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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Carole Ann Kenner, PhD, RN, FAAN (The College of New Jersey)
Description: This quick reference for the most common laboratory and diagnostic tests includes evidence-based practice information and clinical alerts in each entry.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide an easy to use guide to clinical testing and influencing factors.
Audience: This book would be most useful to practicing nurses and students.
Features: Unique features of this book include the emphasis on evidence for practice, interpretation of abnormal results, the influencing factors that might skew the results, and nursing interventions pre- and post-test. The appendixes are a wonderful addition, setting it apart from other books. Here the reader will find common tests; physiology of the endocrine system and how its function may influence test results; patient safety and how to communicate test results; health professional safety while conducting or assisting with tests; and evidence-based practice and how that process is applied in clinical situations. The main shortcoming is lack of information on infants and children. For example, under bilirubin there is no mention of prematurity, breastfeeding, or birth trauma as influencing factors.
Assessment: There are many diagnostic books on the market. Detmer et al., Pocket Guide to Diagnostic Testing (McGraw-Hill, 1992), is focused on the medical model. Others, like Daniels, Delmar's Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests (Thomson Delmar Learning, 2002), for example, do not include patient safety considerations for the professional nor do they include the evidence-based practice information. This book is a nice addition and fresh look at an old subject.