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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Carole Ann Kenner, PhD, RN, FAAN (The College of New Jersey)
Description: This book focuses on physical assessment in a succinct, stepwise manner. Illustrations accompany the text to guide readers through the assessment process.
Purpose: The purpose is to present a quick format to perform and evaluate findings from a physical assessment. Accompanying the steps are icons to indicate age-related or ethnic differences as well as emergency situations. These worthy objectives are met.
Audience: The book is written for student nurses and practicing nurses who need a refresher for the physical assessment process.
Features: The first sections present subjective and objective assessment including a family history, genogram, and nutritional assessment. The book then moves into a systems approach covering each body system. The use of icons to highlight critical points of the assessment, such as age differences, along with easy to follow charts that outline abnormal findings and potential reasons are excellent teaching strategies. These also make the book easy to use in a clinical setting. The appendixes include laboratory values and resources for health professionals or patients and their families who need more information. The accompanying illustrations make it even more appealing to the student or novice who is not sure how to proceed with the assessment.
Assessment: Jarvis's Physical Examination and Health Assessment, 4th edition (Elsevier, 2004) is good for students, but not as easy to use as a quick guide in a clinical setting. Bates' Pocket Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking, 3rd edition, by Bickley and Hoekelman (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2000), is not as complete with age specific differences as this book.