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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Penny Wolfe Moore, RNC, PhD (Southwestern Adventist University)
Description: This is the third edition of a handbook that compiles the "most common health problems nursing students are likely to encounter in medical-surgical nursing" in alphabetical order. It is said to be pocket-sized, but at 644 pages, it is quite heavy.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a "handy, pocket-sized reference. . .primarily as a supplement to the third edition of Medical-Surgical Nursing: Critical Thinking in Client Care." The handbook is crossed-referenced to the main text, but it may also be used as a stand-alone reference. This is an excellent goal and the handbook accomplishes it.
Audience: Nursing students are the primary audience for this handbook, especially students who use the third edition of the main book as their primary medical-surgical textbook. It will be very useful on medical-surgical units as a quick reference for an unfamiliar disorder. The authors are credible; they are both in academia but there is no indication that nurses in practice contributed.
Features: This handbook of health problems is organized in alphabetical order for quick retrieval. Each condition includes an overview (definition, incidence, pathophysiology), causes, manifestations, diagnostic tests, management (medical and nursing), and home care teaching. It is great for giving the basic information about many health issues; if in-depth information is needed, this is not the book to reference.
Assessment: As a companion to the main text, this handbook is great. As a stand alone reference for health problems, it is just not as helpful as some others such as Handbook of Diseases, 3rd edition (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2003). In addition, it is really not pocket friendly, so moving to a larger, more in-depth book for reference might be more helpful.