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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Eileen J. Plunkett, RN, PhD (Boston College School of Nursing)
Description: This is a soft cover handbook that was first published in 1986 and has been upgraded every four years. The book conveys a great deal of up-to-date information in a very brief format using boxes and displays effectively.
Purpose: The author provides a clear, concise presentation of the steps of the nursing process and moves the emphasis from "diagnose and treat" to a model of '"predict, prevent, and manage."
Audience: The user-friendly format highlights important concepts in a variety of attention getting ways and makes the book appropriate for beginning students in associate degree and baccalaureate programs. The use of boxes to identify "rules" and highlight examples are particularly useful for the novice student. The bibliography is current and adequate, but not exhaustive.
Features: The new edition includes more community-focused information, which is important to programs with early community clinical experiences. It also orients the student to the language of NIC and NOC as well as NANDA and describes case management and critical pathways briefly. The strength of this book is attention to documentation in each step of the nursing process. The assessment chapter provides examples of resources and types and tools of assessment. It also includes guidelines for reporting and recording. In the chapter on diagnosis, accuracy of documentation is increased with the use of "rules" for identifying actual, risk, or possible diagnoses and guidelines for writing diagnostic statements. The use of computerized care, standard, and interdisciplinary care plans are illustrated to document the planning phase. The implementation chapter stresses the importance of "creating a record that clearly shows what happened, where it happened, and how it happened."
Assessment: I recommend this handbook as a most helpful adjunct in a first course in nursing.