1. Sendelbach, Sue PhD, RN, CCNS, Column Editor

Article Content

End-of-Live-Stories: Crossing Disciplinary Boundaries

Editors Donald E. Gefland, Richard Raspa, Sherylyn H. Briller, and Stephanie Myers Schim. Springer Publishing Co, Inc, 2005. US$44.95. ISBN 0-8261-2675-8. 217 pp.


This unique book combines storytelling about real, end-of-life experiences followed by analysis from a multidisciplinary perspective. The book comes from the Wayne State University End-of-Life Interdisciplinary Project, formed in 2000 and was developed to help others "view end-of-life issues simultaneously through various lenses." The first chapter describes the project's conceptual model of end of life, including constructs, story domains, and levels along with a brief analysis of how the concepts work together to describe aspects of end of life. Each subsequent chapter starts with a brief story followed by a discussion with contribution by different disciplines. The poignant stories are varied and illustrate experiences across the life span. This book would be an excellent addition for any clinical nurse specialist or graduate student to stimulate discussion among colleagues or for an individual to refresh his or her own perspectives on end of life. The book includes a variety of perspectives, including legal, cultural, and spiritual. In addition, the stories provide a starting point or example for dialogue with a client or family member. As I read the book for this review, I found myself with multiple sticky notes illustrating multiple "aha" moments that I wanted to remember. This book is the antithesis of the statement, a death is a death. In the storytelling tradition, each narrative illustrates the power of each and every end-of-life story.


Hildegard Peplau: Psychiatric Nurse of the Century

By Barbara J. Callaway. Springer Publishing Co, Inc, 2002. US$44.95. ISBN 0-8261-3882-9. 472 pp.


Driven and formidable are two of the many words that are used to describe Hildegard Peplau in this biography by Barbara J. Callaway. While I learned in graduate school that Hildegard Peplau was responsible for the development of the first clinical nurse specialist role in psychiatric nursing, this book helped to fill out not only that facet of her life but also her entire contribution to the profession of nursing for which I was sadly unaware and had underappreciated. The author gives us some insight into the history of nursing through one of its dynamic leaders and her personal and professional struggles. Hildegard Peplau's involvement with the National League of Nursing and the American Nurses Association is highlighted, and the book provided not only her personal role with the organizations but also historical references into nursing as a profession. In 1947, less than 200 of the 500,000 nurses in the United States held any advanced degree, and 99% of nursing education was anchored to the hospital system. There were the same concerns in the 1950s as today that nurses saw nursing as a job, not as a profession. Hildegard Peplau's vision included nurse theorists developing concepts and models to guide nursing practice and nurse researchers to provide evidence-based support of those models. In addition, she believed that nursing education had to be controlled by nursing and shift from hospital-based to college-based education. In an interview in 1992, Hildegard Peplau stated, "We had nothing like hard scientific knowledge to take to colleagues in other professions-there was no intellectual dialogue in nursing[horizontal ellipsis] If we could train nurses as clinical specialists, and do it right, than we'd have something to contribute in dialogue with other professions."


I would highly recommend this book and appreciate the opportunity to read the life work of an important visionary who had great rewards in her life along with personal disappointments. Grayce M. Sills in her forward to the book notes that "Perhaps, careful study of Peplau's experiences will be useful to others who find themselves in similar situations. She would have liked that."


Clinical Genetics in Nursing Practice, Third Edition

By Felissa R. Lashley. New York, Springer Publishing Co, Inc, 2005. US$85.95. ISBN 0-8261-2366-X. 584 pp.


Clinical Genetics in Nursing Practice offers new knowledge and application for nurses to understand that human genetics plays an important part indirectly and directly in causation of diseases. The content is well organized and appears complete starting with the basics of genetics and ending with future ramifications such as cloning, reproductive techniques, and eugenics (improvement of a species through genetic manipulation, p514). The first few chapters give the novice reader the basic foundation of genetics. Genetics is shown to increase an individual's "susceptibility and resistance to disorders," (p3). Genes are then shown to act with our genes at the molecular level to form human variations in inherited disorders. Environmental exposures are discussed that affect an individual's gene makeup and not a specific population as a whole. The author offers explanations on specific inherited and environmental genes alteration with specific diseases or disorders. Nursing assessment, interventions, and evaluations for genetics are given throughout the book, giving nurses a basis to view for their practice. The author identifies specific testing for genetics with nursing's specific involvement in genetic testing. The author provides a comprehensive view of genetics that, in comparison to articles reviewed, appears to be on the forefront of new knowledge and research.


This book would be good primer for all clinical nurse specialists and other advanced practice nurses. This book would also be an excellent source of information for those interested in obtaining advanced certification in genetics.