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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Rebecca A. Phillips, PhD (c), RN (National Naval Medical Center Bethesda)
Description: This text provides the novice nurse with an excellent reference on conducting a thorough health assessment. It is organized into five major sections (foundations for assessment, special assessments, physical assessment, special populations, and putting it all together) and 24 chapters covering health, spiritual, cultural, nutritional, and physical assessment specifics. Also included is a detailed chapter on obtaining a complete health history.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a text that places emphasis on the science and caring aspects of assessing a patient's physical, psychosocial, and functional being. The text is designed to be an innovative approach to teaching health assessment.
Audience: The author indicates that the language level is appropriate for the nursing student and the practicing nurse. It is probably best suited as a reference for novice nurses who find themselves in need of a fast review on assessing some aspect of their patient's health.
Features: In the section covering physical assessment, chapters review pertinent health history questions to be asked, and the anatomy and physiology for the system. In addition to a full description, with pictures, of the technique of assessment for the system, equipment needed to perform the assessment is discussed. Liberal use of graphics, photographs, charts, tables, and special interest boxes help convey the needed information. However, it is this very liberal use that makes this book difficult reading for students and at the same time a superb reference for the novice. The author indicates that an extensive educational material package is also available for use with the book.
Assessment: While there are several texts available covering physical assessment, I am not aware of another that so completely covers the topic of health assessment. This book is a must for anyone new to the skill of health assessment.