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#RCN100 Celebrating 100 years of the Royal College of Nursing

An Imperfect Offering: Dispatches From the Medical Frontline

James Orbinski

An Imperfect Offering: Dispatches From the Medical Frontline

JP Nolan, Head of Nursing Practice

Reason you chose this book

Having worked in areas of conflict as a defence nurse and also as a volunteer in humanitarian operations, this book helped me reflect on my practice. What was the motivation for me to go, did I want to help for right reasons? The book helped me think about what success looks like for a medical operation provided by non-governmental organisations or the armed forces. With the plight of refuges leaving Syria during 2015 the book is sadly as relevant now as it was when published.


In this book James Orbinski uses his experiences of working in humanitarian crises to ask what should governments and agencies being doing to help those affected by conflict and disaster. He considers what they do well, and what parts of the offering are imperfect. He does this by sharing his experiments in a vivid narrative that chronicles some of the world’s most notable atrocities – primarily the Rwandan genocide. Ultimately though the book is testament to the fact that humanity can prevail even in the most unthinkably tragic events. The book is essential reading for any nurse or midwife who works either overseas or at home with those affected by conflict or disaster. The guidance on searching online includes use of Google Scholar, Google Books and library databases and on correctly citing online sources. The book also covers tips on using online tools such as Mendeley, EndNote and RefWorks to manage and organise research.

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