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Monitoring the Critically Ill Patient (Third Edition)

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Title: Monitoring the Critically Ill Patient (Third Edition)

Authors: Philip Jevon, Beverly Ewens

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012

Reviewer: Joanne Thompson, senior sister in critical care, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham

What was it like?

This is a comprehensive guide to monitoring critically ill patients, covering all major body systems. Vitally, there are chapters on recognising and assessing the deteriorating patient, and with the increasing demand on critical care beds, it is essential that ward nurses are able to recognise the deteriorating patient and seek help quickly. It is a small book that can be kept close at hand for times of need, as well as being used as a revision text.


What were the highlights? 

There are five new chapters in this latest edition including monitoring the critically ill child and pregnant patient. Learning objectives are identified at the beginning of each chapter, and useful scenarios help to put the information into context.

Strengths & weaknesses?

The authors of this book are senior and experienced critical care nurses and the language of the book reflects this. However, as the book is useful to nurses outside of critical care in addition to junior critical care nurses, I feel that a glossary of terms would have been helpful to allow the reader to understand the text in its entirety. This has been provided in the respiratory chapter, and could be extended further. The layout is clear and easy to navigate if searching for something in particular. A chapter on record keeping concludes the book, something that is often overlooked in similar texts but is important in monitoring the critically ill patient, as it is the trend of data that gives us the most information, not information in isolation.

Who should read it?

This would be a helpful guide for nurses working in any acute setting; acute wards, coronary care, critical care outreach or the emergency department. It is also a good introductory tool for critical care nurses explaining the principles of assessment, different types of invasive monitoring and waveforms and so on.

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