Dr Dean Whitehead
I must start this review by enthusing what a good book this is. It is one of those rare books what is as its title suggests. It is a ‘complete’ book and is virtually self-contained as a text. In essence, there is not that much to say about this book – other than it ‘gets the job done’. I have to recall back to those heady days of mine as a second-year student (some 22-years ago now) to when I last had anything to do with a recovery room experience. I was going to send this book for review off to a colleague of mine who has far more recent and wider experience than me – but felt compelled to review it after a cursory flick through its pages. Even that skim and scan process gave me the impression that this was a sensible text written in an accessible and inviting style. After a more in-depth review, that initial impression was reinforced and, furthermore, an impression that if I were
ever to work in an environment like this then this would be the only text that I would need. Okay – some recovery- room purists might say that it is not comprehensive enough but, for me, it’s got everything in here that I would expect to want to know about working in this environment. While both authors are anesthetists this makes no difference. It is accessible to anyone working in or around the recovery room setting.
The book starts with a very handy and common-sense ‘20 golden rules’. The first chapter involves recovery room routines. I did, however, find it a little disconcerting that ‘death in the recovery room’ was covered here. I would like to think that it would more correctly be a ‘non-routine’ event. Most chapters are based upon potential problems and resultant problem-solving issues. Several chapters, in this context, are devoted to pain management and pharmacology. Following chapters deal with lifespan issues – ranging from mother and baby through to elderly. After this, several chapters are system-based i.e. respiratory and cardiovascular. The final set of chapters are aligned to more practical endeavours – such as designing an effective recovery room environment, working well with others and a short chapter on research and evidence-based practice. All of this is followed by a very comprehensive glossary, common abbreviations, web links to useful societies and professional bodies – and conversion information.
Most readers of this review will not be too surprised when I come to summarise this text as a ‘darn good read’. If you work in a recovery room environment then, to me, this text is essential reading. Even if you do not, but have an interest in what might go on i.e. acute surgical wards, then it is still good reading. If you are someone similar to me who has no real interest in this area, it is still a good read – which must speak volumes of this text.