Article Content

Women's Primary Health Care: Protocols for Practice


Reviewed by Amy C. Murcko, MSN, APRN, CNAA, BC


By Winifred Star, Lisa Lommel, and Maureen Shannon. San Francisco: UCSF Nursing Press, 2004. $100. ISBN 0-943671-21-3. 1024 pages.


This second edition manual developed by UCSF School of Nursing faculty aims to present a comprehensive reference tool for active practitioners who provide primary healthcare to women. Overall, the text achieves this goal with a clear, user-friendly format that allows rapid access to critical content on over 140 clinical topics. The scope is extensive and organized by body system (cardiovascular disorders, neurologic disorders, etc). Within each section, a variety of specific disorders, signs, and symptoms are covered using a consistent structure that includes an overview of the topic, then an outline of the necessary database (subjective and objective), assessment (differential diagnoses), plan, and treatment/management. Guidelines for consultations and referrals, patient education, and follow-up care are also included. A bibliography of additional and current materials completes each topic. The text opens with an introduction to women's primary healthcare, reinforcing the significance of and need for this protocol manual. Eleven sections covering all major body systems follow. Additional content on sexually transmitted diseases, behavioral disorders, occupational health, and nutrition round out the reference. A host of tables, algorithms, and figures are appropriately placed throughout. A table of contents, appendices, and index are also included. I particularly liked the special tools presented as appendices, including a Sexual Assault Examination and Forensic Report Form. This new edition includes several new chapters as well as revisions to original chapters to ensure that content reflects current standards of care. The manual is geared toward graduate-level students as well as the advanced practice nurse. Although the content would be extremely useful to have at one's fingertips in the clinical setting, its larger size may be prohibitive; it would however serve nicely as a desktop reference for busy nurses.