Can old resources still be useful?


I recently visited my grandmother's home, and to my surprise I came across my aunt's old med-surg textbook. She went to nursing school in the early 2000s, but the book (Textbook of Medical-Surgical Nursing, Brunner/Suddarth 5th end) is (for some reason) dated on Amazon as being from 1984. Can an almost 30-year-old book be useful enough to justify lugging back cross-country? I know some things will be outdated, but my grandmother is offering it to me if I'd like it. (Free resources! :3 )

So I just wanted the opinions of current nursing students and nurses. What do you think?

Specializes in Neuro Intensive Care. Has 1 years experience.

Probably not. I think I would just take it back to see how things were done back then; but it would be unwise, and probably unsafe, to use that as an academic resource.

Specializes in Med/surg. Has 6 years experience.

Yeah, I feared so. :/ I'm not in NS yet, but I was hoping to glance ahead. I just can't figure out why she would've used this book if it was so old even back then. O.o


435 Posts

Probably wouldn't hurt to read it! Some things change, with new evidence but then others don't. I probably wouldn't use it for your class though.


2,723 Posts

Specializes in Forensic Psych. Has 2 years experience.

Hey, I use my mom's old nursing stuff as resources! Some things don't change. And in reality, you should also be using your required current stuff, so you should notice any changes that have occurred. Now 1984 might be pushing it a bit...

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 17 years experience.

I used a psychiatric nursing book from 1989 to study for my mental health nursing course in 2009 and did very well in that class. Yes, a 20-year-old textbook was still resourceful after all those years.

RLtinker, LPN

282 Posts

The basic don't change much, but there have been new medications and procedures have changed some. Not to mention the advancements in AIDs and cancer treatment. Laparoscopic and laser surgeries are much more common now then it was at that time. And with the push from health insurance, hospital stays, if you stay at all have been shortened. But honestly, I don't think it would hurt. Much of the way they used to do it back then is still how we do it now... I think. :snurse: But I think it would be interesting to get a take on this from the nurses on here that worked in the 80's.