Electric Review

Culture & Criticism From the Far Distant Realms

Nursing

New Releases from Jones and Bartlett Nursing

New Releases from Thomson-Delmar

DEVELOPING EXPERTISE IN CRITICAL CARE NURSING. Julie Scholes. Blackwell.

The demands placed on the critical care nurse are, without a doubt, intense – -as physicians require nurses in this role to be able to function at the highest level while providing treatment and support for multiple patients who dwell in the throes of life-and-death illness. Accordingly, critical care nurses must test and retest their skills as they serve as the physician’s ‘second set of eyes,’ reading symptoms and administering treatment plans; simply, any error for a critical care nurse is a catastrophe with fatal consequences. In this text, Scholes analyzes the progression of skills that needs to occur for a nurse to be able to effectively master the requirements of the critical care ward. Scholes’ analysis grows from a clinical perspective and examines how critical care nurses should approach the study of nursing. The idea is to be able to take the core skills-set that all nurses must possess (the ability to be able to meet basic patient needs, administer medication, facilitate laboratory testing and support the mission of the physician) and then transfer them to the practice of critical care medicine – where the speed of the job is increased tenfold amid patients in grave condition. Basically, critical care nursing requires that a nurse be able to apply the essence of their skills to the most pressurized of all medical environments. Consequently, critical care nurses cannot just be competent; instead, they have to be variable experts in the field of nursing with the innate ability to read a situation and immediately assess patient stability (or instability), noting each subtle change in condition that could be the precursor to a bigger event. Here, Scholes tells us just what kind of mettle this job requires, looking at how skills are acquired, nurtured, polished and expanded so that an individual can maximize their potential while satisfying strict regimens of patient care. Well-written and impeccably organized, as Scholes leaves the reader more certain of the steps they will need to take in order to develop their capabilities to parallel the demands of ‘critical care.’

Recommended as a class text in advanced programs/courses that explore specialty-care in nursing.

TEXTBOOK OF PALLIATIVE NURSING. Second Edition. Betty R. Ferrell and Nessa Coyle. Oxford University Press.

In medicine’s ultimate journey to cure disease, it sometimes overlooks an obvious issue: What do we do when the patient can’t be cured? How do we gently usher them into death in a dignified and humane manner? In this text, Betty Ferrell (City of Hope National Medical Center)and Nessa Coyle (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center) do an exemplary job answering these questions for us in their well-conceived and important nursing manual. Palliative Nursing (now in its second edition) offers concrete direction for hospice and palliative care nurses who are charged with comforting patients in the throes of dying. This title is worthy of firm consideration by both instructors and practicing nurses because it integrates scientific principles (how do we adequately and effectively manage pain) with personal and private topics (how do we help one embark on the journey into the next state) in both compassionate and human terms. Upon completion of this book, the reader is left with a deeper understanding that medicine can only go so far. And when that point is reached and the doctor has taken the patient to the end of the road, it becomes the sole responsibility of the care-giver to be able to alleviate the fear and denial the terminal patient is often struggling against. Simply, no nurse who cares for the terminally ill should be without access to this text.

Recommended as a teaching guide in advanced nursing courses that confront palliative care topics. Required for all hospice care centers as an ‘on-the-job’ resource. Finally, recommended to all Health Science libraries as a general reference text.

Order from booksmd.com.

FUNDAMENTALS OF NURSING. Sue Carter DeLaune. Patricia Kelly Ladner. Thomson-Delmar Learning.

Fundamentals of Nursing carries an appropriate title, for this text serves as a comprehensive reference appropriate for students as well as experienced nurses already in established practice.

Authors DeLaune and Ladner do an exemplary job at providing a through overview of the history of nursing; standards of care; professional accountability; proper health habits; and ways in which nurses can best respond to the basic psychosocial and physiologic needs of their patients. However, throughout this text, the main focus for the reader is on the nursing process itself.

Obviously, the science of nursing as we know it has taken many years to evolve, and Fundamentals provides an excellent summary of both the art and science of the discipline which, when stitched together, define the practice of nursing.

Even though the discipline is vast and marked with competing responsibilities, nurses spend the majority of their time tending to patients’ psychosocial and physiologic needs in an effort to assist them to regain their health. In essence, this is the beauty of the science of nursing.

Yet, beyond this, instructors in the discipline are charged with helping novice nurses attain an understanding of the art of nursing which develops over time and through experience – the ultimate goal is for a nurse to be able to use the whole of their knowledge to best address shifting patient needs.

Accordingly, DeLaune and Ladner present an excellent review of the nature and science of nursing in this multilayered text, with Fundamentals divided into six primary sections which comprehensively describe myriad aspects of the profession:

Section one describes the history of nursing (including the evolution of nursing practice; nursing theory; research and evidence-based practice; and health care delivery systems). The second section offers a sound review of the nursing process. Section three reviews the fine-points of professional accountability, including pertinent examination of both the legal and ethical responsibilities which accompany a nursing license. The fourth section thoroughly describes promoting client health, with a focus on the natures of the life cycle. The fifth section discusses the patient’s basic psychosocial needs (including the stress-response, spirituality, loss, and grief). Finally, section six reviews how nurses can best respond to the patient’s basic physiologic needs.

In addition, the authors have augmented their treatise with a full array of charts, tables, drawings and pictures that will help the reader retain the substantial amount of data being addressed. The authors have also included a comprehensive review of nursing diagnoses and care plans which provide a sharply-styled refresher course for practicing nurses in all sub-specialties.

In sum, Fundamentals of Nursing serves as an excellent resource for students – a text that allows beginners to develop a complete understanding of both the art and science of nursing while also presenting experienced nurses with a reference of long-term and wide-ranging value.

Go to Thomson/Delmar Learning for information.

by Karen C. Bagatelos, MSN, NP

© Karen Bagatelos. All rights reserved.


