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Book and Media Reviews

Gould, Kathleen Ahern PhD, RN

Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing: March/April 2014 - Volume 33 - Issue 2 - p 89–90
doi: 10.1097/DCC.0000000000000028

Kathleen Ahern Gould, PhD, RN, is an adjunct faculty at Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, and senior lecturer at Curry College, Milton, Massachusetts.

The author has disclosed that she has no significant relationships with, or financial interest in any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

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Brown SJ. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett; 2014

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This latest edition of Sarah Jo Brown’s work is comprehensive and timely as evidence-based practice (EBP) is a constant challenge for all health care providers. Brown acknowledges that EBP is like a jigsaw puzzle, requiring many working parts before the final project is comprehensible. In the 16 chapters, Brown presents a logical sequence to understand the process. The book is more than a text, perhaps an integrated learning package, as it offers a companion Web site for students and instructors. For the student, there are study guides, interactive flash cards a glossary, and crossword puzzles. Instructors, EBP group leaders, or professors may access a sample syllabus, PowerPoint slides, and a large selection of activities that can be used in small workgroups or large classrooms. In addition, the instructor’s site presents sample papers and assignments that may direct course expectations and serve as grading grids for various assignments.

Early in the text, Brown spends considerable time reviewing models of EBP and directing the reader to formulate good clinical questions. The PICO (problem, intervention, comparison, and outcome) format is extended to include PICOTS (adding time and setting). Throughout the text, Brown provides instruction, examples, and articles to reinforce content within each chapter. New additions include a chapter on appraising clinical practice guidelines using the AGREE II and GRADE systems, which enhance the nurse’s ability to present new guidelines and practice models with credibility.

One of my favorite features of this text is the incorporation of statistical analyses into each chapter, clearly explained in the research context. Often, it is the statistical analysis that is the most intimidating part of evaluating research, and Brown breaks it into manageable sections with careful explanation and examples. Other user-friendly features include sections about setting up EBP teams and presenting EBP findings in a poster format. These sections are essential as we need to disseminate findings and inform clinicians and collaborating disciplines.

Finally, this book recognizes EBP as a component of the Quality and Safety Movement, which I think is a wonderful framework for research and EBP.

This text would be useful to clinicians in all hospital and nonhospital settings as well as to educators in undergraduate and graduate education.

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Heart Decide—Point of Care Patient Education for Healthcare Professionals by Orca Health Powered by Harvard Medical School

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This free app has become one of my favorite teaching tools for students, colleagues, and patients. Using this app, I can easily demonstrate how the heart moves and point out the anatomical location of coronary arteries and chambers. In 1 application, the heart opens to reveal 3-dimensional (3D) images of the internal structures including valves and muscle layers. Different views or slices show structures such as chordae tendineae moving in sequence with valves. While you view the structures on the still or beating heart, blue dots indentify structures; placing a finger on the dot identifies the structure and leads to more information.

The 3D images are more effective than traditional handouts or physical models, allowing 3D interactive animations that permit the use to move from normal sinus rhythm into atrial fibrillation and visualize the chaotic movement of the arrhythmia.

I use the app as digital handouts and encourage student to download the app and use it as a reference tool. Students are familiar with digital education and not often impressed with new applications; however, after using this app many report that they have a better sense of the mechanical and electrical interface of this amazing organ! This app is marketed as a multisensory learning tool, which can also be used for patient teaching.

Other features include 8 interactive videos of common cardiac procedures such as cardiac catheterization, stent placement, bypass surgery, intra-aortic balloon pumps and purcutaneous valve replacements.

As a clinical specialist and an educator, my favorite feature allows me to select a pen from the tool bar and trace or circle structures as I talk about them. This feature is remarkably user-friendly on the small screen such as an iPhone and a tremendous tool on larger formats such as the iPad, tablet, or computer. As advanced practice nurses and other professionals teach patients and staff in many setting, this app allows you to bring the classroom with you… in your pocket. Writing, drawing, and typing on the screens allow personalization of patient teaching.

Harvard Medical School and Orca have teamed up to provide other great apps such as Spine Decide, Knee Decide, and hand Decide. Right now, the app is designed for personal use only and is part of a series of “Decide” apps, geared to help medical professionals teach patients and families. They are also tremendous teaching tools for all members of the professional team.

The app is available on iTunes at no charge.

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