreword) of a book on everything from innovation to implementation.  Also cant really mention Greenhalgh without recommending the wonderful ‘How to read a paper’ – the basics of evidence based medicine. I understand from twitter chat that she is going to publish an updated version soon.

Charles Vincent’s books titled Patient Safety and Clinical Risk Management provide all you need to know about the substance of patient safety and all of Jim Reason’s books should be on your shelf if you are working in patient safety and risk.

Others to contemplate

Malcolm Gladwell – The Tipping Point and Outliers both fascinating insights into the way people behave.

Sidney Dekker – Patient Safety: A Human Factors Approach

Kieran Walshe and Ruth Boaden: Patient Safety: Research into Practice

Joseph Badaracco Jr writes eloquently in ‘leading quietly, an unorthodox guide to doing the right thing’.

The Power of One, the Power of Many – totally sold me on social movements and by Helen Bevan, Jo Bibby and others. I wish there were more written on social movements and healthcare – and this one should be followed up with a second book on all that we have learnt about the ‘blended’ approach to transformation since.

And finally, if you just want a ‘laugh out loud’ read, then you have no need to go anywhere else other than to Caitlin Moran, ‘How to be a Woman’.

I absolutely love books for the way they can take you into another world, and transform your thinking. I dream has always been to write in the same way as Stephen Fry speaks… in the meantime at least I can have the pleasure of reading others who do.