Karen C. Bagatelos holds a Masters of Science degree in Nursing, serving as both a Nurse Practitioner in Gastroenterology and Assistant Clinical Professor of Community Health Systems at the nationally ranked University of California, San Francisco Medical Center. Reach her via The Electric Review.

NURSING FUNDAMENTALS. Caring & Clinical Decision Making. Second Edition. Rick Daniels. Ruth N. Grendell. Fredrick R. Wilkins. Delmar/Cengage Learning.

This is a major release in the realm of science-publishing – a text meant to provide cogent and thorough exploration of the fundamentals of nursing for the novice/undergraduate student.

In the second edition of what is likely to become a classroom staple, Daniels and co-writers dig deep into the basics of nursing. The lesson here is to show students that competent 21st-century nursing-care takes a well-rounded approach that incorporates such factors as technology and restorative care into the over-all process.

Basically, what elevates Daniels’ tome to its front-running position in terms of classroom adoption comes in the fact that the author has created a fully-realized textbook that attacks its subject from all pertinent vantage points.

Specifically, the authors dissect the traditional cornerstones of nursing before deftly moving into the belly of its sub-plots, in turn painting a complete picture of what has proved to be a dynamic and ever-evolving discipline.

Topics of coverage include an overview of the healthcare delivery system; review of the framework nursing care; review of the nurse-client relationship; discussion of culture and ethnicity; evidence-based practice and nursing research; advanced technology and information systems; an outstanding chapter on the elements of critical thinking in relation to the nursing process; a smartly designed chapter on nursing diagnosis (an area of growing importance given the changing landscape of how healthcare is delivered; implementation of care plans; acute and perioperative care; challenges that come with helping clients cope with loss and grief; in addition to discussion of different approaches to be taken for pediatric, adult and geriatric patients (to name random highpoints).

Daniels and co-authors are outstanding science writers who instinctively understand how the student-mind works. Accordingly, they have constructed this text to flow seamlessly from point-to-point (moving from a smart review of nursing to a discussion of the procedures of the process before delving into elements of health maintenance and wellness), thus creating this logical and in depth treatise that forces readers to build an interactive relationship with the course material.

Simply, the student cannot truly absorb the information presented here until they immerse themselves in its essence, working through its layers in an ordered manner. To this end, Nursing Fundamentals creates the perfect escort that will serve its reader from the classroom into the halls of the hospital.

Order from Cengage-Learning.

by John Aiello

ATLAS OF MEDICAL-SURGICAL NURSING. Janice Tazbir. Patricia Keresztes. Thomson/Delmar Learning/Cengage.

This marks a first-rate resource for both the student-nurse and the practicing professional already on staff at a hospital. In Medical-Surgical Nursing, Tazbir and Keresztes have created a primary Atlas that details the core of the medical-surgical sub-specialty as it relates to the in depth study of nursing.

In sum, what makes this reference notable is in its approach and its format, the authors dedicating their efforts to building a perfectly readable text that moves seamlessly from one topic area to another (skillfully illuminating key areas of focus, teaching the fine-points of how the nurse should provide specialized patient care).

Basically, Medical-Surgical Nursing is a visual reference that offers a roadmap through the grand labyrinth of the body (taking the ‘picture is worth a thousand words’ adage and applying it to the practice of medicine and to the profession of nursing).

Accordingly, this text sets out to teach myriad concepts in medical-surgical nursing care by presenting a series of pictures with carefully crafted summary-descriptions, analyzing more than 125 core-topics in the field which teach nurses to 1) identify a given condition; 2) understand symptomology and disease patterns; and 3) implement appropriate treatment plans and assess probable outcomes.

As inferred, a wide collection of material is addressed, including a chapter on skin cancer; an outstanding exploration into cardiac surgery; analysis of diabetes, cirrhosis  and sexually transmitted diseases; discussion of  telemetry; and an in depth summarization of osteomylitis (to cite random high-points).

Readers will note how the illustrations help to ‘tell the story’ of a given condition, teaching by showing, discussing instead of telling, the ultimate goal here to promote long-term retention of the factual data while teaching nurses to be trained observers able to link the appearance of the patient to their over-all condition.

Recommended to both novice nurses fresh from the classroom and veteran professionals already on the hospital front-lines. In addition, Medical-Surgical Nursing is recommended as a supporting class text meant to augment the primary course-book in medical-surgical nursing programs.

Order from Cengage-Learning.

by John Aiello

DEVELOPING EXPERTISE IN CRITICAL CARE NURSING. Julie Scholes. Blackwell.

The demands placed on the critical care nurse are, without a doubt, intense – -as physicians require nurses in this role to be able to function at the highest level while providing treatment and support for multiple patients who dwell in the throes of life-and-death illness. Accordingly, critical care nurses must test and retest their skills as they serve as the physician’s ‘second set of eyes,’ reading symptoms and administering treatment plans; simply, any error for a critical care nurse is a catastrophe with fatal consequences. In this text, Scholes analyzes the progression of skills that needs to occur for a nurse to be able to effectively master the requirements of the critical care ward. Scholes’ analysis grows from a clinical perspective and examines how critical care nurses should approach the study of nursing. The idea is to be able to take the core skills-set that all nurses must possess (the ability to be able to meet basic patient needs, administer medication, facilitate laboratory testing and support the mission of the physician) and then transfer them to the practice of critical care medicine – where the speed of the job is increased tenfold amid patients in grave condition. Basically, critical care nursing requires that a nurse be able to apply the essence of their skills to the most pressurized of all medical environments. Consequently, critical care nurses cannot just be competent; instead, they have to be variable experts in the field of nursing with the innate ability to read a situation and immediately assess patient stability (or instability), noting each subtle change in condition that could be the precursor to a bigger event. Here, Scholes tells us just what kind of mettle this job requires, looking at how skills are acquired, nurtured, polished and expanded so that an individual can maximize their potential while satisfying strict regimens of patient care. Well-written and impeccably organized, as Scholes leaves the reader more certain of the steps they will need to take in order to develop their capabilities to parallel the demands of ‘critical care.’

