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From The CriticsReviewer: Vicki Ann Moss, DNSc, MS, BSN, RN (University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh)
Description: This book explores spirituality as a concept both historically and currently. The author discusses ways to assess a patient's spirituality and the role of the nurse in providing spiritual care.
Purpose: The purpose is to explore the relationship of spirituality and nursing practice through many different perspectives.
Audience: This book would be appropriate for nursing students as well as practicing and retired nurses.
Features: Patients of all ages and with varying health problems were interviewed as were nurses from many different specialties to identify spiritual needs and spiritual care. Two new chapters have been included in this third edition. The first explores spiritual well-being and quality of life at the end of life and the second presents an author-developed theory of spirituality in illness. Spiritual assessment tools are included in chapter three as well as a Spiritual Assessment Scale with established reliability and validity. The author states that the book derives mainly from her Judeo-Christian philosophy, but it could be a valuable tool for nurses from other religious traditions as well.
Assessment: The book is filled with interesting sayings from revered spiritual healers and leaders and wonderful narratives from patients, families, and nurses regarding their spirituality. I found the chapter on the spiritual history of nursing to be especially interesting as the author traced the various persons and religious orders providing physical as well as spiritual care. There are chapters related to the needs of persons with acute illness, chronic illness, children, and older adults, the needs at the end of life as well as those in a mass casualty disaster. This book is easy to read, contains an abundance of practical information, and is inspiring and thought provoking.