1. Hoffman, Sandra MS, RN, CNS-BC

Article Content

Michelle L. Murray and Gayle M. Huelsmann. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company, LLC, 2009. $65. ISBN 978-0-8261-1092-3. 250 pp.


Labor and Delivery Nursing: A Guide to Evidence-Based Practice is a good practical but basic guide and reference for new orientees to labor and delivery. As the title reflects, there is a focus on evidence-based practice, albeit with some inconsistencies, which could cause some confusion if these are not clarified with the new nurse.


The book begins with a discussion about communication, advocacy, and the chain of command and moves to patient assessment, phases and stages of labor, pain management, and a somewhat expanded version of the 4 "P's" (passage, powers, passageway, psyche). Overall, the chapters are well organized and cover the labor basics, citing standards and evidence. There are helpful illustrations, and it is formatted in a way that makes it easy to read. The reader will find some practical information not always covered in texts such as intimate piercings, dangers of rehydration or excessive intravenous fluid, extraovular intrauterine pressure catheter placement, and information about anaphylactic reaction to oxytocin. Documentation examples are also provided, which were somewhat helpful, but fairly simplistic, and often reflected information that is likely to be already documented on a flow record.


The book minimally addresses important topics such as fetal monitoring, oxytocin, complications, emergencies, and care of the mother immediately following delivery. Some of the language used in the text, such as hyperstimulation and long- and short-term variability, and the definition provided for tachysystole are not consistent with the latest National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Workshop Report on Electronic Fetal Monitoring. Key information and references from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists that obstetric nurses should know and that were available at the time this book was written were not included (ie, regarding HIV and herpes). This book is focused on fundamentals of labor and delivery practice. It should be helpful for nurses new to labor and delivery clinical practice and can be used in conjunction with more comprehensive texts.