Critical Care Nursing of the Elderly By Terry Fulmer, Marquis D. Foreman, Mary Walker, and Kristen J. Montgomery (Eds.); 2001; New York, NY; Springer Publishing Company; 464 pages; hard cover; $53.95; 2nd edition
This second edition of Critical Care Nursing of the Elderly is an especially appropriate resource for the advanced practice nurse caring for older adults. Because of its broad focus, in which critical care nursing is described in the context of issues related to geriatric nursing, it is a useful resource for nurses working with older adults in settings outside of critical care.
The chapters vary in the degree to which they directly address the care of older adults in the critical care setting, with the chapters on discharge planning and family responses to critical care focusing entirely on the critical care setting and those on nutrition and injury prevention being more general in content and focus. The chapters on basic clinical issues with geriatric populations form a basis for those emphasizing specialized practice in critical care nursing. For example, the content from the chapter on injury prevention is extended to the critical care unit via a later chapter on trauma. The text is strongly research-based, and all chapters address important issues related to the assessment and management of the care of older adults. There is a strong thread relating to social and policy issues, and the text goes beyond other critical care nursing texts by including chapters on spirituality and the cultural dimension of care.
Each chapter tends to cover a broad topic in a succinct manner. A prime example is the chapter on pharmacological therapy. Tables and figures are used extensively throughout the text and are worth careful perusal. For example, the chapter on specialized practice in the coronary care unit presents a table delineating the general management of coronary care.
In the introductory chapter, the editors note the lack of standards for practice for older adults in critical care settings. The text draws extensively on clinical practice guidelines and protocols. Its content is an important step toward the development of those standards of practice.