The Manual of Critical Care Nursing packs a lot of information into a compact volume. Covering the diagnoses most frequently encountered in critical care, each section includes a discussion of pathophysiology, assessment strategies, collaborative management, and nursing care plans. Diagnoses are arranged by physiologic system, and the text includes tables, “high alert” and “safety alert” boxes, and research updates that highlight essential points.

The first chapter gives a broad overview of critical care. Technology such as mechanical ventilation and hemodynamic monitoring are described in straightforward terms with diagrams and waveforms to enhance understanding. This chapter also discusses issues that affect most critically ill patients such acid-base imbalance, fluid and electrolyte deficiencies, altered mental status, inadequate nutrition, and impaired skin integrity. This is an excellent introduction to critical care, where some patients may present with 1 or 2 systems failing but require holistic nursing...

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