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From The CriticsReviewer:Julie A. Stanik-Hutt, PhD, ACNP, CCNS(Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing)
Description:This pocket-sized book designed for use in the bedside care of critically ill adults is a companion to the textbook AACN Essentials of Critical Care Nursing. It includes selected tables and figures which are most likely to be needed as reference at the bedside.
Purpose:The authors state that they wanted to "provide busy clinicians an easy to use reference" for use in the hour-to-hour care of critically ill individuals. As the authors state, even experienced clinicians have difficulty remembering the volumes of details which may be needed in practice. This book allows the user to quickly retrieve information regarding the use of basic critical care technology. It is not a comprehensive reference but the contents, spiral binding, and size make it well suited to the stated purpose.
Audience:This book would be most useful to a nurse new to critical care practice. It would also be useful to nursing and medical students participating in critical care practicums. A more experienced nurse might find it helpful when working with new equipment or in unfamiliar situations ("floating" to another ICU, working as a "traveler"). The emphasis is on techniques and technology used to monitor critically ill patients. The authors are well known and established critical care nurse experts.
Features:The book includes information regarding patient assessment, critical care monitoring (cardiovascular, pulmonary, neurological) plus tables of frequently used assessment calculations with norms and commonly used critical caremedications. Evidence-based practice information is provided where available (e.g., ST segment monitoring). Continuous EKG monitoring and dysrhythmia interpretation consumes a substantial part of the book. Information pertaining to preadmission preparation and patient transfers is unique. The pharmacology information incorporated is restricted to true critical care drugs.
Assessment:Reference content in this handbook is excellent and would be useful in practice. It is restricted to essential information making retrieval easy, and is truly a pocket friendly size. Many other pocket books would never fit into a pocket and contain so much material that it is difficult to retrieve the desired information. Usefulness of this book to the average RN (aged 47 or older) could be limited by the font size. However, many users would need a magnification device, especially in the low light situations sometimes found in clinical units.