Skip to main content
Centralia College logoCentralia College Kirk Library

Nursing : Reference & Statistics

A research guide for nursing students

Why use reference sources?

Reference sources are excellent resources to use for a number of reasons:

  • They provide a broad overview of your topic and give you good background information. For example, a reference article about a disease will cover the basics: causes, diagnosis, symptoms, and treatment.

  • They are good to refer to when you need some more information about vocabulary or topics you find in another source, say in an article or a website. For example, a scholarly journal article refers to a hematoma, and you don't know what that is. An entry in a reference work will give you a quick overview.

  • They usually include a list of sources that will point you to other books, articles, and websites on your topic.


Health Statistics

For a very thorough guide to resources on finding and utilizing health statistics, see the University of Michigan Library's research guide "Health Statistics." 

Reference books online

You can access reference books online through these databases:

Gale Virtual Reference Library contains entries from encyclopedias such as Gale Encyclopedia of Children's Health, Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, Gale Encyclopedia of Health & Aging, Encyclopedia of Drugs, Alcohol & Addictive Behavior, and Nutrition and Well-Being A-Z .

Credo Reference contains entries from over 600 reference books on all topics, including medical dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks.

Reference books in print or electronic format

Here are some key reference books in print and/or electronic format. They can be found by title in the library catalog.

Black's Medical Dictionary   ELECTRONIC

Control of Communicable Diseases Manual   REF 614 CONTROL 2008

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-IV   REF 616.8907 DIAGNOS 2000

Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary   ELECTRONIC

Drug Information : A Guide for Pharmacists   ELECTRONIC

Gray's Anatomy  REF 611 GRAY 2008

Infectious Diseases: In Context   REF 616.003 INFECTI 2008

Mayo Clinic Family Health Book   REF 613.2 MAYO 2009

Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy   REF 615.58 MERCK

Mosby's Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Health Professions   REF 610.3 MOSBYS 2009 and also ELECTRONIC

PDR Consumer Guide to Prescription Drugs    REF 615.1 PDR 2011

Physicians' Desk Reference: PDR   REF 615.1 PHYSICI 2009 

Spanish-English/English-Spanish Medical Dictionary   REF 610.3 MCERLOY 2012

Reference Books

Creative Commons License
The content of these guides by Kirk Library is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.