1. Baker, Sharon MS, RN, CNS, CNRN

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Geriatric Nursing Protocols for Best Practice


Edited by M. D. Mezey and T. Fulmer. 2nd ed. New York: Springer Publishing Company, 2003. ISBN: 0-8261-1834-8. $47.95.


The book is well written and based on the protocols that could be used in the best nursing practice in the care of a geriatric patient. As stated in the book, guidelines or protocols can "improve the quality, appropriateness, and cost-effectiveness of health." The first chapter defined protocol as "the best available evidence for making decisions about the care of a specified population." The chapter also identifies how to determine the most appropriate protocol, and which one supports the best evidence or research. It may also be known as a standard or guideline.


The second chapter provides strategies for measuring the effectiveness and quality of patient care to ensure quality improvement does happen. The remaining chapters focus in on key indicators with protocols for the geriatric patient. The key indicators discussed are assessment of function that included motor, sensory, and cognitive function. The other indicators were sleepiness, problems with meals, urinary incontinence, falls, skin breakdown, delirium, depression, and pain and medication management. The book also brought up the use of physical restraints in an acute care setting and how the nurse should look at alternatives before placing restraints as much as possible. One chapter discussed advance directives and the role of the nurse as a patient advocate, to ensure individual rights were protected. One of the last chapters discussed the issues surrounding the geriatric patient when discharged from an acute care setting. All chapters provided evidence-based protocols for nurses to follow to ensure the needs of the geriatric patient were meet.


I would recommend this book to all nurses to read whether we care for geriatric patients or not. The book provides relevant knowledge in caring for the geriatric patients with protocols to follow to establish nursing guidelines. This book would be especially helpful in the acute care settings for all nurses who care for geriatric patients. I would also recommend this book for academics as a required reading for age-appropriate guidelines. Lastly, I would recommend this book for clinical nurse specialists as a reference in geriatric care.


The book reminds all nurses that geriatric patients do have specific needs that we need to address, and provides a guide for the best possible geriatric nursing care.