The change in title of this the first book in the Series emphasises that this is the foundation forming the link with all the texts in the Series - including the new book Mental Handicap. The content aims to help nursing students preparing for registration and qualified nurses updating their knowledge as recommended by the statutory bodies - the UKCC and National Boards. The second edition contains considerable new material, including the publications from the UKCC regarding guidelines on the rules and competencies for registration and guidelines on the administration of medicines (1986). References and further reading lists have been brought up-to-date, for example reference is made to the disease AIDS and the RCN guidelines for nurses. The sequence of the text has been changed radically to re-emphasise the uniqueness of the individual - both as a patient, and a nurse.