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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Carole Ann Kenner, PhD, RN, FAAN (The College of New Jersey)
Description: This book presents information on health assessment, incorporating diagnostic reasoning.
Purpose: The purpose is to teach health assessment at an advanced stage. The book illustrates the linkages between health history, physical examination, and application of the diagnostic reasoning process. These worthy objectives are met.
Audience: The audience includes advanced practice students or nurses who want to acquire a higher level skill. The author is credible.
Features: The book begins with three basic chapters that review principles of the health history, physical examination, and how to document findings. The remainder of the book focuses on a systems approach to health assessment that moves from basic anatomy and physiology, through the listing of equipment needed for the examination, the application of skills to conduct the assessment and the diagnostic reasoning process. Special considerations for pregnant women, children (including neonates), and geriatric patients are described. An exemplary case is presented to demonstrate application of the health assessment principles. Accompanying illustrations are helpful to the novice to see how to conduct the assessment and what common findings might be seen.
Assessment: There are several health assessment texts on the market. Neither Jarvis's Physical Examination and Health Assessment, 4th edition (Elsevier, 2004), nor Weber and Kelley's Health Assessment in Nursing, 2nd edition (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2003), incorporates the diagnostic reasoning framework — something most advanced practice nurses need. Dains's Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Diagnosis in Primary Care, 2nd edition (Elsevier, 2003) is more specific than this one by Rhoads, resulting in a less useful text than this one. The Rhoads book represents a fresh approach to an old topic. It comes complete with a teaching-learning package for more content that either the instructor or learner can use. These materials can be used in an online learning environment or in the classroom.