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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Vicki Ann Moss, DNSc, MS, BSN, RN (University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh)
Description: This book explores the history of nursing clinical practice and how nurses endured the changing economic, social, educational, and technological changes throughout the years.
Purpose: The editors hope that through these historical readings, nurses will develop insight into their own practice and appreciate how nursing history has shaped their nursing work, or clinical practice.
Audience: Every nursing student and practicing nurse would benefit from reading this book. It would also be a very interesting read for any nurse whether practicing or not.
Features: The book's 17 chapters are grouped into four sections with themes: Who does the work of nursing? Who pays for the work of nursing? What is the real work of nursing? How did our nursing predecessors struggle with the relationship between work and knowledge? Each section starts with an essay addressing the question followed by chapters that represent the interpretations of historical leaders and contemporary scholars.
Assessment: "This is a very valuable book chronicling nursing's work history through a collection of classic and scholarly articles. Articles are included about informal caregivers as well as nursing professionals. The picture in section one is of a male nurse in the neonatal ICU. This shows how gender no longer defines nursing. Older nurses will enjoy reliving their past and newer nurses will gain much insight into their practice by seeing how present-day nursing developed. Two very interesting chapters cover the history of the early 20th century tuberculosis preventorium and the stories of nurses and patients of the iron lung during the polio epidemic. All nurses can benefit from this wonderful collection of the history of nurse's work. "