The latest revision of the Materia Medica has been entrusted to Miss Bean of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Training School for Nurses.
As in former revisions, synthetic remedies which have borne the test of practical experiment have been included, no attempt being made to present a full list of these innumerable drugs. As in former revisions also, the sources of information have been personal rather than from books; not taken from other works on Materia Medica but collected in the pharmacy, the class-room, and the clinic. Thus is preserved the practical character which is essential in the teaching of the nurse.
Whenever necessary to meet the changes in the last - Ninth Decennial - edition of the United States Pharmacopoeia the text of the book has been changed. A generous list of new drugs or new preparations of drugs will be found either in their proper classification or towards the end of the book, and much recent material on alcohol, salts, and other substances has been incorporated. Changes in dosage have been made, the therapeutic classification recast and improved, and new tables added.
There is given information on serum- and organotherapy, notes on the hypodermic administration of drugs, emetics, and the treatment of poisoning, a list of the better-known mineral waters, and an exhaustive index which will greatly facilitate the book's use by the student.
Especial thanks for practical help in the past are due to Mr. J. L. Walz, the late pharmacist of the Johns Hopkins Hospital.
The author feels impelled by the experience of many years to remind nurses of the subtle dangers of many potent remedies with which they are entrusted, and to urge upon them most gravely never to lose sight of the dreadful possibility of falling under the influence of certain drug habits unfortunately but too easily acquired in accession to the relief offered by drugs in moments of fatigue or of nerve exhaustion. Not to prop her failing strength by stimulating drugs is imperative for the nurse. It is never necessary to tell a good nurse not to prescribe for others - she scorns an act which is not only unprofessional, but in the worst possible taste.
The newest teaching inclines steadily to less and less drug giving. Dr. Osier says that the patient who takes a medicine must recover twice - once from the disease and once from the medicine. The newer teaching of nurses, too, must remove the cult of the drug somewhat farther into the background and make more prominent the glorious principles of health preservation and reverence for Nature and her laws.