Gerontological Nursing M. Stanley & RG. Beare; Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Compony, 1994; $36.00, 575 pages, softcover.
This book is intended for use as a textbook for nursing students and a reference manual for practicing nurses. It uses the concepts of health promotion and primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention as an organizing framework as recommended in Healthy People 2000. The book is divided into eight sections and has 60 contributors. In addition there are 38 consultants drawn from nurse educators from university and community colleges of nursing. The result is a book comprehensive in scope, covering the full range of issues pertinent to aging and older adults.
Section one provides a broad introduction to aging and nursing care of the elderly. To accomplish this, seven chapters cover the health promotion /protection approach to meeting elders' health care needs, public policy and standards of care, theories of aging, mental health wellness strategies for successful aging, cultural dimensions, legal and ethical issues, and health teaching and compliance.
The six chapters in section two address nursing's role in providing service to the elderly in acute, rehabilitation, long-term and community-based settings. Section three looks at health protection from a body systems approach, followed by section four which examines problems that involve multisystem alterations. Issues that involve both individual and family psychodynamics are detailed in nine chapters in section five. Among topics covered are spirituality, elder abuse, sexuality, and homelessness.
Section six discusses nursing management of elders experiencing sleep disturbances, acute confusion or dementia. The seventh section provides extensive coverage of nursing care of the older surgical patient and a much needed chapter on pharmacology /polypharmacy and the elderly. The book ends with chapter eight, an epilogue challenging gerontologcial nurses to take advantage of present opportunity to direct the future of elderly care.
The book features chapter objectives, teaching guides, sample care plans based on NANDA diagnoses, research briefs and resource lists. For teachers who adopt the text, software is available to allow the teacher to automatically create tests and customize all aspects of the testing process.
Some chapters provide more thorough coverage than others. A discussion of the value of humor in coping with aging and the resource list for information on major world religions are among many notable features. Other chapters such as those on sensory changes, cancer, and AIDS would have benefited by including resource lists for further information. Opportunities to discuss ethical considerations were missed in several areas such as restraints, AIDS, compliance, homelessness and sexuality. When discussing theories of aging, an overview of theories being used by geriatric nurses would have rounded out the chapter.
The chapter on the reproductive system dealt only with the female. Information about male issues is scattered about in chapters discussing renal problems, urinary incontinence, cancer, and sexuality. A chapter on the reproductive system including both sexes could give a broad overview, with specific issues addressed in more detail in other chapters and the reader so advised. Other than a brief section in the chapter on AIDS, there was little discussion of homosexuality. This could have been appropriately addressed in the chapter on sexuality.
Books with multiple contributors tend to be uneven in content and writing style. Nevertheless, this book has many excellent features and is an overall good sourcebook for students and practicing nurses who care for older adults.