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From The CriticsReviewer: Maria Pappas-Rogich, DrPH, RNCS (SUNY Institute of Technology at Utica-Rome)
Description: This handbook is designed to make the increasingly sophisticated knowledge of pharmacotherapeutics available to the nurse practicing in the fields of home care and hospice. Part I includes a description of the special considerations of administering medications to patients, and Part II provides sections concerning specific drug care guidelines in treating common disease entities. The five appendixes provide information such as nomograms for determining body surface, medication assistance programs, and medication monitoring forms.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide the clinician with an easy reference to the identification and administration principles of drug regimens necessary to a holistic plan of care for the home care and hospice patient. Chapters on home infusion therapy, pain management, AIDS, and special patient populations are especially relevant and unique. The full-color drug identification atlas is particularly helpful to providers in these settings.
Audience: The handbook would be most useful to clinicians practicing in settings where quick, easy access to drug identification and management is essential to providing the highest standard of care.
Features: The content is presented in a text format with section and chapter headings and sub-headings. Several well-organized tables, a full-color drug identification guide, practical appendixes, and the addition of a glossary enhance the presentation and utility of the handbook. The section on guidelines for use of the handbook provides a key to the pictorial codes used throughout the text to indicate special management considerations, and this contributes to readability. Although the introductory chapter references are current and relevant, later chapters are not well referenced, thus making it difficult for the reader to locate or validate the source of the content.
Assessment: This drug handbook for home care and hospice is useful primarily for clinicians practicing in these settings. It provides an overview of drug therapy principles relevant to home care and hospice practice, and specific drug administration guidelines for illnesses commonly managed by home care and hospice nurses. Several unique and relevant features make this handbook a meaningful contribution to the clinician's resources.