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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Donna J Crawford, MSN, RN (Indiana State University)
Description: More than 300 signs and symptoms are listed in alphabetical order in this book that also incorporates helpful illustrations throughout.
Purpose: This is intended to provide practical, hands-on information about signs and symptoms in a clear, conversational format. The book uses short lists to deliver information and illustrations for key steps so that they can be quickly referenced.
Audience: Written as a reference for the clinical setting, the book would be appropriate in many different settings, pediatric to geriatric, and helpful to both nursing students and practicing nurses. The contributors, all nursing faculty, are authorities in the area of nursing assessment, intervention, and patient teaching.
Features: The same format is used for each sign or symptom. First the symptom is described, followed by an explanation about how to obtain a history and complete a physical exam related to the symptom. Medical causes and other causes are listed, along with explanatory paragraphs for each one. A few patient teaching points are listed for each symptom. Most sections include an "Action STAT" feature that describes nursing assessments and actions that may be used in case of an emergency. The information is presented in a manner that is easy to find and understand. The "Action STAT" sections always appear at the beginning of each section, where they would be easy to find in an emergency.
Assessment: This is a practical, useful book for any nurse in a clinical situation. It is part of a series of nursing references entitled Nursing, The Series for Clinical Excellence. The other books in the series address diagnostic tests, clinical procedures, and understanding diseases. A similar series by the same publisher is Nursing Know-How, which uses the same contributors and the same information, but in a slightly different manner. Nursing Know-How, Evaluating Signs and Symptoms (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2009) includes a few "case clips," or short case studies of clinical situations.