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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Darrell A Owens, DNP (University of Washington Medicine)
Description: This is a reference for nurses practicing palliative nursing full time, as well as for those whose practice includes aspects of palliative care. It covers a multitude of topics, including pain and physical symptom management, psychosocial support, spiritual care, special populations, pediatrics, and international models of palliative care. This edition is more comprehensive than the second edition, published in 2006.
Purpose: The third edition comes at a time when palliative nursing has come of age. The objective of the book is to strengthen nurses, individually and collectively, so that they can provide compassionate and competent palliative care. While the objectives of the book are rather grand, they are worthy, and this book, like the previous editions, fulfills them.
Audience: The book is written for a broad audience, ranging from nursing students to advanced practice nurses, and includes useful information for those in other disciplines, such as chaplains, social workers, and psychologist or counselors. The editors, both experts in the field, have done an exceptional job of recruiting chapter authors who are specialists in palliative nursing.
Features: The section addressing symptom assessment and management is thorough and comprehensive, covering all of the most common symptoms of patients in palliative care. Other sections cover psychosocial support, spiritual care, and issues specific to nurses in palliative care. The section on spiritual care is particularly well written, and provides a comprehensive overview of spiritual care issues, including spiritual assessment. Many chapters include tables that nicely summarize large volumes of detailed information.
Assessment: This is considered one of the leading palliative care reference books. Although written specifically for nurses, the comprehensive and interdisciplinary nature of the book makes it a useful reference in a variety of disciplines. Additional chapters in the third edition cover insomnia, withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment, caring for those with chronic illness, palliative care in psychiatric illness, and cancer survivorship, all of which justify replacing the second edition of this exceptional resource.