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From The CriticsReviewer: Jayalakshmi Jambunathan, PhD, MSN, MA, BSN, BSc (University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh)
Description: This book presents varied approaches and numerous spiritual care interventions from which the nurse can select to address client needs.
Purpose: The purpose is to fill the gap between theory and practice by providing practical guidance on many aspects of spiritual caregiving. The practice suggestions follow from nursing theory and research as well as other related disciplines. This book is needed as it encourages nurses to recognize that personal beliefs affect care and hence there is a need to develop and sustain awareness of such beliefs in order to enhance the effectiveness of providing spiritual care.
Audience: Although written for practicing nurses, the book can be used by those in other disciplines as well, since spirituality is an important issue regardless of discipline. The chapters on promoting spiritual health, nurturing spirituality, and spiritual assessment are pertinent to any discipline that deals with patient care. The author, who has taught courses such as "Spiritual Dimensions in Health Care," seems to be a credible authority.
Features: The book is organized into three sections. Part I explores spirituality in nursing, Part II addresses nursing practice issues and strategies that support spiritual caregiving, and Part III discusses specific interventions for promoting the spiritual health of clients. The author has employed several methods to make the book appealing: boxes that accompany narrative sections provide key points; case studies and features such as "Look within to learn" questions encourage spiritual awareness and an understanding of how spirituality influences client care; research profiles provide profiles of research studies focusing on spirituality and health. The feature, "One Client's/Nurse's Story," illustrates the application of spiritual care. The book delivers the information on spiritual assessment, planning care, documentation, ethical concerns, and approaches to nurturing the spirit, in different ways.
Assessment: This well written book seems to be very helpful in providing information related to understanding not only the concept of spirituality, but also assessment strategies for applying such knowledge in the practice setting. In addition, an overview of the different religious practices in select cultures and related nursing implications enhances the ability to appreciate spiritual needs of clients in other cultures. Finally, the chapter on nurturing spirituality provides a discussion of a way of "being with" the client. Hence the usefulness of this book is undisputed as it approaches the subject matter of spirituality in great depth.