Recommended as a class text in advanced programs/courses that explore specialty-care in nursing.

CLINICAL DECISION MAKING: CASE STUDIES IN MATERNITY AND WOMEN’S HEALTH. Diann S. Gregory. Thomson-Delmar Learning.

Recently released by Thomson-DelmarCLINICAL DECISION MAKING: CASE STUDIES IN MATERNITY AND WOMEN’S HEALTH byDiann S. Gregory (Miami Dade College) is presented with unique focus and delicate precision: A text meant to “bridge the gap” between knowledge and the student’s ability to apply that knowledge.

Here, Gregory has structured a manualmeant to assist nurses in the making of clinical decisions that relate directly to women’s health and to maternity-based cases. In this unique and practical series from Delmar Learning, nurses are summoned to the “front lines” of the classroom and confronted with real life scenarios; the idea is to present a “case” study and then step back while the nurse assembles the myriad information and offers the proper care. Gregory’s ultimate lesson is to show that the typical classroom is a sterile and completely controlled environment, while the hospital itself is a kinetic and unpredictable stage where anything can happen at any time. Good nurses mustmaster the transition, or lives willlikely be compromised.

Clinical Decision Making has been deemed worthy of consideration for classroom adoption because ofits boldness and breadth, a textbook that in effect marriesthe walls of the classroom to the hospital maternity ward and then demandsthe reader initiate an appropriate plan of action — immediately testingthe nurse’s retention of material and their ability to transfer that knowledge directly to the care of the patient.

PEDIATRICS. From Thomson-Learning’s Case Study Series. Bonita Broyles. Thomson-Delmar Learning.

As part of the same series, Bonita Broyles Pediatrics uses an identical editorial format to stress the core idea of the Learning Case Study Series:to re-enforce principles of critical thinking so that the nurse is able to use proper judgment in assessing a case and initiating treatment. Divided into 20 independent studies, Broyles’ Pediatrics paints real life pictures (“case studies”) and places the nurse smack-dab in the middle of the treatment room with a call to evaluate varied situations and provide appropriate remedies.Each case begins by setting the scene, asthe nurse/reader is presented with various pieces of personal data (such as patient age, gender, ethnicity, cultural considerations, pharmacological specifics, and spiritual considerations), before being confrontedwith a factual summary of why the patient requires care. At this point, the reader is pressedwith several questions of consideration which, when answered correctly, offer a “blue-print” to a suitable course of therapy. Aside from its pin-point writing and sharp organization, the best part of this text is that it forgoes the predilection to “lecture” (something so many medical texts fall prey to), instead dedicating its full focus to the practical world where patients are not names on paper but instead actual living breathing people whose well-beingis in their nurse’shands.

Each of these texts is presented in multiple versions, with either 20 or 40 case studies documented. Thecompact and streamlined versions offering 20 studies are appropriate for use as a secondary class text in support of a more generalized manual on the foundational aspects of nursing.

Publisher Spotlight: Jones and Bartlett Nursing & Medical

THE NURSE PRACTITIONER IN LONG-TERM CARE. Barbara White. Deborah Truax. Jones and Bartlett.

As the baby-boom generation graduates to old age it will slowly become necessary for large numbers of citizens to seek solace in long-term care facilities. In this text, White (California State University Long Beach) and Truax have developed a teaching manual on how to transfer the skills-set of the nurse practitioner to the framework of the long-term care facility.

Basically, as the healthcare landscape changes, so too must facilities change in order to treat a greater number of patients. Accordingly, this new text from Jones and Bartlett seeks to redefine the role of the nurse practitioner as it relates to long-term care and management of the geriatric patient.

Long-term care or skilled nursing facilities see patients who present with varying degrees of illness and varying degrees of mobility. In turn, providers must be attuned to this and must be able to tailor care to the individual. Bluntly, uniform or formulaic care does not work in long-term care facilities as patients require dedicated attention that is specific to their life-needs and condition.

The Nurse Practitioner in Long-Term Care brings this very important fact into clear perspective, while addressing how best to use nurse practitioners in skilled nursing care. Topics of coverage include an introduction to nursing homes; managing medication schedules; disease prevention; management of commonly seen geriatric conditions (dementia; joint/mobility issues); as well as various important social issues like elder abuse and cost of care/reimbursement.

What’s best about the White/Truax text is that it is practical in tone and geared toward a split audience (the practicing professional and advanced student). Readers will note that this is not some theory-laden book out-of-step with the practice of medicine. Instead, this manual is meant for use by nurse practitioners in the midst of patient care — a sleek and thoughtful resource that captures changes in health care trends as it speaks to ways providers can best meet the needs of the patient.

Recommended as in-office reference for nurse practitioners or physician’s assistants, with subject matter germane to the daily care of the geriatric patient. Further recommended as a primary class text in advanced courses focused on teaching clinical nurses or nurse practitioners how to tend the elderly patient.

by John Aiello

CARDIAC SURGERY MANUAL FOR NURSES. Orientation, Policy and Procedures. Debi Stephens-Lesser. Jones and Bartlett.

