Clinical Gerontological Nursing: A Cuide to Advanced Practice. Chenitz WC, Stone JX Salisbury, GA, Philadelphia, WB Saunders, 1990, 670 pages, $39.95.
There has been a rapidly growing need for advanced nursing references dealing with the problems frequently dealt with by nurses in their practice with elderly clients. As nursing professionals assume greater responsibility for elder care and increased independence in providing their care, there is a growing clinical need for substantive reference materials that are grounded in both theory and research. This book uses the collective expertise of 29 specialized nursing authors to provide the specific and detailed information covered in its 33 chapters.
Although the material is clearly slanted toward the advanced nursing practitioner, the book provides a valuable resource for anyone involved in elder care, and much of the content would be readily applicable to the staff nurse employed in institutions providing care to elderly persons. With its practical content, pertinent figures and tables, and generous topical references, it is useful for a variety of nursing needs.
The scope of the material is broad and consistently applied to clinical practice. Chapter references are drawn from nursing, medical, and gerontological literature to provide breadth of additional resources. Occasional case examples spice the material as well as provide direct clinical applications. The broad units of content include an introduction encompassing historical development and ethics, assessment approaches for older adults, nursing interventions for common clinical problems of aging, nursing care of specific health problems often encountered in aging, and adaptations for various settings of elder care. The assessment material is not comprehensive, but provides reasonably good coverage of the most significant aspects. Both physical and cognitive assessments are included, with a separate chapter on functional assessment. Some examples of tested assessment tools are appended to chapters in this section to facilitate use.
In the excellent content pertaining to traditional clinical problems of aging, there are several unique chapters likely to catch a practitioner's eye; eg, managing sundowner's syndrome, preventing physical iatrogenic problems, preventing excessive disability, and managing behavioral problems. These topics are difficult to find in the literature and are certainly not as concise and succinct as this. Iatrogenicity is a mammoth problem seldom recognized in nursing practice. It is one for which nursing should take greater responsibility to identify and rectify.
The unit dealing with the context of nursing care delivery includes chapters addressing home health care, respite care, community-based social programs, and the planning and development of programs specifically for the elderly in the community.
The book is well-written in terms of its individual sections, and reasonably cohesive for an edited volume. It zeros in on pertinent and practical nursing assessment and management of older adults.