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From The CriticsReviewer: Mary Lou Kopp, MSN, RN, CHPN, CNE (Concordia University of Wisconsin)
Description: Using colorful icons to promote quick memorization and critical thinking strategies, this pathophysiology study guide becomes an uplifting approach towards the application of nursing care, rather than simply relearning the material. The book comes with a CD-ROM that includes audio clips designed for MP3 players from the author's personal lectures, 300 more practice questions, and four additional chapters.
Purpose: The editor states her purpose is to make learning difficult nursing concepts easy to do while in a relaxed atmosphere. By grasping the "why" behind pathophysiology changes, she feels students will improve application of practice and critical thinking skills, thereby improving test scores, too. Most nursing students would agree with this approach and find that this book meets those objectives.
Audience: Designed for nursing students destined to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), this book would assist learners even after they graduate. Because of the quick reference layout, this guide would benefit practicing nurses as well. The author has been conducting successful NCLEX review courses for years and has other review manuals available.
Features: The review is organized by systems, with the addition of fluid and electrolytes, acid-base balance, shock, and oncology. Each chapter begins with normal anatomy and physiology, followed by prominent diseases. However, before the pathologic process is defined, there is further review of specific normal physiology regarding each disease. Not only are possible causes outlined in table format, but the reasons why they could be causes of the pathologic condition are included. Signs and symptoms follow with, again, the reasons why. Each ailment has diagnostic tests (including findings that would diagnose it and would not), medical and nursing treatments, and potential future problems related to the disease. Another separate section included with each disease covers what students can expect on a test regarding this disease, and what treatments may be offered. It may be interesting to note that not all bullets noted in the latter section are subjects covered in the book. Rather, some nursing care items require the student to critically think in order to put the puzzle pieces together, a noteworthy strategy! Colorful icons are used to point out safety concerns and important clinical facts, put pathophysiology concepts in easy to understand terms, and express humorous stories common to many nursing students. Each chapter ends with a few NCLEX type test questions, complete with the answers and rationales for them. Considering that not all disease processes could possibly be in the book, naming those that are would be appreciated.
Assessment: This is not a pathophysiology textbook, per se, but a supplement useful for review after basic concepts have been learned. Compared to Pathophysiology Made Incredibly Easy, 4th edition, (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2009), I found the HurstReview easier to read, while still remaining accurate and professional. The presentation is impressive, covering several learning styles and truly making the understanding of pathophysiology fun! This book offers another approach to those struggling with nursing content that will ultimately result in more successful test taking and safer nursing practice.