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From The CriticsReviewer: Brenda Kay Shelton, MS(Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing)
Description: This book provides the advanced practice oncology nurse with a practical, case-scenario-based approach to study for the advanced practice oncology nursing certification examination. Using the blueprint for the exam, the author presents a series of patient or role-related case scenarios, self assessment questions similar to those on the certification exam, with answers and their rationale.
Purpose: The author identifies this book as a resource for advanced practice oncology nurses (APNs) studying for the specialty certification, and addresses common clinical situations as well as application of the APN role. The scrolling case scenario design is not intended to be used as a quick reference or comprehensive resource for the topics selected; instead it is a tool to self assess an individual's personal strengths and weaknesses within the expanded role. Conceptually, this sounds like an ideal study tool, but its lack of structure also makes it difficult to study specific content the reader may recognize as a weakness. For instance, readers who would like to zero in on prevention and detection guidelines would not be able to review all recommendations in a single section of this book.
Audience: The book is targeted to advanced practice oncology nurses, but I believe it is also applicable to experienced nurses who wish to review their decision-making ability. The level of the clinical content was not advanced enough for the oncology nurse practitioner whose role is requesting and interpreting diagnostic tests or prescribing therapies.
Features: This book is a series of case scenarios organized by disease states, treatment modalities, selected care issues, oncologic complications, and APN role components. Topics encompass the most common malignancies and well-documented clinical complications, although the book inadequately addresses the care of a patient with hematologic malignancy. Many common practice issues (e.g., mucosites, nausea/vomiting) do not have dedicated chapters, but are addressed indirectly through the different case studies in each section. This can only be found through the index, so the book may appear incomplete when glancing at the table of contents. It isparticularly user-unfriendly to have the disease states, key clinical issues, and role components presented as dedicated chapters, but to have the oncologic complications labelled in an unidentified form as Case Study 1, etc. Although a rapidly changing field, there are scenarios that are already outdated by example (e.g., a case scenario describing investigational therapy that is now already standard therapy). Aesthetically, the book does not transition well between case scenarios, questions, and answers. Information is shared in a somewhat random fashion through the rationales for anwers to the questions. In particular, the self-assessment questions are not well-designed test questions, but do help readers validate their knowledge of the topic.
Assessment: To the credit of the author and contributors, there is no other totally case-scenario book in the clinical specialty, and for that reason, this book will meet the needs of some clinicians. It is a useful supplement for clinicians wishing to validate the breadth and depth of their specialty clinical knowledge, but will not be adequate for many individuals studying for the advanced oncology nursing certification examination.