1. Wright, Kathleen D. RNC, MS, CWOCN

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Essentials of Nursing Care


Edited by Chris Bassett. Philadelphia, Pa: Whurr Publishers, 2003. $38.95. ISBN 1-86156-332-9. 316 pages.


Advanced Practice Nurses involved in the education of nursing students will find this well-organized text a concise reference tool for their students and themselves alike. Using a system-by-system chapter approach, the contributing authors review basic physiology and parameters for physical assessment along with the essentials of nursing care involved in the management of related, commonly occurring disease processes. Proceeding head to toe, chapters include the neurological, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, renal, metabolic, and hepatic systems. A chapter dedicated to pain includes discussion of a culturally sensitive definition, components of a comprehensive pain assessment, and general approaches to management, including pharmacological and complementary methods. Finally, psychological needs are addressed, illustrated with a discussion of various theories on the human psychologic response; an appendix to this chapter outlines an interesting framework for nursing intervention based on the well-known Maslow's hierarchy of human needs.


The editor cites in the preface her intention to "provide the reader with the concise, practical and readily usable information they need to give the patient tangible and effective care." The numerous illustrations and tables sprinkled throughout the book enhance its educative worth, as do the "action points" which ask the reader to pause and apply the content to the real-life, clinical setting. A well-developed index with bolded entries for specific tables enables quick location of needed information. References and further reading lists at the end of each chapter facilitate the readers ability to pursue the subject matter in greater depth. Overall, this book is recommended as handy addition to the reference library of the nursing students and their faculty.