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From The CriticsReviewer: Diana O. Williams, MSN, RN, CCRN (Johns Hopkins Hospital)
Description: This is a comprehensive reference text describing the important concepts of illness management, diagnosis, and management and treatment, organized by body systems. Concise and pertinent reviews of normal anatomy and physiology are presented, along with the pathophysiology of disease and current concepts of illness management. Graphic illustrations and tables support and help clarify important concepts.
Purpose: The main purpose of a book such as this is to provide current management strategies and the rationale behind them in the context of today's rapidly changing and challenging healthcare environment.
Audience: The target audience includes senior baccalaureate nursing students, teaching faculty in undergraduate nursing or allied health programs where disease comprehension is required (nutrition, physical therapy, psychology, public health, etc. ), practicing clinicians in acute care settings or rehabilitation facilities, or RNs taking refresher or review courses to return to practice.
Features: An introductory chapter briefly discusses such timely issues as health policy, the focus on the continuum of care, and changes in healthcare delivery systems under the umbrella of managed care. Outstanding features include selected critical paths, specific illness discharge criteria, and targeted patient education. Missing in this introductory chapter, and throughout the book, is any reference to the importance of cultural and spiritual differences and beliefs about wellness and illness, and what some of the more common of these are among populations in the United States.
Assessment: This text adds another generally excellent reference to the shelves of bookstores, healthcare institutions, and schools. In addition to having a wipe-clean, practically indestructible binding, the book provides information which supports the ability to provide competent, high quality patient care. A significant drawback is the lack of referenced clinical research. Research-based practice is a professional priority, and a good text needs to support that concept by example. As a result, treatment modalities of some of the major illnesses, such as Alzheimer's Disease, diabetes mellitus, and interventional cardiology, are not current.