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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Janice J Hoffman, RN, PhD (Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing)
Description: This book provides essential information for novice and experienced critical care nurses. Unique in its design, the first section focuses on knowledge and skills required for new nurses working in the critical care setting. Using a body systems approach, other sections provide more comprehensive information related to care of this patient population. Case studies and evidence-based practice boxes are used throughout the book.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide current information for new and experienced critical care nurses. Additionally, the format provides separate sections for basic and advanced concepts. This format is very effective and saves time for the experienced nurse who is focusing on more current or advanced concepts and it does not overwhelm the novice nurse who is more focused on basic knowledge and skills.
Audience: According to the authors, this book is appropriate for both novice and experienced critical care nurses. Its unique format provides more basic content for the new clinician in the first section/chapters, followed by more advanced concepts in later sections/chapters. Using a body systems approach, the more advanced concepts provide information and guidelines related to the care of the critically ill adult. The editors of the book, as well as the contributing authors, are recognized experts in their respective critical care areas.
Features: The book is well organized and the different content areas are written at the appropriate level for the intended audience. The first chapters, most relevant for the novice critical care nurse, focus on essential information needed to provide basic care to the critically ill adult (ECG monitoring, airway and ventilator management, hemodynamic monitoring, etc.). The next section uses a body systems approach to provide information about commonly encountered patient conditions (acute ischemic heart disease, pulmonary embolism, sepsis, anemia, immunosuppression, etc.). Another section provides information related to more advanced concepts that are less common, (i.e., cardiomyopathy, weaning from mechanical ventilator, spinal cord trauma, brain tumors, etc.). The book also includes case studies and evidence-based practice information throughout.
Assessment: This is a valuable addition to the library of any adult critical care nurse. Updated with the most recent information related to the care of critically ill adults, it provides detailed references, including a comprehensive pharmacological table of medications administered in the critical care setting, Advanced Cardiac Life Support algorithms, and troubleshooting guides for hemodynamic monitoring and ventilator management. It is unique in its format, building from basic to advanced content with little redundancy. Additionally, the case studies and evidence-based practice information throughout the book provide excellent opportunities for clinical application.