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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Darrell A Owens, DNP (University of Washington School of Nursing)
Description: This is a comprehensive reference for nurses working in palliative care, as well as for those in other specialty areas who provide elements of palliative care in their practice. The editors have updated and expanded the book to reflect the expanding field of palliative care nursing.
Purpose: Since the first edition in 2001, the field of palliative nursing has undergone significant growth. Palliative nursing is now practiced in many different settings including emergency departments, intensive care units, and outpatient clinics. The field is also now reaching pediatrics in greater numbers. The content and purpose of this second edition has expanded in an attempt to meet the growing needs of palliative nurses. The field of palliative nursing is constant need of relevant and current information. This book provides essential knowledge to the field of palliative nursing, and the editors have done an exceptional job in meeting their objectives.
Audience: This is an exceptional reference for nursing students, practicing nurses who provide care to people with advanced disease, advanced practice nurses, nurse educators, social workers, and chaplains. The various authors reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the field. The editors are internationally known experts, as are many of the authors.
Features: The content ranges from an overview of the field for the novice who may not be familiar with palliative nursing, to specific issues such as pain and symptom management, spiritual care, and psychosocial issues. The section that addresses end-of-life issues across all care settings is exceptional, as it serves as a reference for nurses practicing in those areas, and for palliative care practitioners who would like to improve services to patients in those areas. With over 1,100 pages, the book is best used as a reference. Each chapter is densely packed with written information and few illustrations, which can at times make for cumbersome reading. The extensive index eases this challenge by guiding the reader to specific content areas.
Assessment: In recent years there has been a plethora of books written about palliative care. While some of them have contributed to the body of knowledge of palliative care, none are as thorough, comprehensive, and well written as this one. Once again the editors, Betty Ferrell and Nessa Coyle, have produced a work that makes a significant contribution to the field of palliative nursing. The second edition has significantly expanded content, and justifies replacement for anyone who previously purchased the first edition.