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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Vicki Ann Moss, DNSc, MS, BSN, RN (University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh)
Description: This book stems from the author's two decades of research on spirituality and nursing practice. Its focus is mainly the Judeo-Christian tradition, but the author states that nurses of other religious backgrounds could adapt the findings. The author's research included both formal and informal interviewing and observation of patients and nurses dealing with patients with acute and chronic illnesses, in both home and hospital settings. Diverse clinical settings were also explored, such as emergency departments, operating rooms, and critical care units. The spiritual needs of family members were also studied.
Purpose: The purpose was to explore the relationship between spirituality and the practice of nursing from many different perspectives, such as children with chronic illness, the elderly facing end-of-life issues, and the vulnerable such as the poor and ventilator-dependent patients.
Audience: The audience is any nurse or student nurse wanting to gain insight into the topic of spirituality in their nursing practice.
Features: The 15 chapters all begin with a quote from a contemporary practicing nurse about his/her perceptions and experience with spirituality. Chapters cover topics such as a spiritual history of nursing, nursing assessment of spiritual needs, a middle-range theory of spiritual well-being in illness, and spiritual needs in mass casualty disasters. The book includes several tools that can be used to assess patients' spiritual needs, behaviors, and concerns. A new chapter explores the spirituality of servant leadership. All chapters have been updated with material and references that reflect current thinking on spirituality in nursing.
Assessment: This book promotes readers' reflections on their beliefs and behaviors related to spirituality and it is filled with personal stories that provide added interest. It also has practical information that nurses can use to assess patients' needs, and is very complete in terms of the populations and settings discussed. This is an excellent resource for nurses on the topic of spirituality, but it is quite pricey.