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From The CriticsReviewer: Julia M. Fine, RN, PhD, FNP-C(Indiana State University)
Description: This second edition, updated from the 2000 edition, is a pocket-sized reference for nurse practitioners working in primary care clinical settings with women. Frequently occurring problems are covered in system-by-system order that includes signs and symptoms, ICD-9 codes, differential diagnoses, diagnostic tests with CPT codes, management/treatment/referral algorithms, and client education. This book is one in the series Management Guidelines for Nurse Practitioners.
Purpose: This book was prepared as a clinical reference for use by advanced practice nurses working with women. The author emphasizes the role of nurse practitioners in health promotion and counseling women for symptom management. The well-indexed and organized book would serve as a handy resource in a busy clinical setting.
Audience: The primary audience is students and novice practitioners in the field of women's health, but the book would be a useful reference for experienced nurse practitioners when unfamiliar symptoms or health problems are encountered with female patients. The author is both a professor of nursing and a women's health nurse practitioner with 20 years of clinical experience. Her experience in the advanced practice role is evidenced by the clinical pearls highlighted in the text and the emphasis on the unique teaching and counseling role of the advanced practice nurse.
Features: In addition to a chapter on health promotion and symptom management, reproductive concerns are emphasized with summaries of contraception, common complaints, and complications of pregnancy and postpartum, menopause, and reproductive disorders. Numerous tables and algorithms summarize and distill knowledge; while the text provides succinct explanations. Select references included in each chapter date from 1997 to 2002. Although most of the information is up-to-date, the reader should be aware that in some fields such as contraceptives, new products are emerging frequently, and any clinical reference text must be supplemented by consulting the latest current guidelines. The list of Internet resources and organizations provides the practitioner with useful starting points for research and referrals. An appendix of over 40 patient handouts could be useful and are illustrated, but the large chapter title headings on some topics and the small size of the book pages precludes making attractive copies directly for patients. Patient handouts in an electronic format accompanying the book would be more useful.
Assessment: This updated quick reference is an excellent summary of guidelines for advanced practice nurses caring for women in primary care settings and can be used in conjunction with more in-depth resources such as that found in Contraceptive Technology, 18th edition, by Hatcher et al. (Ardent Media, 2003). With rapid change in the field of women's health, frequent updating of clinical references is recommended.