During the last 25 years, the role of the nurse has expanded in many ways. Today, nurses are a central part of both treatment and aftercare, charged with being the physician’s second set of eyes and the patient’s front-wall of defense. This phenomenon is readily apparent in the realm of cardiac care, where the nursing crew plays a vital role in all phases of the process (including preop testing, surgery and convalescence). In this text, Stephens-Lesser (Fresno Community Regional Medical Center) presents an excellent text for both students and practicing nurses in the field. Cardiac Surgery sets forth the whole of its topic in authorative terms, as the author covers staffing issues and related procedures; education requirements for certification in the field; information on how nurses should approach the scheduling of patients for cardiac procedures; case management (for supplies and equipment as well as instrument inventory); preoperative preparation/assessments; reintegration of the cardiac patient into exercise and activity plans; intraoperative management protocols and procedures; specialized procedures (such as harvesting of the internal Mammary Artery); and risk management/aftercare.

Readers will find Stephens-Lesser to be an accomplished science writer who is able to convey the depth of information in bite-sized installments – the text immediately readable and therefore recommended to the student in advanced nursing programs who might be seeking certification as a cardiac-care nurse. In addition, nurses in existing programs will find this material useful because of the way it touches on advances in the field while clarifying the specific roles of individuals on the cardiac-care team.

by John Aiello

NURSE AS EDUCATOR. Second Edition. Susan B. Bastable. Jones and Bartlett.

Now in its second edition, this text marks a radical change in the medical profession’s traditional view of nurses. In the past, nurses we were seen only as support for the physician — individuals whose mission was to deliver medication and monitor patients until the doctor returned.

However, that perception of the nurse is actually many decades old; now, nurses perform myriad duties in multiple settings, serving as key components in the American health care system charged with maintaining patient comfort and safety. Here, Bastable (State University of New York) presents to us a textbook with the primary focus of outlining the breadth of the nurse’s present role — a role that includes not only patient care, but also patient education.

In this ever-changing landscape of the world, the responsibility of maintaining individual health has shifted from the medical professional back to the patient. Consequently, nurses are now on the frontlines and are expected to help guide patients through the intricate process of learning about their health. Now, the nurse is not only a giver of care, but also a teacher who must be able to show patients how to investigate their bodies.

In Nurse As Educator, Bastable has constructed a manual that looks to show both students and practicing nurses how to impart information and educate patients — further demonstrating that in order to educate, one must first understand how people learn (speaking to the individual’s specific traits and predilections). Topics covered here are vast, beginning with an overview of the meaning behind nurse as educator, before moving into a complete examination of the methods used to assess to the learner’s needs and learning styles; analysis of the developmental stages of learning; and direction on how to compensate for differing levels of literacy among the patient population. In addition, Bastable takes a significant journey into technology’s role in patient education and the ways that the internet can be used to broaden the general populous’ understanding of the human body.

At its finest moments, Nurse As Educator not only covers a remarkable number of subjects, it carefully stresses the fact that nurses are central to the health care system itself. In the modern day structure, nurses serve not only as conduits responsible for guiding patients to information about maintaining their health, they are also the teachers who must insure that we are capable of comprehending the data in front of us.

Recommended as a primary teaching text in courses that focus on the practice of nursing as it pertains to teaching patients techniques of self-care.

Of Related Interest

CRITICAL THINKING TACTICS FOR NURSES. M. Gaie Rubenfeld. Barbara K. Scheffer. Jones and Bartlett.

This new volume from Jones and Bartlett is a key companion to Bastable’s text stressing the foundational aspects of the learning experience as it relates to the student nurse. In light of the pace of 21st-Century hospital care, it is imperative for nurses to be able to use critical thinking skills in order to properly assess patient needs and then provide care in varied environments. Basically, nurses must be able to note subtle changes in patients and then understand what these changes mean; in effect, the nurse is the doctor’s eyes and ears when the doctor is not present. Accordingly, Critical Thinking stresses ways that nurses should go about training their minds in order to think critically and beyond the perimeters of the obvious, teaching traits that ultimately serve as the cornerstone of the profession.

Recommended to instructors of advanced courses teaching nurses how to think through complex situations.

THE NURSE PRACTITIONER’S BUSINESS PRACTICE AND LEGAL GUIDE. Second Edition. Carolyn Buppert. Jones and Bartlett.

This text revised in its second edition is one of the most unique medical reference books we have seen this year. However, it’s probably not that unusual that it showed up under the J&B umbrella, since Jones and Bartlett (along with Thomson) is the most editorially creative of all the academic giants, with every aspect of their list quality-driven and chock full of interesting texts that simply aren’t found elsewhere.

And Ms. Buppert’s book is no exception.

Here, Buppert (St. John’s College) has come up with a legal guide/outline of general business practices dedicated exclusively to the work of nurse practitioners. As Buppert’s study infers, many nurse practitioners enter the field without the necessary business savvy to forestall problems that fall out of the immediate purview of scientific study:

“Risk management is what one does to avoid problems later. Compare risk management to preventive medicine; risk management is preventive law. Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are at risk for two categories of professional mishap: clinical mishap and business mishap [and] There can be great overlap between clinical and business problems; that is, a clinical problem can turn into a business problem and then into a legal problem…”

(Page 249)

This book is comprised of information that NPs need to keep in their minds at all times. Buppert is obviously a veteran writer and knows the fields of medicine and law equally well (she is a lawyer and also Director of Student Health Services at St. John’s). Consequently, Buppert is able to lend her personal experience to the subject matter, intensifying it with sharp and incisive insight that lets her readers know that this is indeed serious business that requires all NPs to remain vigilant in the daily activities of their practice in order to avoid ending up in court.

Many in depth chapters command immediate attention on the part of the reader, but the sections on Negligence/Malpractice and Risk Management seem especially relevant, as this material is directly related to helping the medical professional dodge legal proceedings. In addition, Buppert has provided a state-by-state breakdown of law as it relates to the scope of authority of the professional NP (including the rules that govern professional practice). Also included are tidy case examples that offer cogent comment on how to avoid malpractice suits — advice that shouldn’t be discounted given Buppert’s background as a seasoned attorney.

