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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Linda D. Gerson, PhD, RN (Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing)
Description: This is a behavioral and mental health drug management handbook targeted at nurses, clinical nurse specialists, and nursing students. Following an introduction about the role of the nurse in behavioral and mental health drug therapy, drugs are presented by generic name in alphabetical order. Key information is noted in shades of blue.
Purpose: The purpose is to present drug information that will help nurses provide safe, effective drug therapy in behavioral and mental health. This is a worthy objective and a needed book. The book, in general, meets the author's objective.
Audience: According to the author, this book is written for nursing students, nurses, and clinical nurse specialists working in a broad variety of healthcare settings, where behavioral and mental health situations are encountered. In this writer's professional opinion, this book is best suited for nurses and clinical nurse specialists, but is not geared toward nursing students. The book is authored by master's prepared nurses. Advisors, reviewers, and consultants for the book include advanced practice nurses, college nursing faculty, pharmacists, and pharmacy professors, who are all from nationally recognized universities.
Features: This book covers nervous system functions, the role of the nurse in behavioral and mental health drug treatment, and drugs representing major categories in the mental health field. Strengths of this book are the use of boxes to highlight the mechanism of action of each drug and the use of a shaded chart for dosages and routes of administration. There are a number of useful appendixes, such as commonly abused drugs and psychotropic herbal remedies. A major shortcoming of this book is the long lists of information used to present drug interactions, adverse reactions, overdosage, and nursing considerations, without distinguishing, easy-to-read features.
Assessment: A drug reference specifically targeting psychotropic drugs is very much needed; however, compared with the format of other nursing drug reference handbooks (Saunders Nursing Drug Handbook 2003, by Hodgson and Kizior (W.B. Saunders, 2003), Mosby's 2003 Nursing Drug Reference, bu Skidmore (Mosby, 2003), and Mosby's Drug Guide for Nurses, 5th edition, also by Skidmore (Mosby, 2003)), this book has a major drawback. Although the small handbook format is desirable, the cumbersome format of the information in this book detracts from the book's usefulness.