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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Carol Ren Kneisl, MS, RN, CS (Nursing Transitions, Inc.)
Description: This is essentially a book of psychotropic drug monographs with five brief, introductory chapters.
Purpose: It is intended to be a quick reference, a need-to-know pocket guide to psychotropic medications. It is concise and easy to manage as well.
Audience: It would be useful for any nurse caring for patients taking these psychotropic medications. The author is a credible authority on the faculty of the Yale University School of Nursing.
Features: Part I (assessment and treatment issues) is organized by major psychotropic drug category. Other pocket-size guides do not include this feature. Drugs listed are limited to 60 of the most common, which helps keep the size and the cost of the book down. Including the Canadian names of drugs is a good idea. This is slender, pocket-size, and very business-like book.
Assessment: It achieves its goal of being a concise, quick guide to psychotropics. However, its brevity sacrifices several small, but important, elements. There is no explanation of FDA pregnancy control categories, controlled substances categories, or measurement conversion tables. This limits its usefulness for nursing students. The missing information could have been included in perhaps only five or six more pages. Another major drawback is that there are absolutely no references. Readers should find this discomfiting. Despite these criticisms, it is a handy and useful guide, especially for those with a thorough basic knowledge of psychopharmacology.