It’s unfortunate to say, but today’s society is driven by the concept of “get even” lawsuits, and the medical professional is the veritablesitting duck. However, Buppert’s text provides a well-written road map which gives the NP serious counsel on the marriage of law and medicine. If you’re a NP, reading this text might actually save you a day in court.

Recommended to all practicing NPs for the reasons previously outlined in this review. Would further serve as a useful teaching text in all nursing programs dedicated to the study of the business practices of the NP. Finally, it is recommended to all Health Science libraries as a general reference text.

VARNEY’S MIDWIFERY. Fourth Edition. Helen Varney Burst. Jones and Bartlett.

Varney’s marks the authority in the field of midwifery, and the 4th edition is notable for over 400 pages of new material that has been added in order to keep the practicing midwife current with changing demands in the field. Varney-Burst (Yale University) is the resident expert on midwifery, and this text is indeed a formidable effort. Here, the reader is greeted with a full and in depth analysis of the course of care for women from pre-puberty to old age — a definitive resource that has not been approached by any other author in the discipline. The author begins with a nice series of chapters detailing the history of the profession before moving through the basics of primary care as it relates to the female patient (with specific analysis of different organ systems, preconception care, care for the newborn, pharmacology, in addition to a wonderful segment on nutrition for women). The nutrition data is especially pertinent, as many women today are battling weight concerns and eating inappropriately because of work and family obligations.

Recommended as a fundamental teaching text in nursing programs that feature midwifery courses or specialty nursing concentrations. Recommended as an in-office reference for Nurse Practitioners and/or Internists who have significant female patient rosters. Absolutely imperative to all Health Science libraries as a general reference text representing the most up-to-date discussion of the study of midwifery.

The Cengage-Learning Health Corner

2008 EDITION – NURSE’S DRUG HANDBOOK. George R. Spratto. Cengage Learning.

This pocket-sized reference should be regarded as the bible of nursing, for it contains sketches of over 1,000 of the most commonly used drugs – a manual for nurses to refer to ‘on the fly’ in the midst of patient care. Readers will note that each entry strives to paint a complete picture of each isolated drug, with analysis of the medication’s action and kinetics;  pharmacokinetics; primary uses; contraindications; side effects; interactions; method of application (in addition to special concerns associated with the chemical properties of the drug). Going further, the authors include an in depth feature called “Nursing Considerations” which speaks directly to the nurse’s ultimate mission of patient care while outlining specifics on administration and storage; assessment; interventions; and patient-family teaching (this important section which speaks to the concept of self-care and ways the patient might contribute to his own recovery). In this era of quick-paced technology, the profession of nursing has remained quite consistent (nurses serving as the eyes and ears and hands of the physician when he when he is not there). Accordingly, the Nurse’s Drug Handbook gives nurses a reference-resource which contains accurate and comprehensive studies of the medicines they will likely be administering multiple times every hour. Given its depth and timeliness, I find it hard to imagine a nurse anywhere who can afford to be without immediate access to this impeccable text.

Order from Cengage-Learning.

by John Aiello

NURSE’S HANDBOOK OF BEHAVIORAL AND MENTAL HEALTH DRUGS. Second Edition. Blanchard and Loeb. 

This volume extends the coverage of the Nurse’s Drug Handbook, offering a full summary of the medications commonly used in the course of treating mental illness. This area of healthcare brims with potential dangers, as patients often have adverse reactions to some commonly prescribed medicines. In this manual, drugs are organized alphabetically, with entries detailing each medicine’s class; primary indications; common dosages; contraindications; and side effects (in addition to special nursing considerations). Readers will note the expansive information that’s been included on dosage adjustments often required for elderly patients and for those who present with renal deficiencies or other special needs. Notable for its breadth and specialized focus – the most authoritative reference we’ve seen on the subject matter.

Order from Cengage-Learning.

by John Aiello

NURSE’S HANDBOOK OF I.V. DRUGS. Second Edition. Blanchard and Loeb. 

Similar to the other volumes noted in this series of reviews, this reference chronicles the 1,100 drugs that nurses administer intravenously in the course of patient care. Readers will find the drugs organized alphabetically by generic name, with analysis of chemical and therapeutic classes; indications and dosages (including dosage adjustments in special situations); route, onset, peak, and duration charts; discussion of mechanism of action; incompatibilities; interactions; adverse reactions; and nursing considerations (including warnings and precautions and patient-teaching guidelines). In addition, readers are presented with three short essays on the overview of pharmacology; the principles of I.V. administration; and I.V. therapy as it relates to the nursing process. This volume marks an in depth study of an ever-evolving area where, in many cases, patient lives depend on a nurse’s ability to administer the medications while simultaneously monitoring subtle changes in condition. Highly recommended for all nurses who dwell on the ‘frontlines’ of patient care as they will likely refer to this book repeatedly on every shift of duty.

Order from Cengage-Learning.

by John Aiello

CONCEPTS OF THE NURSING PROFESSION. Karin A. Polifko. Thomson-Delmar Learning.

Students entering university-level study with the idea of becoming a nurse should be required to read this text as a component to any introduction to nursing course, as it serves to provide a comprehensive overview of the profession while identifying in detail the nurse’s role in the ever-changing landscape of 21st century healthcare.

Simply, too many students are charging into this discipline without a thorough understanding of what will be expected of them as they move from the classroom into the hospital (with so many undergraduates overly-focused on wage tables rather than on the unique demands of a career as a healthcare provider).

In this text, Polifko (Remington College) does an exemplary job at identifying the skills that prospective nurses need to have in order to excel in the field. Accordingly, Concepts of Nursing is divided into four primary segments. After reviewing the history of nursing and the theory behind its practice, the author discusses the ‘environment of the profession’ – this section devoted to the healthcare industry and the nurse’s role within its layered framework.

