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From The CriticsReviewer: Elizabeth Sloand, RN, MSN, CPNP(Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing)
Description: This is a comprehensive guide to the management of approximately 300 diseases that nurse practitioners are likely to encounter in a clinical practice. It includes a wide variety of acute and chronic health problems in both pediatric and adult populations.
Purpose: The authors' purpose is to provide a clinical resource for nurse practitioners that is current, useful, and patient-focused. The authors have met their objectives. Although there are other similar books in print, the format of this book and the topics covered make it particularly useful for active clinicians.
Audience: This book is written for all nurse practitioners, from the novice to the experienced. At the beginning of each chapter, there is a review of physical assessment techniques of the system that follows. Some readers may find this helpful, while others may deem the review unnecessary. The book has several authors, all of whom are expert clinicians and well credentialed.
Features: The book covers a wide range of illnesses in children and adults, taking a systems approach. Within each system, most common diseases and conditions are covered. The illustrations are clear and instructive, and can be used for patient teaching. Boxed sections are helpful in organizing some material, such as HIV laboratory tests and specimen collection procedures. The bulletted format for differential diagnosis, medications, teaching, and complications enhance the usefulness of the book as an easy-to-use reference in the clinical arena. There are a few shortcomings. First, there is little mention of any complementary or alternative therapies, which is problematic in view of Americans' current widespread and growing use of these. Also, it was confusing to have asthma appear briefly in the respiratory section, and then be covered more completely in the immune disorders section. Finally, the book does a fine job of concisely presenting a large number of conditions in a cursory way, making it a good clinical tool. For more depth in any given topic, however, clinicians must consult other more substantive textbooks.
Assessment: This is a useful reference for a nurse practitioner to keep handy at the clinical site. The illustrations can be used in patient teaching, and all pertinent information about a host of common conditions can be found. There are other similarly-styled books in various specialties, such as pediatrics or women's health. This book, however, covers most patient groups, so it would be helpful in family practice or a general emergency room or urgent care center.