Which drug handbook/dictionary is best?

  1. i will begin an adn program in august. we have been given our list of required textbooks. we have 3 options on drug handbooks and 2 options on medical dictionaries. i'm curious to know if one of these is better than the other. our drug handbook options are: lippincott's, mosby's, and pdr. i have heard of mosby's and pdr, but not lippincott's and i don't know if one is better than the other. our choice of dictionaries are: mosby's and taber's. again, i've heard of them both, but not familiar with them enough to know if one is of better quality than the other. if anyone has actually compared these and could recommend one over the other, i would greatly appreciate it. thanks for your input.

    happy riding, shonda
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    About AppyHorseFan

    Joined: May '01; Posts: 192
    Adolescent Chemical Dependency Facility


  3. by   MollyJ
    I've been out a long time (23 years) so you can feel free to ignore me.

    Re: the drug handbooks, I would buy either Mosby's or Lippincott's but not the PDR. The reason being is this: no drug handbook will ever have every drug you need. And everyone always turns to the PDR at some time or the other, but the PDR is primarily a commercial written by the drug companies and they don't market some drugs you'll need to look up (like morphine, aspirin, tylenol). It also has, at times, too much information. If I had two friends going into nursing school with me, I'd see if each one was willing to purchase one of the books each so that between you, you would have all three sources. (most of us don't go into school knowing our buddies.) That said, I would go to the book store and thumb through Mosby's and Lippincott's and simply get the one that appealed to me more personally. Both of these are creditable publishers in the field and likely both have decent products and neither one will have every drug and every piece of data you need. Also PDR's are everywhere (but at your house at night when you're studying) and you will be able to lay your hands on somewhere during your clinical and academic days.

    The same holds true for the dictionaries. I have a Taber's because it was it (besides McDorland's) when I was a student. But I would look at both Mosby's and Taber's and pick the one that personally appealled to me.

    In nursing, no ONE book will ever hold "All" the info you need (including your major texts), so since they have given you a choice, pick the one you like the best.

    Good luck for the coming year(s).
  4. by   puzzler
    I personally love Taber's. I do also own a Mosby but always reach for Taber's. There are many of the more common words that a student may need to look up in the Taber's that is not in the Mosby. But you will need to look at both and see which one suits you.

    A PDR is nice but very pricey and heavy. There will should always be one available in the hospital. I still have, and make use of, a smaller drug book that is more convenient to carry with me. All of the brands you mentioned are well known and generally reliable. The way they are set up for use may be the determining factor for you. Spend some time looking at them and see which one is easier for you to use and to understand.

    Good luck with school.
  5. by   AppyHorseFan
    Thanks for the info. First of all, I wouldn't never ignore a veteran nurse. I appreciate yours (and their) input and feedback. By the time I read your post, I had already gone and looked at all three books. Mosby's and Taber's both have CD-ROMs with them and the PDR does not. So that already ruled that one out for me. And after reading your post, I wrote a co-student to find out which one she purchased so that we could at least have 2 different ones. I will be contacting a third co-student, and hope that she will get the third. I feel fortunate in that I have made acquaintences with several people who will be attending the program at the same time. And we also have our skills labs on the same days, so hopefully we can do additional support in getting each other through the next two years. Again, thanks for the info, I really appreciate it!!!

    Happy Riding,
  6. by   AppyHorseFan
    Thanks for the info. I think I must have been typing my other post at the same time you were posting. I then had to leave to put kids to bed. Today when I went to the bookstore, the first one I looked at was Taber's and felt drawn to it after looking at all three. All three of the books were about the same size and although they are not hardback books, neither are they paperback. They were like a lightweight cardboard with a plastic type coating. Won't be heavy or bulky to carry around, but won't fit in a pocket either...LOL. Again, thank you for the info, I really appreciate it.

    Happy Riding,
  7. by   wsiab
    I think that is a great way to go. Start networking with fellow students early, form a study group. I had a study group that sort of just came together when we started our nursing classes and it was very helpful.....support, pooling resources, and you can share strengths. We still meet up for girls nights out. We all had different study guides, handbooks, etc (each of us bought what we preferred) and if one book did not have the information we were looking for, someone else's would, it worked out well. The only book we all had a copy of was Pocket Pharmacopia, one of my friends recommended it so strongly she bought everyone a copy for christmas. Our study group was especially helpful towards the end when we studied for NCLEX, we all had two nclex books and we all had different ones, the support and sharing of resources came in very handy....you are off to a great start, stick together!