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From The CriticsReviewer: Roberta A. Fruth, RN, MS, PhD, CCRN (Illinois Masonic Medical Center)
Description: This book offers beginning critical care nurses an introduction to essential information necessary for sound critical thinking and decision making in the practice setting. The authors offer the basic information necessary for building a solid foundation in critical care practice. They also integrate emotional and spiritual aspects of care throughout the text. This holistic approach is a unique dimension of this work.
Purpose: The purpose is to present critical care content to the beginning clinician in a succinct manner. In addition, the book offers the commonly seen complex problems in critical care practice. It also supplies a reference section that includes useful guides related to troubleshooting guides, normal value tables, and advanced cardiac life support algorithms. The editors also include relevant content related to alternative therapies and their application in the critical care setting.
Audience: The authors direct this handbook to beginning critical care nurses. It can serve as a basic text for introduction and orientation courses for intensive care practice. The contributing authors are clinical experts in their specialty areas. They offer the basic physiological principles as well as application of the content.
Features: A unique feature is the introduction of each chapter by two of the editors, Guzzetta and Dossey. They offer data that demonstrate or stories that illustrate holistic dimensions of the following chapter's content. Each chapter includes case studies or examples of physiologic and emotional reactions to the medical situations. The book is very well referenced. The editors include a one-hour audio tape that reviews cardiovascular and respiratory abnormal ausculatory sounds as well as some examples of techniques in alternative therapies.
Assessment: This is a very well-written book that addresses the needs of its target audience. The authors offer well integrated content that will help the beginning practitioner learn concepts necessary in practice. The text also offers the pearls and applications that lead to sound critical thinking. Beginning practitioners, faculty, instructors, and libraries will find this to be a highly useful text.