Health Assessment Across the Life Span. Jones, Lepley, & Baker.
New York, McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1984, 852 pages, 449 illus.
This text takes a holistic approach to assessing human beings and their response to the life process. It teaches nurses a comprehensive system of data collection and interpretation not based on the medical model. As nursing has evolved as a science, it is imperative that student nurses learn the application of nursing science to practice. Nurses already in practice must also be re-educated to the use of the nursing model as the basis of their daily practice and decision making.
Chapter one presents a historical overview of the concept of holistic health and incorporates it into a nursing framework. The theoretical frameworks of several nurse theorists are presented to help determine the nurse's actions in relation to implementation of the nursing process. Chapter two describes behavioral and developmental theories of the healthy person at various stages of life. Chapter three proposes a database tool based on a holistic philosophy that provides for systematic, comprehensive, and continuous assessment of the whole person.
The next several chapters present the normal physical examination and assessment for each age group. Much of the format integrates illustrations along with the text. A highlights column emphasizes critical points. In addition to the usual head-to-toes approach is a discussion of the nurse's approach to the client. The content throughout is excellent and easy to follow. Many illustrations have two colors, the second to highlight a specific structure or important point. Extensive bibliographies are found with each chapter. The appendix tables complete this text and include lab values, nursing diagnoses, assessment tests, and a sample recorded health history.
This is a scholarly text, written to prepare nurses to become accountable for the professional activities that are uniquely nursing. It provides the professional nurse with a method of data collection that yields information to guide nursing decisions for all age groups. This text will appeal to nurses working in all settings and to nurses at all stages of their careers, including students.