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From The CriticsReviewer: Lisa Stepp, PhD, RN, APN, AOCN, CRNH (Private Practice)
Description: End of life care in America has evolved over the last 20 years into an important service of the healthcare system. In response to these changes, there has been a plethora of information published to provide information to clinicians on how to provide quality care in this setting.
Purpose: The purpose as stated by the author is to provide advanced practice nurses with guidelines to provide comprehensive and quality care at the end of life. Covering 17 commonly experienced symptoms as well as a review of terminal disease processes, this book provides a nurse-oriented view of end-of-life care. While this is a much needed area of exploration and definition, this book fails to clearly differentiate the actions of the advanced practice nurse (APN) in this area from the nurse clinician.
Audience: The tone and writing style of the authors make this book most appropriate for clinicians providing hospice and palliative care. The authors and reviewers are well respected leaders in the field of end-of-life care.
Features: The book covers a broad range of symptomatology, symptom management, and terminal disease states. Most significantly, the authors provide a clear and concise presentation of the advanced practice nurse role and its position in hospice and palliative care. However, although the book is directed toward the APN, there is no clear delineation between interventions of clinicians and the APN whether fuctioning as consultant, educator, or nurse practitioner.
Assessment: There have been numerous books written on nursing care of the patient at the end of life. End-of-Life Care by Kinzbrunner et al. (McGraw-Hill, 2002) as well as Kemp's Terminal Illness: A Guide to Nursing Care (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 1999) have basically addressed the same issues presented here. The main difference between this book and others is the use of protocols to guide practice. This book, while redundant in areas, is a welcome addition to the existing literature due to its clear acceptance of the advanced practitioner's role in palliative and hospice care.