Description: This pathophysiology book is one in a series of study guides developed with the nursing student in mind, written in an outline format using a body systems approach. Learning objectives are designated at the beginning of each chapter.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide nursing students with essential course material in an outline format, enabling them to review information more efficiently. Although this type of book is not intended to replace a pathophysiology textbook, it does serve a need by limiting the scope of material, which may be useful in preventing the student from being overwhelmed. The book is well designed and certainly appears to meet the editors' objectives.
Audience: The audience for whom this book is intended is primarily undergraduate nursing students or nurses who perhaps want to review basic concepts in pathophysiology. The focus is geared towards medical-surgical disease manifestations, but there is a chapter on gynecological issues as well. Although most of the content is thorough and consistent with the written objectives, some of the material might be more appropriate for the critical care or telemetry settings and may be more than what the new medical-surgical nurse requires at this point. For example, the content on cardiac arrhythmias might be less confusing to the new nurse if it included only the malignant or life threatening arrhythmias. It might also be useful to students to briefly explain or define certain key assessment findings. Some students may need clarification of Trosseau's or Chvostek's signs. These could be clarified in the glossary or within the text itself.
Features: The book includes a review of disorders by body systems. The endocrine and cardiovascular content is especially thorough. Throughout the text, critical information is highlighted in red print, thus drawing more attention to its significance. Other features of the book include clinical alerts, teaching tips, and points to remember. These serve to add interest and relevance to the material presented. In addition, the study questions and application exercises are an excellent way of encouraging critical thinking skills. The charts and tables are beneficial in explaining or clarifying more difficult content.
Assessment: The book is concisely written with a specific focus on essential content. The different features appeal to a variety of learning styles and maintain interest. The application exercises reinforce content and allow a format for critical thinking. This is a particularly nice feature not found in most pathophysiology texts. Although this book does not replace the need for a textbook, it certainly has merit as a study guide and a supplement to more traditional pathophysiology texts.