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Nursing Spectrum Drug Handbook 2005.

Nursing Spectrum Drug Handbook 2005 Patricia Dwyer Schull Premier 2005 Edition Nursing Spectrum 2002 Renaissance Blvd., Suite 250 King of Prussia, PA. 19406 Additional website companion to book ISBN: 193074501X Hardcover, 1324 pages, $37.95

When Nursing Spectrum set out to create a drug reference, they traveled around the country to by to find out exactly what nurses wanted in a compact chug handbook. They discovered that patient safety was a primary concern and that the specific feature valued most was "ease of use." After examining this book, I believe they have reached their goals.

The book is separated into three parts. The first part covers Drugs A to Z, using approximately 3,000 trade drags and 1,000 generic drugs. Each monograph includes the drug's action, indications, dosages, contraindications, administration guidelines, adverse reactions with life-threatening reactions in bold lettering, off-label uses, five-way interactions including interactions with herbs, patient monitoring, patient teaching, and letter tabs for easy access. I especially liked the red Clinical Alert symbol which immediately drew my eyes and attention to any potential dangers. Section one also includes a photo gallery of common tablets and capsules with high quality color photographs.

The safe drug administration section is also included in section one; however, one must thumb through the book to locate it. Perhaps combining this section with the photo gallery would be more helpful. The section provides reliable information with charts on drug compatibilities, conversions and calculations, and treatment guidelines for emergencies such as anaphylaxis, cardiac arrest, stroke, hypertensive crisis, hyperglycemic crisis, insulin shock, and preventing and treating extravasations.

Part two includes ophthalmic drugs, chug classes, vitamins and minerals, and herbs and supplements. Part three is the appendices. Some of the topics in this section include normal laboratory values for blood tests, tablets and capsules not to crash, drug names that look or sound alike, and effects of dialysis on drug therapy showing which drugs are removed and not removed during dialysis.

In addition to the three parts and in keeping with the safety theme, the inside of the front cover provides a list of common abbreviations. The ones with a Clinical Alert Logo have been identified as contributing to medication errors ha 2004 by JCAHO for its National Patient Safety Goals and are to be spelled out to avoid errors. Needless to say, this feature is nice to have when we're asked to take down those verbal and telephone orders.

Lastly, this book comes with its own website (, which is chockfull of information including summaries of recent drug news.

I believe that Nursing Spectrum has come through with a book that will provide an invaluable resource for nurses interested ha providing a safer and more effective environment for patients and nurses.

Gale Kehoe, MSN, RN

Renal Educator

Winthrop University Hospital

Long Island Chapter 122

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Author:Kehoe, Gale
Publication:Nephrology Nursing Journal
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Mar 1, 2005
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