Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Book Review: Nursing 2012 Drug Handbook

I will begin this review with the disclosure that Publisher Wolters Kluwer contacted me through a marketing agent and requested that I post a review of their new Nursing 2012 Drug Handbook here on Digital Doorway. I did not receive financial compensation of any kind for this review, but did receive a free copy of the guide in order to facilitate the review process. 

Upon first glance, the new Nursing2012 Drug Handbook looks like any other drug handbook I have encountered in the past. However, on further inspection I was pleased to see several aspects of this book that are both useful and user-friendly.

Traditionally, nursing drug handbooks utilize a simple alphabetical listing of drugs that allows a nurse to easily use the book as an easy and quick reference tool. This book follows the same format, including new FDA-approved drugs, black box warnings, and other information that a prudent nurse would require and expect.

There are several aspects of this guide that I find especially useful and worthy of notice, and these include:

A color photo guide to "396 tablets and capsules, representing the most commonly prescribed generic and trade name drugs." These are listed alphabetically by generic name, and the photos are shown in actual size and color, with cross-referencing to drug information in other portions of the book.

Each drug entry includes a small table with route, onset, peak duation, and half-life clearly listed.

Overdose information is listed in red.

Look-alike and sound-alike warnings are given for appropriate medications.

The useful appendices include:
  • Pregnancy risk categories
  • Controlled substance schedules
  • Quick guide to combination drugs
  • Common combination drugs
  • Vaccines and toxoids: indications and dosages
  • Vitamins and minerals: indications and dosages
  • Therapeutic drug monitoring guidelines
  • Cytochrome P-450 enzymes and common drug interactions
  • Drugs that prolong QT intervals
  • Dialyzable drugs
  • Abbreviations to avoid
  • Herbal supplements
  • Drugs that shouldn't be crushed or chewed
  • Avoiding common drug errors: best practices and prevention
  • Pediatric drugs commonly involved in drug errors
  • Elder care medication tips
  • Additional new drugs: indications and dosages
The purchase of the book also provides the owner with a one-year subscription to Lippincott's online Nursing Drug Advisor, a site that provides online access to monographs of every medication in the text. This access also includes an online toolkit, with a dosage calculator, English-to-Spanish drug phrase translator, tables of equivalents and conversions, and discounted CE programs.

Overall, I am very impressed by the layout of the book, the appendices, and the online content.

Through the publisher, I have several offers to elucidate at this juncture.
  • The first nurse who leaves a comment on this post will receive a free copy of the book directly from the publisher. (The winner will need to provide me with their mailing address.)
  • Other nurses who wish to purchase the book can do so via this link, receiving an instant 20% discount as a reader of Digital Doorway. (I receive no remuneration for these purchases, and I am simply passing on these savings to my readers based on an offer from the publisher.)
This book is a worthwhile investment, and I am happy to have my own copy, as well as access to the very useful and user-friendly online resources. 

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