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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Vicki Ann Moss, DNSc, MS, BSN, RN (University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh)
Description: This is third volume in a series of nursing scholarship called Interpretive Studies in Healthcare and the Human Sciences explores caring and culture through six interpretive stories by nurses. The other two volumes are First Do No Harm: Power, Oppression, and Violence in Healthcare (2002), and Teaching the Practitioners of Care: New Pedagogies for the Health Professions (2003), both edited by Nancy Diekelmann, PhD, RN.
Purpose: This book is designed for all healthcare professionals to increase sensitivity about caring and uncaring, and to show through story form how caring can be perceived differently from culture to culture.
Audience: It is intended primarily for registered nurses, but is applicable for any person working in healthcare. The editors are well known leaders in Heideggerian Hermeneutical Studies and the contributing authors come not only from the United States but also from Australia and New Zealand.
Features: A foreword by Nancy Diekelmann and Pamela Ironsides, the Series Editor and Associate Editor, begins the book. They discuss the need for the book and how it fits into the series. Next the book editors introduce caring and culture in interpretive practice and include a story about Maria, a new nurse in intensive care and her struggle with caring in that environment. Next follow six stories that exemplify how caring is often seen by another as uncaring, depending on the cultural interpretation of the behavior. The six stories include: "Difference, Dialogue, Dialectics: A Study of Caring and Self-Harm" (caring practices in mental health nursing); "These are the Children We Hold Dear" (a mother's story about her child born with a major deformity); "Personal Dialogue on Connecting Caring: A Journey" (a story about the author's life); "Prejudice, Paradox, and Possibility: The Experience of Nursing People from Cultures Other Than One's Own"; "Cultivating Stories of Care" (historical development of caring, teaching caring, culture of ill persons and caregivers); and "Preceptors as the Champions of the New Nurse: The Context in Which Student Nurses Learn the Culture of Caring."
Assessment: The stories in this volume are extremely powerful and very easy to read. They elicit memories of insensitivity of healthcare professionals in our lives, yet leave us with a feeling of hope and an increased sensitivity to behaviors and discourse that can affect the expression of caring. Other parts of the book include terms and discourse that might be unfamiliar to those who do not have experience with interpretive thought and literature, but the message of the stories will be familiar to all.