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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Carole A. Kenner, PhD, RN, FAAN (Council of International Neonatal Nurses)
Description: This is the fifth edition of a book that comprehensively covers how to take a health history and perform a physical examination. The previous edition was published in 2004.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide easy-to-use, step-by-step guidance for nursing students as well as practitioners to conduct a comprehensive health history and physical examination.
Audience: The audience is nursing students and practicing nurses, including advanced practice nurses. The author is a well known health assessment expert.
Features: The book is easy to follow and illustrations guide the assessment. For example, lymph nodes are shown by dots on a human picture followed by how the nurse's hands are placed on the patient for examination. The book begins with the assessment of the whole person, followed by application of the material in the clinical setting. The third section presents the physical exam itself, followed by the integration of the health assessment. Several chapters new to this edition address issues of rehospitalization, functional assessment of the older adult, cultural competence, domestic violence, and healthy lifestyles. Each chapter now includes an emphasis on culture with more information on physiology and assessment tools. In addition each chapter uses full color art, illustrations, and references that refer to best practices.
Assessment: There are many assessment books on the market, but this one has an excellent track record for the integration of up-to-date information on health histories and the integration of physical examination findings to support clinical reasoning skills. There also is an excellent web site that offers readers more cases and quick assessments of common conditions. This edition presents evidence to support best practices in assessment and addresses the changing health needs of an older population, cultural diversity, and healthy lifestyle changes.