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From The CriticsReviewer: Julie A. Stanik-Hutt, PhD, ACNP, CCNS (Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing)
Description: This is the first book to focus exclusively on the needs of progressive care nurses. It is designed to emphasize the absolute essentials that a nurse new to this setting needs to understand in order to safely and competently care for patients typically encountered in progressive care.
Purpose: The purpose is to address the learning needs of new progressive care nurses, emphasizing safe patient care and development of clinical expertise over time. Until now, authors have essentially ignored this particular population of nurses within the specialty of acute and critical care nursing. Publication of materials for this audience will contribute to the further development of these nurses, the quality of their care, and to their identity as providers of unique care services.
Audience: The authors write at the level of a nurse new to progressive care, but they stress that they are "building on the clinician's significant medical-surgical nursing knowledge base." This implies a previous level of expertise and is the same level that is appropriate to a nurse new to a critical care unit as well. In fact, this book has many sections which duplicate, word for word, sections of a similar text, AACN Essentials of Critical Care Nursing (McGraw-Hill, 2006) by the same authors.
Features: The book is organized into four sections, each with several systems-based chapters. It begins with the essentials, reviewing patient assessment and care planning, basics of cardiovascular and respiratory monitoring and management, and a review of pharmacology. The second section presents information on common pathologic conditions encountered in acutely ill individuals (e.g. ACS, CHF, exacerbation of COPD, acute ischemic stroke, etc.). The third section is devoted to more advanced areas such as cardiomyopathy, SAH, brain tumors, etc. The last section is composed of reference tables and materials.
Assessment: This will be of value for nurses working in progressive care settings. It is tailored to their practice needs and would be a good reference. It is, by design, very similar to AACN Essentials of Critical Care Nursing. Consequently, I would not purchase both due to the degree of duplication. Features of this book which are specific to progressive care include information on CVP and arterial monitoring, noninvasive ventilation, long-term ventilation and weaning, assessment of alcohol withdrawal, bariatric surgery, and other common acute care diagnoses, and management of insulin infusions.