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Library - Databases – where to start

Aileen Rohan from the INMO library team outlines the various nursing and midwifery databases available to students

Facing into a new academic term can be daunting with starting new modules and receiving reading lists, as well as getting into a new routine of study and work. This article aims to introduce anyone who is studying to the key nursing and midwifery databases. It also runs through which database to use for what purpose.

While these databases may be new to you, there is no need to worry as they will become very familiar as you progress through your course. While it is all too easy to simply use a well-known search engine like Google to find information, academic assignments require more current, credible sources.

Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) is the main nursing database. It covers nursing and midwifery as well as allied health professions. It should be your first stop for all assignments, in particular research proposals and literature reviews.

When searching this database, think in terms of keywords. For example, if the assignment is to investigate the assessment and management of pain during wound dressing changes, the keywords of interest are “pain” and “wound dressing”.

You may also need to look at synonyms or alternative spellings while searching. For example, when researching “oral care in the older person”, you may also search the words “mouth care”, “oral hygiene”, “toothbrushes” or “mouthwashes””.

Internurse and Intermid
Internurse is a full text database of 20 publications from Mark Allen Publishing, including the British Journal of Nursing, Practice Nursing, Nursing and Residential care and the Journal of Wound Care. This is an excellent resource for clinical practice articles. It also provides quick information on nursing tasks and introductions to the nursing care of specific disorders and diseases.

Intermid is a full text database providing full text access to British Journal of Midwifery.

Maternity and Infant Care database
The MIDIRS online reference service provides abstracts of midwifery resources including journal articles, book chapters, reports, pamphlets, news items, audio visual materials, conference proceedings and other ‘grey literature’ relating to the midwifery profession, pregnancy, labour, birth, postnatal care, and neonatal care extending into the first year of life.

Medline is the National Library of Medicine’s database covering the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, and the preclinical sciences. It contains citations from a wide range of biomedical journals published in the US and internationally. This is the paid version of Pubmed which is freely available online.

Medline provides different capabilities and therefore a different user experience than Pubmed.

This is the nursing database available from the Ovid. It allows you to search across multiple databases simultaneously with normal language.

All of these databases are available through the INMO’s educational website www.nurse2nurse.ie

Literature searching service
If you have a query relating to a college assignment, INMO library staff can assist by undertaking the search on your behalf. Simply phone or email the library and staff will take details on what you are looking for. They will then use your keywords to search the relevant databases.

Normally, the resulting list that will be sent to you includes 20-50 citations that we feel best give you an overview of the literature available on the topic. There is a charge of €6 for this service.

One-to-one information retrieval training
One2One training is on offer to assist you in searching the internet and electronic databases in order to find the relevant information yourself. This is a skill which is extremely useful for the rest of your career for professional development and career advancement. To avail of training for yourself or a small group, contact the library to make an appointment.

Contact the INMO library
For more information on any library service, visit the library team at INMO HQ from 9am-4.45pm, Monday to Friday. The team can also be contacted via phone or email:

Library - Databases – where to start
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Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (Cumann Altrai agus Ban Cabhrach na hEireann). The Whitworth Building, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. T:+353 1 664 0600 E:inmo@inmo.ie