From here, Polifko escorts her audience through the concepts of ‘learning’ and ‘teaching.’ This segment is especially enlightening, as it demonstrates to students that nurses are constantly seeking better ways to assist the sick while simultaneously teaching patients how to help themselves. Finally, Polifko looks into the future of the profession as a means to help students to realize that healthcare is in a constant state of flux and in order to excel in the field they will need to readily adapt to change.

Polifko is a superb science writer who is able to ‘lecture’ in a clear and compact style that engages both the student and the practicing professional, her message universal in tone and relevant to many different aspects of the healthcare field. And that message?: To understand that the nurse’s quest for knowledge in support of better patient care can never stop – it is the absolute cornerstone of the profession.

Recommended as a supporting class text in all introductory nursing courses – a book that tells the student in no uncertain terms what the discipline is ‘all about.’ In addition, this book would serve as a perfect primary reader in any nursing course looking to analyze the concepts of the profession.

Order from Thomson-Delmar Learning.

by John Aiello

CONTEMPORARY MEDICAL-SURGICAL NURSING. First Edition. Rick Daniels. Laura Nosek. Leslie H. Nicoll. Thomson-Delmar Learning.

This text, recently-released by Delmar Learning, creates an impressive go-to reference in terms of medical-surgical nursing as it seeks to capture advancements in the discipline that have refined old approaches of patient-care and redefined the role of the nurse in the modern landscape of medicine.

Contemporary Medical-Surgical Nursing, co-written by Rick Daniels, Laura Nosek and Leslie Nicoll, will eventually recreate the standard from which all other nursing texts will be judged – a book that updates what data is emphasized and the way it is taught to aspiring nurses in the classroom.

Basically, Contemporary Medical-Surgical Nursing blends an overview of the nurse’s place in the framework of the U.S. healthcare system with direction on assessment of different organ systems. Accordingly, the text serves as a comprehensive resource that teaches the theory of nursing while giving the student a deep glimpse into the professional world they are about to enter (presenting a thorough summary of the many aspects of patient-care that today’s nurse controls).

Topics of coverage are indeed vast, with analysis ofthe modern healthcare system; the clinical decision-making process in the practice of nursing; ways that nurses can promote health education among patients; guidance on how to practice culturally sensitive nursing care; review of the myriad legal and ethical considerations in today’s healthcare world; supportive care and coping with stress; proper techniques of health assessment; infection management; cancer management; nursing in the critical care unit; the nurse’s role in operative care; the nurse’s role in the management of coronary artery disease; and relevant aspects of gastrointestinal care (to name selected chapter highlights).

As its title infers, Contemporary Medical-Surgical Nursing is premised on bringing nursing students current with the dynamics of ‘real-world’ patient treatment. During the last 30 years, patient-care has changed drastically as technology has increased the number of people that can be simultaneously treated, further increasing the speed with which both diagnosis and treatment occur.

Simply, students embarking on a career in this field must understand that nursing care is laden with demands and layered in responsibility. Thus, achieving success in the discipline requires that all nurses be able to undertake multiple tasks with seamless efficiency (the authors bringing this point to the surface in a clear and impactive fashion).

Finally, the material included on the cultural-considerations of patient-care show the student that the practice of medicine is not some formulaic ritual, but instead, a deliberate and intense way of life that mandates that doctors and nurses work together, treating patients as individuals and not mere ‘case studies.’

Recommended as a primary teaching text for courses that explore foundational aspects of nursing care in both the medical and surgical arenas (noted for its clear presentation and up-to-date memorializations of current trends within the practice of nursing).

Order from Thomson-Delmar Learning.

by John Aiello

MEDICAL-SURGICAL NURSING. THOMSON-DELMAR LEARNING NURSING REVIEW SERIES. This is an indispensable resource designed for nurses who are preparing to take the NCLEX-RN licensure examination. In Medical-Surgical Nursing, readers will find the data they need to know in order to master this complicated area of nursing. This particular text skillfully integrates the nursing process with the systems of the body. Accordingly, students will find complete overviews of each of the body’s systems, including anatomy and physiology; direction on assessment and analysis of each system; guidance on patient evaluation; in addition to a complete review of the primary disorders which afflict each of these organ systems. Moreover, the appendices will prove invaluable, as the editors have included review of Nanda Nursing Diagnoses (2005-2006); the Ismp List of Error Prone Abbreviations, Symbols and Dose Designations; a summary of abbreviations commonly used by nurses in this sub-specialty; and a well-developed key to preparing for the NCLEX exam. Obviously, the study of medicine is complicated and riddled with detail, causing even the best students to become overwhelmed at examination time. However, Thomson-Delmar’s Nursing Review Series offers a practical refresher course allowing the reader the luxury of studying at their own pace as they re-familiarize themselves with this great labyrinth of fact and formula that must be mastered before certification in the field is attained.

Priced at $33, this is a resource that no applicant to the NCLEX exam can afford to go without.

Order from Thomson-Delmar Learning.

by John Aiello

FOUNDATIONS OF NURSING. 2nd Edition. Lois White. Thomson-Delmar Learning.

Lois White’s Foundations Of Nursing, now in its second edition, serves as a comprehensive summary of the nursing process and an excellent over-all resource with multiple focal points. Here, White (former faculty and chairperson, Department of Vocational Nurse Education, Del Mar College) has built Foundations Of Nursing into a practical nursing text which can also easily double as an on the job reference book for use by the practicing nurse.

Over the past twenty years, the nurse’s responsibilities have increased tremendously, with myriad expectations awaiting both the novice and experienced nursing professional.Consequently, success in the field requires any student-nurse to command a thorough understanding of both medical diagnoses and treatment.

