Good ICU reference book?

Specialties MICU


  • Specializes in Jack of all trades a master of none..

Hello everyone, 

I am looking for a good reference book or website that I can quickly look up diseases and surgeries I have never heard of and quickly know some common complications/what to look out for. My old med surg books from school are not great for this and uptodate can be a bit overbearing when I am tripled in the ICU as a new grad as is every other nurse! (no time to help me figure things out) I have felt a bit reckless when I come into work and have a very sick patient and no time to look into the type of surgery they had until 2-3 am when things mellow out. 


Any other advice is greatly appreciated.  



I've relied on a few different books. Though, my favorite down and dirty, straight to the point book is "Quick Reference to Critical Care" by Nancy Diepenbrock. I will attach a link, but it served me VERY well.

Specializes in Physiology, CM, consulting, nsg edu, LNC, COB.

For stuff that I found invaluable as basic background even when working ICU, look into the 5-Minute Consult. They have an app, too (check your App Store). Even when you find yourself deep in the weeds of complexity, this will help you put all the pieces together. 

Music in My Heart

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Specializes in being a Credible Source.

Hands down: Marino's "The ICU Book"


24 Posts

Specializes in ICU | Critical Care | CCRN.

So depending on how far you want to take you're knowledge 🤪 PDF/PNG files of some critical care topics. 


Another one is First Aid for USMLE Step 1 very good summary of various diseases process, physiology, pharmacology, pathology, micro, etc etc. 

Rubbins Pathology, is another of my favorites. Great book with very detailed explanation of pathology.

Constanzo physiology, is one of the better physiology books out there. I feel that her explanation is relevant to healthcare providers and omits PhD level information. 

Dubin EKG book is a great way to learn how to read EKGs. It doesn't go into details of full blown physiology, but it's enough to get one comfortable looking at the strip and identifying pathologies

Then, there's AACN Critical Care Book. I've used it as a reference for CCRN prep. And heard of Marino's but personally never used it yet. 


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