Pharmacology for health care professionals.
Subject: Health care industry
Author: Reynolds, Emma
Pub Date: 11/01/2011
Publication: Name: New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy Publisher: New Zealand Society of Physiotherapists Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 New Zealand Society of Physiotherapists ISSN: 0303-7193
Issue: Date: Nov, 2011 Source Volume: 39 Source Issue: 3
Topic: Computer Subject: Health care industry
Product: SIC Code: 8000 HEALTH SERVICES
Accession Number: 288538007
Full Text: Pharmacology for Health Care Professionals Bronwen Bryant, Kathleen Knights 3rd Ed. Elsevier, Sydney 2011. ISBN 9780729539296. Soft cover, 1062 pages. RRP $159.00

The aim of this text is to provide a 'one stop reference' to pharmacology for Australia and New Zealand health professionals. This is the 3rd edition for authors Bryant and Knights who recognise that many texts of a similar ilk are Northern Hemisphere focused. The authors acknowledge the needs of physiotherapy, nursing and other allied professionals as requiring a pharmacology resource that differs to the ones focused on prescription and selection of drugs such as those used by medical and pharmacy students. It also identifies that some allied professions (physiotherapy, nursing, optometry etc) are moving towards limited prescription rights and as such additional relevant information is incorporated in this text.

The text is divided into 16 units. The first unit is dedicated to the introduction to pharmacology, the legal and ethical aspects and the clinical use of pharmacology. Unit 2 focuses on the principles of pharmacology. Units 3 to 12 are specific to drugs that affect various body systems e.g. central nervous system, respiratory system etc. Units 13 through 15 address drugs affecting neoplasms, microorganisms and body defences (anti inflammatory & immunomodulating). Special topics such as drugs in sport, obesity and anti-venoms are discussed in unit 16.

Drug names used in the text are generic, with limited reference to trade names as many drugs are marketed differently between Australia and New Zealand. The format is clearly set out and includes several clinical interest boxes with special interest specific to New Zealand. The diagrams, plates and photographs add clarity. Drug monographs are frequent in all chapters with specific information regarding actions, drug interactions, contraindications, dosage and administration.

The text has been reviewed by prominent figures in pharmacology, pharmacy and nursing from both Australia and New Zealand. These reviews have no doubt added to the accuracy and relevance of the content. However, it would have been pertinent to have the text reviewed by the intended audience i.e. physiotherapy, paramedics, optometry etc. This would have increased the relevance of some of the information in these fields. For example there is limited pharmacokinetics, i.e. peak effect time, and duration of medication outlined in each chapter. In all areas of physiotherapy particularly acute inpatient based physiotherapy it is essential to understand the actions, peak effect time etc of drugs as they often relate directly to the timing and effectiveness of physiotherapy intervention.

The text is a valuable resource for undergraduate, novice and experienced physiotherapists. While the Monthly Index of Medical Specialties (MIMS) New Ethicals drug guide has much more specific drug information, Pharmacology for Health Professionals provides information on predicting how drugs may affect a person's health and lifestyle.

This text will be essential should the physiotherapy profession be granted prescribing rights.

Emma Reynolds, BHsc (Physiotherapy)

Physiotherapist, Allied Health

Starship Children's Hospital
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