Accordingly, White’s texts provides an in depth review of disease processes (with focus on medical, surgical and pharmacologic treatments) – topics that are often overlooked in that annals of nursing literature which has, in the past, concentrated deeply on nursing diagnoses and intervention.

The Foundations of Nursing (in its second edition) is divided into three primary sections: Basic Nursing; Adult Health Nursing; and Maternal/Pediatric Nursing. White has gone to great lengths to insure that this text be well organized and careful to cover a multitude of information crucial to the day-to-day nursing practice.

In addition, the text includes analysis on holistic care; the history of the nursing profession; legal and ethical responsibilities pertinent to nursing care; a guide to infection control; a review of fundamental nursing procedures; guidelines on how to care for the patient with various physiologic disorders; and tips on meeting the needs of the childbearing patient. The highlighted boxes which frame each chapter further serve to stimulate critical thinking, providing useful professional tips (such as making sure to take a patient’s cultural background into consideration in the course oftreatment) – hints that should make the nurse’s day-to-day experience in the hospital a little bit easier.

To the experienced nurse, a lot of this might seem ‘old hat;’ however, White’s treatise is meant to give the novice nurse basic instruction on disease processes, in addition to guidance on the medical, surgical and pharmacologic management of various pathophysiologic conditions.

In essence, Foundations of Nursing teaches both experienced and novice nurses to piece together the whole picture of the patient instead of merely focusing on the nursing process and intervention. And for the present-day student of nursing, success in the field will mean mastery of these concepts.

White’s Foundations of Nursing would serve as an excellent choice for use in courses that teach the basics of nursing, noted for its comprehensive tone and the author’s unique ability to speak on myriad intellectual levels. Further, the text is full of well-placed diagrams that are both pleasing to the eye as well as vital to the information being presented. Basically, Lois White has created a user-friendly textbook that provides the novice nurse with an excellent review of disease processes and medical, surgical and pharmacologic treatment options necessary to maximize patient care, covering all the important aspects of nursing assessment, planning and intervention.

Go to Thomson-Delmar Learning for information.

by Karen C. Bagatelos, MSN, NP

© Karen Bagatelos. All rights reserved.


Karen C. Bagatelos holds a Masters of Science degree in Nursing, serving as both a Nurse Practitioner in Gastroenterology and Assistant Clinical Professor of Community Health Systems at the nationally ranked University of California, San Francisco Medical Center. Reach her via The Electric Review.

THE CONTINUUM OF LONG-TERM CARE (Third Edition). Connie J. Evashwick. Thomson-Delmar Learning.

Thomson-Delmar Learning’s “Series in Health Services” is intended to provide high quality educational materials to the health administration and to myriad public education fields. As part of that series, this excellent text by Connie J. Evashwick focuses on the ever-increasing problems that plague individuals with functional disabilities who require some form of assistance for an extended period (usually 90 days or longer and known as “Long-Term Care”).

Functional disabilities are determined by an individual’s ability (or inability) to perform the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs). Examples of ADLs include bathing; dressing; eating; and continence control [as] “The abilities to carry out these activities are typically acquired during the first years of life in a definite hierarchical order [with] independence of these skills…often lost in the reverse order; that is, bathing tends to be the first loss of independent functioning, and eating the last.”

(Page 18)

Examples of IADLs include the ability to manage money; to shop for groceries; to keep the house; and manage medications. As Evashwick states:

“While ADLs involve use of large motor skills, IADLs are more likely to involve the use of fine motor skills. IADLs tend to require greater cognitive ability. . . Each person’s condition will have a unique progression, so patterns of service may be similar, but not identical. This complex progression and potential variation in service use makes designing payment systems for long-term care challenging to structure and costly to insure.”

(Pages 19-20)

As the Baby-Boom Generation comes upon retirement age, there will be no shortage of patients requiring long-term care. In The Continuum of Long-Term Care, Evashwick points out that the elderly population will double by the year 2030, rising to 70 million, the majority of which will likely have one or more chronic conditions (these may range from life threatening illnesses, such as heart disease, to conditions which produce functional disabilities).

Moreover, as these seniors age into their seventies and eighties, the need for all types of health services will increase dramatically, with the need for long-term care for those who can no longer perform the basic activities of daily living increasing as well. However, despite their physical shortcomings, the majority of these individuals will continue to reside in their communities, often under the care of informal caregivers with little or no training in attending elderly patients beset by a multitude of chronic afflictions (and without adequate financial resources to care for their disabled family members).

The following statistics foretell the severity of the situation:

“Informal caregivers are the major providers of long-term care to the millions of people with functional disabilities and chronic conditions who live outside of institutions. About one-quarter of all U.S. families report being engaged in caregiving activities and the estimated numbers of caregivers to disabled persons of all ages is 52 million. Caregivers are typically immediate family members, with nearly two-thirds being spouses or adult children. Between 59% and 75% of all caregivers are women, who often have to manage multiple roles as spouse, parent, and employee in addition to their caregiving responsibilities.”

(Pages 42-43)

(Emphasis added in bold)

These figures are truly astounding, and it is not surprising that a health care crisis looms on the horizon as one comes to absorb the fact that one out of four families are presently engaged in the daily care of a loved one, with such caregivers spending thousands of hours of unpaid work time carrying out their responsibilities. In addition, as a by-product of the enormous stress that accompanies these circumstances, many caregivers suffer from depression, loss of leisure time, and conflicts within families.

Although non-profit hospitals outnumber for-profit hospitals by a 3 to 1 margin, it is nonetheless readily evident that the ability of the patient to pay is the over-riding factor impacting just who these hospitals will choose to help and what programs will be made available to the needy consumer. Furthermore, the quality of such hospital treatment cannot be guaranteed; as Evashwick points out, medical errors in hospitals reportedly account for as many as 98,000 deaths annually in the United States:

“Each day of hospitalization is estimated to increase a patient’s chances of experiencing an adverse event by 6 percent (Kohn, Corrigan & Donaldson, 1999). Adverse patient events also include approximately 2 million nosocomial (hospital-acquired) infections annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control. (CDC, 1992).”

