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From The CriticsReviewer: Susan B. DeGeorge, PHN, MS (SUNY Institute of Technology at Utica-Rome)
Description: This user-friendly, hands-on manual provides support for nurses caring for postpartum women and newborns in the home. Its three-ring binder and perforated page format allows for easy use as well as transfer to other types of manuals.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a concise framework and guide for integrating home visitation into the postpartum plan for all new mother-infant dyads, especially since timely and accurate follow-up helps identify conditions not apparent upon early hospital discharge. The objectives are worthy and most appropriate in this era of managed care with its emphasis on cost containment. The book does an excellent job of providing a framework for home visitation assessment of the maternal-child health (MCH) patient.
Audience: The author states that her audience is professional nurses, nurse administrators, and nurse practitioners who work in MCH and are engaged in home visitation. Although I agree with this targeting for the most part, there are sections that are more technical in nature and are directed more to practitioners. The author has worked 16 years in MCH as a nurse.
Features: There are no illustrations. References are mostly current, with 15 percent over 10 years old. The manual has an excellent table of contents and index. It is easy to read and has an appropriate flow. It also has a glossary that is elementary, considering the sophistication of the targeted audience. The cover is bland and unimaginative. The binder and perforated pages designed to facilitate removal of needed policies and/or patient education materials is helpful.
Assessment: This manual is an excellent tool for the professional nurse doing home visitation. It provides standards of care for physical as well as psychosocial risk assessment and compares normal and abnormal findings. There is a wide range of material from the very elementary to high tech. This range could be too broad. The nurses using this book should already have a knowledge base that exceeds some of the information incorporated here. There are nurses currently doing home MCH assessment in non-metropolitan areas who neither have the time nor the skill to provide much of the higher tech care described here. This manual may be more appropriate for developing/refining MCH programs with extensive staff and support systems.