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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Mary P Bennett, RN, DNSc (Indiana State University)
Description: This is a second edition of the 1998 award-inning overview of telecommunications issues for nurses. It is divided into three units: distance education; telemedicine; and legal, ethical, and policy issues.
Purpose: "The purpose is to meet the needs of nurses for documentation of the realistic experiences of other nurses engaged in distance education and telehealth; to help readers remain up-to-date with changes within these fields; and to provide a textbook for undergraduate and graduate nursing courses covering these fields. "
Audience: This is a useful resource for educators and administrators who wish to be conversant with trends in distance education. It also is a good learning tool for nurses who are new to telemedicine and want to learn how other nurses are using the technology in their work. The authors have extensive experience in distance education, as do the contributors to the book chapters.
Features: An overview of the various technologies that can be used in distance education and telemedicine is provided. The first section covers distance education and discusses teaching strategies, common learning characteristics of distance education students, the costs of distance education, faculty development needs, and workload issues related to distance education methods. Faculty who have taught using a variety of courseware packages for delivery discuss their experiences in realistic terms. An introduction to telemedicine is also provided, along with examples of telemedicine programs used to provide direct patient care. The last section of the book discusses legal and ethical issues related to distance education and telehealth. A comprehensive listing of resources is included, including web sites for additional up-to-date information.
Assessment: Although this book is a helpful and up-to-date overview for those not currently teaching using distance education methods or actively involved in telehealth, it does not have enough depth to further assist those who are already involved in these areas. Issues are discussed at an appropriate level to allow the reader to be prepared for the common problems related to the use of technology in distance education and telehealth, but this book is not an attempt to provide definite solutions to these common problems.