(Page 63)

It is clear, after reviewing Evashwick’s chapter on the costs of long-term care, that citizens requiring dedicated assistance will continue to be tended by their immediate family (and, to a limited extent, by social networks), ultimately depleting the resources of both. As Evashwick asserts, there is simply a dearth of social-service programs equipped to faciliate long-term care for the chronically ill:

“Medicaid is not a single program, but a collection of 50 state programs that fall within a range of options determined by the federal government . . .As a result of state variations, people with identical circumstances may be eligible to receive Medicaid benefits in one state but not in another. Even individuals in the same state with similar incomes may not be equally eligible for benefits because of welfare rules.”

(Pages 244-245)

Thus, despite the morass of state and federal legislation enacted subsequent to the creation of Medicare in 1966, basic health insurance and a rational managed care program for all citizens remains a distant dream.

Accordingly, Connie Evashwick’s treatise on the subject makes it clear to both practicing health care professionals and to students entering the field that this question is still the most pressing social concern America faces.Unfortunately, after more than 40 years, we still have no real answer to the question of how to best meet the needs of our elderly after they become disabled.

Order from Thomson-Delmar Learning.

by Frank Aiello

DELMAR’S FUNDAMENTAL AND ADVANCED NURSING SKILLS. Gaylene Altman. Delmar Thomson Learning.

As the title implies, this text examines basic nursing skills and how they build into the ability to complete advanced procedures. Delmar’s Fundamental is note-worthy because it is centered around the day-to-day nursing process: rather than just serving as a classroom tool, the book can be used by nurses in the throes of caring for sick patients – giving the reader immediate and practical value.

In today’s world of medical care, the nurse’s role has expanded greatly. Today, nurses are expected to be able to know and do more, while taking care of many more patients. Accordingly, the stresses which affect their working environments have multiplied. Given these changes in working conditions, nurses must be better prepared to perform their duties and care for the sick.

And that’s where Delmar’s Fundamental comes into play.

In its second edition, the text offers step-by-step instruction for nurses in physical assessment/examination, safety and infection control, patient care, basic care, medication administration, nutrition, elimination, oxygenation, circulation, wound care, immobilization/ support and special procedures as related to nursing care. Within these topics area, Altman (who is an RN and Ph.D. from the University of Washington) expertly augments the basic material by discussing issues such as when a nurse should and shouldn’t delegate tasks to an unlicensed aide. This is very important information because of the legal ramifications which could result from the wrong decision (see: Library Advisory on Industry News Page for a review of the Nurse Practitioner’s Legal Reference). In addition, there is also a nice section on the typical errors nurses make and how these gaffes can be avoided.

Recommended to all nurses as a day-to-day reference. Appropriate as a teaching text for its clarity and exhaustive coverage of the topic areas. Further recommended to all college and university libraries with nursing programs as a general reference text.

Order from Thomson-Delmar Learning.

PEDIATRIC NURSING. Skills and Procedures. Barbara L. Mandleco. Thomson-Delmar Learning. This specialty text focuses on nursing care for the child patient. Pediatric is an important book in that it clearly lays out for discussion the fact that child-patients much be approached differently than adults. Here, Mandleco (College of Nursing Brigham Young University) does a comprehensive job in fully addressing what nurses need to know about caring for young patients. Starting from the beginning, Mandleco instructs readers how the nurse is to assess the child-patient’s health (including health history, physical examination, vital signs and assessment of nutritional and developmental deficiencies). From here, the reader is escorted through the proper procedures relating to specimen collection (the blood draw chapter is important since this is very difficult to perform on a child), medication administration, peripheral IV-line insertion (another extremely important segment) and wound care (among a host of other information). As you can see from this summary of major topics, Pediatric covers the whole of the nurse’s duties as they relate to the pre-teen patient. But more than being detailed, well-written and expertly formatted for easy review, the true value is in the book’s ability to teach the student nurse to slow down and realize that all patients are not alike — especially where children are concerned. This fact cannot be over-emphasized, and accordingly, this selection should be required reading in all nursing programs.

Also recommended to Health Science libraries for its long-term reference value.

Order from Thomson-Delmar Learning.

HEALTH UNIT COORDINATOR: 21st CENTURY PROFESSIONAL. Donna J. Kuhns. Patricia N. Rice. Linda L. Winslow. Thomson-Delmar Learning. Specifically designed for the community college or nursing administration student, Health Unit reviews the role of the Health Unit Coordinator in the hospital setting. The Health Unit Coordinator position dates back to World War II and basically serves as support for the hospital nursing staff, assisting in the completion of non-clinical duties. However, over the last 60 years (due to technology and research), this position has changed drastically. Accordingly, Kuhns and her co-authors have written a text for the 21st century student meant to help them prepare for the Health Care Unit Coordinator Certificate Exam. Topics covered here include the history of medicine, proper patient care, an overview of the Health Unit Coordinator’s primary functions, an overview of the hospital setting including administration and support services, patient privacy, patient rights, advanced directives, hospital communication systems, and medical transcription. One of the best features to be included is the addition of a study question segment which concludes each chapter — forcing the reader to immediately test themselves on what they’ve learned/retained.

Recommended to all instructors who teach courses focused on hospital administration. Would also prove to be a useful reference tool for the coordinator of the private physician’s office because of the wealth of information it provides on the behind-the-scenes world of the medical office. Finally, recommended to all Health Science libraries as a general reference text.

Order from Thomson-Delmar Learning.
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This entry was posted on June 28, 2013 by in Reference and tagged .
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