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From The CriticsReviewer: Mary Kay Sambuchino, B.A. (George Washington University)
Description: This desk reference outlines the roles and responsibilities of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) in hospitals and other healthcare settings. It presents an overview of the many facets of medical care — from record-keeping to genetics — and includes the terminology, standard practice, and clinical competencies with which SLPs in these settings should be familiar and capable. The previous edition was published in 1998.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide SLPs with a basic understanding of the conditions that bring patients to the medical setting and the care that such patients receive. It can also be used in school settings, where medically complicated children may be included in the SLP's caseload. A basic overview of medical settings, to inform and enhance the SLP's role in healthcare, is a worthy objective.
Audience: Although not directly stated, the preface implies that the book is written for postgraduate or post-clinical fellowship year (CFY) practitioners of medical SLP. The author provides an overview for readers who have already acquired medical SLP knowledge, practices, and principles in their graduate and clinical coursework. This desk reference, while perhaps best suited to practitioners with a superficial grasp of medical terminology, is organized and simplified well enough that a graduate student or CFY clinician should be able to use it effectively. The author has over 30 years of experience as an SLP in a variety of settings, particularly medical.
Features: The 14 chapters cover a range of medical categories. Each chapter includes a chapter focus, terminology and abbreviations, clinical competencies, and references; additional subheadings, narrative, tables, and illustrations are included as necessary. Two appendixes provide lab value/range norms and additional anatomical illustrations. The author's straightforward style enhances the book's suitability for use in the professional medical setting. She selects the most salient data from complicated medical jargon and references and presents it in a dense but readable fashion. In addition, her inclusion of information necessary for working smoothly in medical environments — such as the training, roles, and responsibilities of other healthcare personnel, as well as common medical terminology and chart symbols — shows a genuine interest in helping the SLP become acclimated to and effective in the setting. Illustrations have increased in amount and quality since the second edition, and some of them, such as a typical intensive care unit bed and equipment, help familiarize medical SLPs with common aspects of medical care before meeting, assessing, and treating patients. While a number of useful additions have been made in this edition, the space at the end of each chapter for notes has been eliminated. While the margin size appears to have increased to compensate, some users may miss this space. New clinicians faced with a client with cancer may be confused by the two relevant chapters, unsure if they should check the chapter on oncology or the subchapter on radiation oncology. Finally, the covers and spiral binding of the book appear too flimsy for the heavy use it will get from a medical SLP.
Assessment: "The useful and informative nature of this desk reference, for both medical and nonmedical SLPs, is clear and commendable. Dr. Golper does an excellent job of outlining and organizing the complicated medical terms and practices of today's healthcare settings. She provides a navigable "map" of the medical world to enhance the SLP's professional collaboration. Such a focus on increasing the knowledge and competency of clinicians helps build the value and professionalism of the field of speech-language pathology as a whole. This third edition, with added chapters to address changes in the field of speech-language pathology and added/improved illustrations to enhance reader learning, is a justified revision.