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 the online encyclopedia collections  listed below.  You can use these links or get to all of these from the COCC Library webpage. Look for the Encyclopedias and more link (you’ll see the globe icon) and then click on Encyclopedias.  Here’s some direct links to some of our more comprehensive resources:

Credo Reference Online

Gale Reference Online

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

Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine
Gale Encyclopedia of Nursing and Nursing and Allied Health
Health and Medicine
Gale Encyclopedia of Surgery and Medical Tests

And these…

Genetics & Inherited Conditions
Encyclopedia of Obesity
Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine
Gale Encyclopedia of Cancer
Gale Encyclopedia of Children’s Health: Infancy through Adolescence
The Gale Encyclopedia of Neurological Disorders


Remember to start at the Campus Library webpage at:

Look for the Articles and More icon to access journal article databases.  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!

Take a look at the Resources by Subject icon 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 Sciences–these will help you locate articles on wellness and ethics topics.

Academic One File
Academic Search Premier
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 from the COCC Library e-journals link or may be ordered 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!


Or send me an email:


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