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From The CriticsReviewer: Joyce B. Vazzano, BS, MS (Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing)
Description: This 21st edition pharmacology text contains updated information not only on major drug categories as they pertain to specific body systems, but also on the principles of pharmacology, the nursing process, and pharmacologic and biopsychosocial aspects of pharmacology. Information on over-the-counter and complementary and alternative medicines or therapies is also included.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide nurses with a sound basis for the clinical application of pharmacology. The focus in this book is on a sound understanding of the pharmacologic properties of major drug classes with clinical application through the use of the nursing process. Emphasis on pharmacology in the community is included. The book is divided into 20 units that begin with a chapter focus, followed by learning objectives and lists of key terms and drugs to enable students to focus on important material within each chapter. These are worthy objectives that I feel are met by the authors.
Audience: The authors are targeting both nursing students (as a text) and nurses (as a reference) with information about medications and their effects on patients of different ages in a concise, practical, and pertinent manner. In my opinion, the information presented is best suited for a student in a baccalaureate program. According to the information provided, the authors seem credible in this subject matter.
Features: In this comprehensive pharmacology text the authors begin with basic principles of pharmacology, including legal and ethical aspects of administering medications, the nursing process as it relates to pharmacology, cultural and psychological considerations when administering medications, alternative and complementary pharmacology, and they continue with in-depth information about drugs that affect specific body systems. There is an overview of each system, followed by particular medications with proposed nursing management, a summary, and critical thinking questions. I would like to see the answers to these questions written in the book (perhaps all in a section at the end of the book) so the reader can easily check his/her answers. Key drugs are highlighted in blue. Additionally, learning objectives and lists of key terms are presented in bold faced. A printed student learning guide is available, as is the MERLIN Web site.
Assessment: This clearly written text is intended for both nursing students and nurses. I feel it is written at an appropriate level for baccalaureate programs. It is an excellent reference for clinical practice also. The nursing process overview is a nice framework for applying pharmacologic knowledge to nursing practice. Each chapter has a summary of the presented information as well as critical thinking questions to aid the reader in applying the chapter material. I would prefer to see the answers to these questions written out so the reader can easily check his/her answers.