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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Karen S Yehle, PhD, MS, RN (Purdue University School of Nursing)
Description: The two authors have written an excellent book for nurses who work with cardiothoracic surgical patients. The content is very nursing focused and, although applicable to current practice in the United Kingdom, nurses working outside that country will find the book useful as well.
Purpose: According to the authors, the book is intended to be a reference for nurses caring for patients undergoing either cardiac or thoracic surgery. They also "hope that this book will be a useful text for nurses working in this exciting field and that it may contribute in some way to the development of innovative and creative cardiothoracic nursing practice." This book has certainly met these goals, as it is a thorough source, and provides necessary information for cardiothoracic nurses.
Audience: The book is written specifically for nurses who care for patients undergoing cardiac or thoracic surgery. It is applicable for nurses who work in any aspect of the surgical process, from diagnostic testing to home care. It is also a very good reference for students working in this specialty.
Features: The entire process, from diagnostic testing through discharge and home care, is covered. The history of cardiothoracic surgery chapter is very interesting. Additionally, the chapters covering epidemiology and physiology are detailed and provide the reader with an excellent review of this material. The authors are also devoted to the psychosocial aspects of nursing care, and the importance of support for the patient. There are a number of tables that are informative, well organized, and make it easy for the reader to make comparisons. The references at the end of each chapter are extensive and suggestions for further reading are also provided. Since the book is geared to nurses in the United Kingdom, some information, such as laboratory values, is presented in units that may be unfamiliar to some readers. This, however, is only a slight shortcoming.
Assessment: This book is thorough and complete in its description of physiology and nursing care from diagnostic testing through post-hospital care. I highly recommend it for nurses working in cardiothoracic surgical nursing.