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From The CriticsReviewer: Donna J Crawford, MSN, RN (Indiana State University)
Description: This book lists more than 220 signs and symptoms in alphabetical order, using a consistent format throughout. Each symptom is briefly described, followed by a list of data related to the patient's history and another list of physical examination data that the nurse should obtain related to the symptom. Medical and other causes are listed, accompanied by brief explanations. Nursing considerations are then listed, followed by patient teaching points. Some symptoms include a "Quick Action" section that describes assessments and actions the nurse should take should the patient need emergency care.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide practical hands-on information about signs and symptoms, in a clear, easy-to-read format. Key steps are illustrated so that they can be quickly referenced. Nurses in a clinical setting need reference books of this type that include assessments, nursing considerations, and patient teaching.
Audience: This book would be useful in clinical settings that deal with adult patients for both nursing students and practicing nurses. All of the contributors and consultants are professors of nursing or nursing instructors and one is a nurse practitioner.
Features: The information about signs and symptoms is presented in a format that is easy to access and use. Throughout the book there are a few one-page case studies called "Case Clips." More of these would add to the usefulness of this book as students and practicing nurses alike find case studies enhance learning. The book also could use more illustrations. There is an index as well as a list of selected references at the end of the book.
Assessment: This book is one in a series of nursing references entitled Nursing Know-How. Other entries in the series address charting, heart and breath sounds, and interpreting ECGs. A similar series by the same publisher is called Nursing: The Series for Clinical Excellence, which uses the same contributors and covers the same information, but includes more signs and symptoms (over 300) and includes more illustrations.