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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Lisa M. Kelley, RN, MS (Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing)
Description: This book is designed to guide the practicing nurse or nursing student in selecting and implementing nursing interventions. It uses NANDA nursing diagnoses as the link between the medical diagnoses and the appropriate nursing response.
Purpose: The purpose is to guide clinical nursing practice from assessment through documentation. The authors state the need for a uniform language between nurses, as nurses today may provide care to the same patient in a variety of healthcare settings. Additionally, nursing diagnoses put into words what nurses do and connect it to patient well-being and survival. While no one would argue the need for consistency of care and the importance of the role nurses play in the care of the sick, this can be accomplished without the creation of a new way of communicating, such as the advent of the nursing diagnosis nearly 25 years ago.
Audience: According to the authors, the book is written for the practicing nurse or nursing student. I think the book may be most useful to the nursing student and hospital-based registered nurse, as nursing diagnosis-based care planning and documentation is required in most schools of nursing and in some hospitals, but is used on a limited basis in other practice settings.
Features: The book provides a suggested format for patient assessment in four different settings (medical/surgical, psychiatric, prenatal, and intranatal) following nursing diagnosis taxonomy and using subjective/objective data categorization. It also provides suggestions for nursing interventions for each identified nursing diagnosis. Particularly useful is an alphabetized index that lists medical diagnoses with the corresponding nursing diagnoses. The book has utility in many settings that use nursing diagnoses as the basis for providing care, as it addresses both NANDA and Gordon's Taxonomies as well as NIC/NOC. The suggested format for patient assessment is lengthy and cumbersome and it is difficult to imagine a nurse actually having the time to implement it. The book seems to be limited to use by the hospital or academia-based nurse or nursing student. Additionally, it is somewhat complicated to use, and seems to duplicate NIC/NOC and many nursing diagnosis handbooks.
Assessment: The authors have written an exhaustive book on the ins and outs of nursing diagnosis identification and application. Given the ubiquity of other primary texts of nursing diagnoses (Gordon, NIC/NOC, etc.), I find it hard to imagine needing this one as well, as it appears to serve no unique purpose. Previous editions of this book have come in spiral-bound format, which makes it easier to use.