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By Jean F. Jenkins & Dale Halsey Lea 411 pp., Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett, $53.95, 2005, paperback.


Review: As we enter the era of genomic assessment, diagnosis, and intervention in healthcare, Jenkins and Lea offer a useful resource for nurses in real-world practice. Genomics is allowing us to better understand common diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer's and is helping us develop new prevention and early intervention strategies. Because we care for clients with genetic conditions or components to their health and disease, nurses are at the interface where genome research translates into clinical practice We obtain client histories and listen to and interpret personal stories of how a particular genetic condition impacts a patient's and families' lives.

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Using true life stories of people with a variety of genetic conditions, both well established and more newly recognized, the authors explore the biological, personal, and psychosocial issues involved with each condition. Next they discuss the nursing knowledge, skill, and attitudes needed as recommended by the National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics (NCHPEG). The critical importance of the family history in risk assessment and intervention is explained, and emerging genetic testing and therapeutics, counseling, and implications of various genetic conditions are discussed. Client concerns about privacy, confidentiality, discrimination, and stigmatization related to their genetic information are explored. Complex ethical issues such as the potential, the limitations, and the implications of genetic advances are raised. The impact of spirituality and specific religious traditions (Western and Eastern) are examined.


Exhaustive web resources are included, ranging from sites to learn more about genetics in general to specific genetic conditions; from ethics resources to position statements of mainline religious traditions. A lengthy table organizes hundreds of websites based on content areas of: research, clinical information, support and advocacy groups, sites for healthcare professionals, for consumers, policy and legislation, government, and even search engines for genetic information. Specific genetics resources for nurses and position statements of professional nursing organizations are given.


This book offers nurses an excellent tool for the growing area of genetics. The stories make the content come alive and make the scientific information human and heart-wrenching. Nurse educators, clinicians, and researchers will find a lot of hands-on help and ideas for practice.




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