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From The CriticsReviewer: Lynn Cochran, MS, RN (Edwards Hospital)
Description: This second edition is a wonderful reference on critical care. The content is organized systematically. All major body systems are covered with emphasis on cardiovascular, pulmonary, and neurological content. Each chapter contains a review of anatomy, physiology, pathologic disorders, assessment skills, and care guidelines. Key concepts are highlighted in charts and tables. Learning activities for students to evaluate their comprehension are included at the end of each chapter.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a practical and comprehensive guide to study for the CCRN exam. Additionally, this text is a useful reference serving as a content outline on core critical care content for new practitioners in critical care nursing.
Audience: Any critical care nurse preparing for the CCRN exam would be well advised to use this text as their key preparatory tool. The content is based on the examination blueprint published by the AACN Certification Corporation. The CCRN examination blueprint identifies the content to be tested and the percentage of exam questions allocated to each content area. With over 15 years experience teaching CCRN preparation seminars, the editor knows what content needs to be mastered.
Features: Each system begins with an overview of anatomy and physiology. Assessment techniques with normal physical assessment findings are emphasized. Abnormal assessment findings are covered in well organized, easy to use, charts. The many charts provide quick references on important clinical topics such as criteria for basic dysarrhythmias, types of murmurs, and abnormal hemodynamic pressures. Illustrations are included in each chapter to enhance understanding of concepts. Three chapters are devoted to cardiovascular content because of the heavy cardiac content on the exam. The major components of the neurologic exam and frequently seen brain disorders are reviewed in the two neurological chapters. The segments on closed head injuries, intracranial hemorrhage, stroke, spinal cord injury, brain tumors, and CNS infections outline clinical presentation and collaborative management. Included are chapters on hematology, immunology, and multisystem dysfunction. Contained in the hematology/immunology chapters, are valuable charts on mediators of inflammation, specific cytokines, coagulation factors, blood products, and disseminated intravascular coagulation. The final chapters cover professionalism, ethical guidelines, impact of religious beliefs, nursing diagnoses, and common pharmacologic agents used in critical care. Students will benefit from the learning activities at the conclusion of each chapter. Crossword puzzles, matching questions, and short answer questions test students' comprehension.
Assessment: This text effectively serves the stated purpose of preparing critical care nurses to pass the CCRN exam. The outline format conveys important information in easy to master bullet points. The text is full of well-organized charts emphasizing key concepts for each body system, disease process, physical assessment techniques, and nursing interventions.