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From The CriticsReviewer: Filissa Marie Caserta, MSN (Johns Hopkins Hospital)
Description: This comprehensive critical care book covers pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management of a variety of critical care pathologies. Special features in each chapter address evidence-based medicine, medications, and nutrition as well as case studies.
Purpose: The purpose is to enhance the critical care knowledge of experienced critical care nurses and APRNs via a comprehensive review of pathophysiology, clinical presentations, and management of a variety of critical care diseases. This is a worthwhile contribution and it is clear that the main objective has been met.
Audience: Experienced critical care RNs and APRNs are the intended audience. It is written at a level appropriate for new graduate RNs as well as APRN students and advanced practitioners. The book was published posthumously, after the editor lost a courageous battle with breast cancer. She practiced as a critical care clinical nurse specialist and worked in the field of critical care for over 27 years. She was known both nationally and internationally for her impact on the critical care community and was widely published in the field. Her enthusiasm for nursing, promotion of collaborative practice, and advancing nursing practice were just a few of her generous contributions to the critical care nursing community.
Features: The book is well organized and covers the many topics in critical care, including a section on improving outcomes through prophylaxis. It is organized into units which review specialty topics, such as practice in today's critical care environment, and include an "elements of care" section involving families in critical care, nutrition, thermoregulation and symptom management. The remaining units are divided by body system. Each unit/system contains chapters on the diagnosis and management of the various pathological processes associated with that system. Each chapter has special features that include case studies, nutrition boxes, research utilization boxes, and medication tables. Inside the front cover are four easy to read tables that serve as an index for the special features. Another key component is the section on unique populations in critical care such as pregnant women and elderly and oncologic patients. The book comes with a web-based application that provides the most current evidenced-based treatment options and common critical care procedures. All of the tables, illustrations, and images in the book are also available via the web.
Assessment: I am very impressed with the quality of this comprehensive book. It has a wealth of information on every topic that the RN and APRN will face in the critical care setting. It sets out the most current management guidelines for a multitude of illnesses along with an abundance of references. The topics are discussed in depth, but concisely, and so do not overwhelm the reader. This book can serve as an excellent resource for any critical care unit as well as an undergraduate and graduate nursing program. It is also a great study companion for any nurse interested in taking the critical care registered nurse (CCRN) certification examination. It is comparable to an encyclopedia for critical care nursing. I am not aware of other books in the field that target the advanced critical care nurse and APRNs in the same logical, in-depth manner as this one does.