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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Carole Ann Kenner, PhD, RN, FAAN (The College of New Jersey)
Description: This quick reference depicts the 90 most common critical signs and symptoms that warrant action. To trigger action there are three sections that guide the nurse: act now, alert, and clinical picture.
Purpose: The purpose is to increase or refresh the practicing nurse's skills in assessment and action while helping graduate students prepare for certification examinations. These worthy objectives are met.
Audience: The primary audience is practicing nurses, but the book could be used by nurses returning to the workforce as well as senior students. The author only addresses the practicing nurse.
Features: The book starts out by addressing, in alphabetical order, 90 common critical signs and symptoms. This is followed by sections that are very important in today's healthcare settings — toxic drug-drug interactions, herbal supplements and their interaction with drugs, and agents of bioterrorism. Each sign/symptom follows assessment/history, physical examination, special population considerations, medical causes, other causes, nursing consideration, and patient teaching. Many illustrations are used to depict various aspects of the assessment.
Assessment: There are many assessment books on the market but none address these critical symptoms in such a complete or concise manner. Especially good are the herbal and drug interaction and bioterrorism sections. This is a good reference for any senior student or practicing nurse.