Book Reviews

ACCCN’s Critical Care Nursing, 2nd Edition 2012

Doug Elliott
RN, PhD, MAppSc(Nursing), BAppSc(Nursing), IC Cert, Professor of Nursing, Director of Research, Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, University of Technology, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Leanne Aitken
RN, ICCert, BHS(Nurs)(Hons), GCertMgt, GDipScM(ClinEpi), PhD, FRCNA, Professor of Critical Care Nursing, Griffith University and Princess Alexandra Hospital, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia.

Wendy Chaboyer
RN, BSc(Nurs), MNurs(Alta), PhD(UQ), Director, Research Centre for Clinical Practice Innovation, Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia.

Mosby Elsevier
Sydney 2012

Type and scope of book
Current text for nurses covering specialty areas of emergency and critical care nursing. The ACCCN book attempts to set the Australian standards for critical care nursing in Australia in 2013. The book is written by known experts within critical care fields. This is updated 2nd edition for 2013 from the successful 2007 version.

Section 1 – Scope of critical care
Scope of Clinical Practice
Resourcing Critical Care
Quality and Safety
Recovery and Rehabilitation
Ethical Issues in Critical Care

Section 2 – Principles and Practice of Critical Care
Essential Nursing Care of the Critical Ill Patient
Psychological Care
Family and Cultural Care of the Critically Ill Patient
Cardiovascular Assessment and Monitoring
Cardiovascular Alterations and Management
Cardiac Rhythm Assessment and Management
Cardiac Surgery and Transplantation
Respiratory Assessment and Management
Respiratory Alterations and Management
Ventilation and Oxygenation Management
Neurological Assessment and Management
Neurological Alterations and Management
Support of Renal function
Gastrointestinal. Liver and Nutritional Alterations
Management of Shock
Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome

Section 3 – Specialist Practice in Critical Care
Emergency Presentations
Trauma Management
Paediatric considerations in Critical Care
Pregnancy and Postpartum Considerations
Organ Donation and Transplantation

This book provides detailed information in critical care areas of nursing. A fundamental knowledge of anatomy and physiology is required, never the less, it is easy to read and understand. The book is aimed at an Australian audience.

The topics are laid out in a balanced and ordered arrangement with a systematic presentation of information providing a logical flow. Section 1 deals more with ethics, OH&S and the ‘behind the scenes’ content, whereas sections 2 and 3 get into the grit of critical care nursing.

The pages are very text heavy, however, layout is clear with bullet points emphasising important components. Call-out boxes or ‘Practice Tips’ highlight relevant or key information. Great if you are skimming through briefly and wish to pick up on useful or important information at a glance.

For experienced practitioners, this is a great reference to up to date guide to best practice through the latest research. The book provides a comprehensive coverage in critical care guide in speciality areas for the novice practitioners.

The book use of table throughout the book has greatly added to the text sections by clumping up information. This allows the ideas to be compared with others. The text referenced the tables well and explained and displayed information in a easy to follow format.

The books has a excellent reference section for further reading on the primary articles and reference resources. The articles are mainly primary references that will suit students studying for post graduate honors and masters programs.

This book would have benefited from more images or flow charts to break up some of the text heavy pages. Colour images and design could have helped in this regards, but would not deter me from purchasing the book.

A hard cover would be an added advantage giving strength to its structure, as I see this book being frequently referred to, and looking a little battered and loved in a short period of time. This lack of durability limits it place in the clinical area as a constant reference resource.

Recommended readership
Overall, a great book to support clinical practice. This book is going to be perfect company for a new nurse to ICU or a nurse undertaking post graduate studies.

The sections on ED and other specialist critical care areas make it relevant to ED nurses and nurses from other specialties. There ED nursing section and trauma management in the specialist practice of the book. The sections on cardiac, respiratory and neurological critical care nursing have to same core knowledge and therapies. This make this book excellent reading for best practice for the ED nurse.

Overall rating
This is a great 2nd edition to the previous version. The ACCCN’s support and backing give this book great clout and credibility. It succeeds in its attempt to set the Australian standards for care of critical care patients in 2013.

I would like to own this book and recommend it to all other critical care nurses. It is a book that gives the reader the knowledge to provide quality critical nursing care.