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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Jocelyn C Amberg, MSN, BSN (University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center)
Description: This is the second edition of a book that sets out the essentials of pediatric nursing for students learning to care for children in any pediatric healthcare setting. The first edition was published in 2008.
Purpose: The purpose is to direct nursing students to an understanding of critical concepts in pediatric nursing. The authors note that the book builds on prior knowledge. The two main objectives are to provide student nurses with "the basis needed for sound nursing care of children" and "the ability to critically think in various healthcare settings." These worthy objectives are important for producing competent graduate nurses in pediatrics.
Audience: Baccalaureate level nursing students are the appropriate audience.
Features: From foundational information on assessment, procedures, growth and development, and communication with children and families, to key information for pediatric settings and a systems approach to pediatric disorders and diseases, this book provides a very good look into pediatric nursing. My absolutely favorite chapter, which I have not seen in any other book, is chapter 8, on the atraumatic care of children and families. The content is not new, but the fact that it is pulled together in one place is great! Particularly helpful is table 8.2, of misunderstood terms. I stress communication in my classes and this chapter is simply excellent, to the point, and well organized. Another unique chapter in a book like this is chapter 31, on pediatric emergencies. It is like a mini-PALs class and stresses the important facts pediatric nurses should be assessing and tasks they should be doing in an emergency. Among the helpful features for students are the "Take Note!" sections, which offer rationales to do, or not to do, something. The organization of the book is excellent, which makes it easy to find topics. Although I like the "Thinking about development" sections, they are easy to overlook and could use some highlighting to catch readers' eyes. At times, the "Words of Wisdom" are difficult to read in red font. Some of the information on diseases is basic — for instance, epiglottis does not have the usual classic signs and symptoms. However, coverage of important diseases is in depth and well done.
Assessment: This book stresses the most important concepts in pediatric nursing and is an excellent choice as a textbook for a concept-based or competency-based curriculum. I prefer it to the one I currently use, Child Health Nursing: Partnering with Children and Families, 2nd edition, Ball et al. (Pearson, 2010).