For EKGs, I know that some of the students are going to recommend the Nursing Made Easy Books, but I've been around in nursing and worked on a stepdown unit for 5 1/2 years where we had to be able to read telemetry and administer emergency lidocaine or atropine based on what we saw on the monitors. Rapid Interpretation of EKGs
by Dr. Dale Dubin was the book of choice then and remains so today. I don't know what edition of printing it is in as of this date. The doc has a website that has some free information about EKGs on it, but it is primarily an advertisement for the book. I also have a copy of Mosby's Diagnostic and Laboratory Test Reference
. It's the same size as a nurse's drug handbook
. It has all kinds of tests including lab, x-ray, pulmonary, EEGs and EMGs listed and expanded upon with normal values and nursing preparation. I couldn't even tell you if it is still in publication since I bought this in 1999. You should have a medical dictionary. Taber's is good, but so is the one published by Mosby. I also have always had a copy of Norma M. Metheny's Fluid & Electrolyte Balance
. I have a physical assessment reference that I bought around 1997, Expert 10-Minute Physical Examinations
which is a great little book that goes through not only what is normal for each body system, but what is abnormal. It also does some focusing on very common illnesses such as hypertension, Diabetes, breast cancer, asthma, CVAs and AIDS. I don't know if Mosby is still publishing it. If you don't already have something to help you with writing care plans
, you should. They are not only good for determining nursing diagnoses, but they normally have lots of nursing interventions listed in them that help jog your memory when you are writing these things out. As you spend time on the forums you'll see that I respond to a lot of questions about care plans and nursing diagnosis. I have 4 care plan books I use for reference as well as the official publication from NANDA. My pick for the best book for planning care is Nursing Diagnosis Handbook: A Guide to Planning Care
, 7th Edition, by Betty J. Ackley and Gail B. Ladwig. I think it's also important to hang on to any anatomy and physiology book(s) you might have. I have Pathophysiology: The Biologic Basis for Disease in Adults and Children
by McCance and Huether that I use a lot to look up pathophysiology of diseases. It's quite a big book and there are others that are not as thick and probably easier to read. However, a good understanding of the pathophysiology of a disease process goes a long way in helping to understand the rationale behind the medical and nursing treatments.
Those are my suggestions. See you on the forums! Welcome to allnurses!