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From The CriticsReviewer: Niki Koesel, MSN, ANP, CNS (Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region)
Description: This book provides guidelines for advanced practice nurses (APN) with evidence-based practice in hospice and palliative care across the disease trajectory of advanced life-limiting illnesses. Narrative reviews, simplistic well designed tables, and case studies demonstrate the comprehensive flow of disease management, while focusing on specific pathophysiology of each disease and related symptom burden.
Purpose: The purpose is to support the integration of palliative care into the treatment plan earlier in the trajectory of advanced illness rather than preserving it for the final days of life. The authors successfully achieve this goal by reinforcing an understanding of the underlying disease and its expected trajectory of decline. The authors clearly demonstrate the role of the APN in this specialty of medicine throughout the progression of disease as a constant for the patients and families. As this field of practice continues to grow, expertise is essential to promote this integrative effort and broaden the role of palliative care.
Audience: The audience is the APN. While it is an invaluable resource for novice practitioners, it also provides a comprehensive review for seasoned practitioners. The primary authors share their expertise drawn from practices across the country, while the contributing authors provide a non-palliative care clinician perspective.
Features: The book describes general principles related to palliative/end of life care, management of advanced illness across the disease trajectory, and, finally, focuses on managing symptom burden. Chapters on sleep and nutrition are new to this edition and review the impact they have on advanced illness. Case studies on practice guidelines at the close of each chapter aid in application of treatment options, which provide excellent additions to the comprehensive approach of the book.
Assessment: This is an exceptional addition to the palliative care provider's library. It provides a broad understanding of the trajectory of multiple disease processes and emphasizes the significance of the APN in the management of these patients across the continuum. As palliative medicine continues to grow, the comfort of the APN in managing multiple aspects in advanced illness is critical to optimizing good quality of life and end of life care.