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Adam SK, Osborne S: Critical Care Nursing: Science and Practice, 2nd edition

Oxford University Press, 2005 ISBN 0-19-852-587-7.

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There are many critical care books that encompass knowledge, skills and expertise in critical care nursing. As a nurse who is very hands-on and spends most of her time in the clinical area, I value a textbook that combines clinical practice and knowledge.

This textbook is ideal for nurses who want to understand practical issues that may be experienced while caring for the critically ill at the bedside.

The authors obviously have great knowledge and experience in this arena, and have ensured that they have updated topics from the first edition such as sepsis and neurointensive care.

All chapters have sections on trouble shooting, such as resolving outflow problems in peritoneal dialysis and problems associated with electrocardiogram monitoring. These are the sorts of clinical problem that inexperienced nurses have concerns about and want to be able to remedy systematically at the bed space.

This book will also appeal to experienced critical care nurses, especially as a reminder if they have not made use of certain skills or experienced certain illnesses for a long time. It will also appeal to pre-registration and post-registration courses in intensive care nursing, especially as it has a 'test yourself' section at the end of each chapter – but it is very easy to cheat because the answers are just under the questions!

The book is in a logical order, and highlights the need for critical care skills to be expanded outside the geographical area, improving early recognition of critical illness and improving ward care of the critically ill. As a critical care outreach Clinical Nurse Specialist, this is music to my ears.

All critical care nurses need to be aware of the bigger picture, and not isolate themselves from the rest of the hospital.

Each chapter discusses care of the critical care patient but further reading would be needed to have in-depth knowledge. It will definitely give all readers a good foundation in critical care nursing.

You will need to have a great love of pink and red, as there really is a lack of colour and pictures in the text.

I felt the book was easy to read and kept me interested, and I would recommend it to my colleagues.

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Correspondence to Samantha Fox.

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The author declares that they have no competing interests.

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Fox, S. Adam SK, Osborne S: Critical Care Nursing: Science and Practice, 2nd edition. Crit Care 10, 318 (2006).

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  • Peritoneal Dialysis
  • Critical Care
  • Critical Illness
  • Nurse Specialist
  • Care Skill