1. Huie, Marsha BSN, BS, RNC

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Reflections on the Hands of a Nurse: A Book of Prayers and Reflections for Nurses by M. Darby (2004). Omaha, NE: Surprise Publishing


The author wrote Reflections on the Hands of a Nurse: A Book of Prayers and Reflections for Nurses in response to his frustration of working with ill patients and the families of these patients in today's complicated healthcare system. The author has worked as a registered nurse in multiple areas of healthcare for over 20 years. He is the president of his own company, which provides healthcare organizations and managerial teams with training programs for facilitating strategic planning processes. The author's years of expertise in the nursing field and his use of other nurses' subjective data provides a degree of credibility to his work.


The title of the book easily conveys the contents of the book. In all probability, a reader would have to believe in prayer to read any further. In today's multicultural nursing care environment, this might not be a true assumption that the majority of nurses practice the Christian style of prayer. Although the book does provide good tools for reflection and strength, the title could stop the reader before turning a page. The title quickly identifies the audience as nurses, and I believe that would also limit the reading audience. Other healthcare providers might benefit from the contents of the book.


The book organizes the content into three sections:


* Section 1: A collection of prayers the author considers common nursing daily situations


* Section 2: A place to read nursing stories and a place to allow nurses to discover their own story


* Section 3: Reflections of experiences of nurses from a variety of specialties



The organization of the book is easy to follow, with a simple language structure. A strong point of the book organization is how the author segmented the content to allow the reader to use the book as a tool or reflective diary. The book provides good reflection tools and insightful illustrations that warm the heart.


The author uses the word spirituality but reflects on only the aspect of prayer in the book; spirituality, however, is not defined simply as prayer. The author therefore appears biased in his book by not offering other spiritual outlets for nurses in their daily practice. If nurses need spiritual help with their jobs, they could find the book helpful if they are not familiar with the spiritual intervention of prayer.


In general, however, the book seems written as a tool to support the author's seminars more than as a book intended for enhancing universal nursing knowledge.