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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Vicki Ann Moss, DNSc, MS, BSN, RN (University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh)
Description: The author traces nursing's history with spirituality from its ties with religion through current new age and alternative therapies. It is written from an interdisciplinary perspective stemming from theoretical, religious, historical, psychological, and physiological contexts.
Purpose: The purpose is to explore spiritual issues in nursing that are problematic, reasons why they are problematic, and what we can or cannot do about them.
Audience: The audience for this book is all nurses, nursing students, and even patients who are interested in exploring issues of spirituality and healthcare. The author poses spiritual questions for the practicing nurse, the patient, the nurse educator, and the nurse manager.
Features: In the introduction, the author poses several spirituality questions for different groups: practicing nurses, patients, nurse educators, and nurse managers. Each question could be developed into a serious and interesting discussion. The 13 chapters explore such topics as spiritual versus religious orientation, what happens when the nurse and the patient differ, and spirituality and the brain. A coda summarizes the author's views on spirituality.
Assessment: This is a very thought-provoking book that asks many questions, often without answers. It could be used in an undergraduate or graduate course on spirituality or death and dying, or as in-service material in hospitals and other healthcare agencies. A very interesting chapter discusses near death experiences (NDE), a phenomenon that has begun to be accepted and has garnered more study.