Physical Assessment Skills for Nursing Practice. Edited by Josephine M. Sana and Richard D. Judge. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1982, 501 pages.
Perhaps the most distinctive feature of this book is the pocket inclusion at the end of some handy reference sheets for the assessment process. The book begins with the typical description of how to perform inspection, percussion, auscultation, and palpation. One chapter, new to the third edition, deals with problem-oriented documentation and measurement of nursing care. It would probably be helpful to incorporate examples of this in each of the chapters dealing with the actual system assessment. One other chapter that is external to the actual assessment process relates to the use of computers and decision theory.
A glossary starts each assessment chapter followed by a description of the order of the examination and its various aspects. Each of these chapters ends with a guide, which would be more useful if it were printed as a quick reference, and suggested readings. Although the authors say they have greatly expanded the illustration, it would be useful to learners to have anatomy superimposed on actual photographs.
The chapters are organized in a somewhat atypical way; for example, circulatory system rather than cardiac. One of the strengths of this book is the emphasis in section three on age group considerations. It is clear, by virtue of how the authors constructed the chapters, what is different in assessing newborns, infants, children, adolescents and the elderly. For a diverse practice, this book provides a diverse perspective on the assessment process.