Clinical Manual of Gerontological Nursing Hogstel, MO (Ed.). St Louis: Mosby-Year Book, 1 992; 301 pages, paperback.
The purpose of this book is to provide a clear, concise, practical guide for the specialized nursing care of older adults; and the book does just that. The author has assembled an excellent resource for nurses to use when caring for the elderly. The book will assist nurses in their professional responsibility towards the special needs of this age group.
This book is exceptional because it is a quick reference for all levels of nurses. The format consists of an overview of the topic, and concise, comprehensive tables and charts that delineate and support the topic. However, the author has cautioned that further references are needed and has provided them at the end of the chapter.
The tables that describe common physical and psychological changes of aging and nursing implications are precise, and will serve well as a quick reference. In the assessment chapter, experience has shown that it takes longer to take the health history and less time to perform the physical examination, whereas the authors have suggested less time for the history and more time for physical examination. More emphasis on the importance of accurate history taking would have been desirable; however, the boxes containing suggestions of history questions alongside boxes of physical examination techniques and tables of normal aging changes are praiseworthy, as are the resources used to support the tables and boxes.
An outstanding chapter is the one on skin. The patient education boxes and facts about skin cancer are valuable, as is the nursing care plan. Functional assessment tools would have enhanced both the assessment chapter and the musculoskeletal chapter. These tools would support the nursing diagnosis.
More emphasis on the importance of nursing assessment of polypharmacy, especially on identifying adverse side effects, would have supported the chapter on medications. Overall, the chapter is helpful, with patient education tips related to medications. Ine most common medical problems are covered, and the combination of nursing and medical management provides a holistic perspective that is distinctive.
The appendices are worthwhile and the samples for nursing history, physical examination, and mental status are useful for nurses with little experience in these areas or in gerontological nursing. The Standards of Gerontological Nursing Practice support the entire text.
Overall, the book is clearly written, easy to use, succinct, and one that all nurses may find useful both in the classroom and in practice.