Nursing 107, Part One

Information Literacy Session for Surgical Procedure Assignment

Goals for this library session: develop and use skills for research, including online encyclopedias, databases to locate articles, and websites.


Why use a library webpage for accessing information when you can just use Google, you ask?

WELL!  Think of the library as your map to the world of information.  You can wander around the free web (Google, etc) and stumble across factual, accurate information just like you can wander around Europe and stumble upon the Eifel tower (eventually!).  There’s a lot of great stuff that can be found by wandering, but if you want efficient, effective access to information, library search tools help you get there fast.

Furthermore, have you ever felt like you needed a credit card available to access the good stuff on the web?  Doesn’t that feel a little stressful?

Libraries buy the good stuff for you.  That’s what we’re all about–giving you access to good, valuable, scholarly information.  The thing is, you have to know how to use library search tools in order to find the good stuff.  It’s not harder than Google–it’s just a little more spread out–you use different library search tools to locate different kinds of information, such as books, articles, and facts.


Sometimes you just can’t search a journal article database successfully until you know at least some of the basic background (and language) for your topic.  To locate background information, try one of our online encyclopedia collections:

Credo Reference Online

Gale Reference Online

You can use these links or get to all of these from the COCC Library web page at

Here’s what you do:



Then look for the Resources by Type link.  Scroll down a bit, and you’ll see the Encyclopedias and Dictionaries image.  Click on it to get to our online encyclopedia collections.


Explore some other options for locating background information at COCC’s collection of online encyclopedias at

Some specific online encyclopedias that are useful for topics in Nursing/Surgical Procedure are:

Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine (2011)
Gale Encyclopedia of Nursing and Nursing and Allied Health (2018)
Health and Medicine (2011)
Gale Encyclopedia of Surgery and Medical Tests (2009)

And these…

Genetics & Inherited Conditions (2010)
Encyclopedia of Obesity (2008)
Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine (2011)
Gale Encyclopedia of Cancer (2010)
Gale Encyclopedia of Children’s Health: Infancy through Adolescence (2011)
The Gale Encyclopedia of Neurological Disorders (2012)


Journal article databases let you search on your topic to locate academic, scholarly articles.  The library purchases these databases for you to search–this is different from searching on Google or other “free web” search engines!

Get to COCC’s Barber Library list of databases at

You can also start with our COCC Library webpage and click on:


Then choose:


Take a look at the Resources by Subject link as well–it will list all databases and online encyclopedias for specific subject areas–including Health Sciences.


Some database highlights from the Resources by Subject page for Health SciencesNursing are listed below.  These will help you locate articles on nursing topics.

Academic Search Premier
CINAHL (Cummulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature)
Health Reference Center Academic
Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition
Nursing and Allied Health Collection
Nursing Resource Center


Journal Article Database Search Hints

  • start with keyword searching when available

  • use ” ” for phrases
    example: “gastric bypass”

  • use * to locate endings to words (truncation).
    example: laparoscop*

  • use boolean commands
    example: morbid and obes*
    example: “gastric bypass” and complicat*

  • searches can be specific

  • full text articles may be e-mailed, downloaded or printed from the screen.

  • other articles may be located via inter-library loan.


Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons has millions of images, diagrams, animations, audio files, and video files that you can use for non-commercial purposes as long as credit is given to the creator of the file.

Image Quest
Access more than one million rights-cleared images from over 40 of the best collections in the world.

Google Images
Once you get to your results, go to TOOLS, then choose Usage Rights, then choose type of rights.



Oh, and don’t forget!   You can always stop by or call the Barber Library Information Deskref….


Use our 24/7 chat service listed on every subject guide:


Or e-mail us at:


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s