Manual of Pediatric and Postpartum Home Care By Robyn Rice First Edition: 1999 Mosby Year-Book St. Louis, MO
The recent publication of Robyn Rice's Manual of Pediatric and Postpartum Home Care Procedures (St. Louis: Mosby, 1999) adds a significant contribution to the literature on pediatric home care. The book will be extremely useful to home care agencies providing pediatric services as well as to nursing educators training nurses in home care procedures, individual nurses in home care, and any nurses discharging infants and children to care in the home.
The author of Manual of Pediatric and Postpartum Home Care Procedures, Robyn Rice, is an experienced home care nurse, having worked in home care for over 10 years. She has authored several other books and numerous articles related to home care. While the 13 contributors and 13 consultants involved in this book lend additional substance to the project, most of the contributors and consultants are from only two geographic areas, a potential weakness since home care practices do vary from one region to another across the country.
The Manual of Pediatric and Postpartum Home Care Procedures is divided into five broad sections. Part One is a comprehensive section on infection control in the home. Topics range from cleaning baby bottles and other equipment, to handwashing, maintaining supplies and equipment in the car, collection and transport of a wide variety of specimens, and managing a variety of infectious conditions in the home.
Part Two addresses medical-surgical procedures in the home setting. The five chapters in this section include: Assessment Procedures; Intravenous Therapy: Principles of Catheter Management and IV Therapy; IV Therapy: Infusions; Medications (including instructions for a variety of administration routes); and Therapeutic and Technical Care, which addresses a wide variety of topics including burn and cast care, dressing changes, specialized feeding techniques, and respiratory procedures. Where appropriate, separate guidelines are offered by age group (for example -- IV injections).
Part Three, called Postpartum Procedures, includes both the care of maternal conditions and care of a range of infant conditions from cradle cap and diaper dermatitis to more technological concerns such as apnea monitoring and home phototherapy.
Part Four of the book focuses on emergency care and special concerns and addresses medical emergencies, such as airway obstruction and poisoning, and social concerns including child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, and safety in the community. The inclusion of these social concerns is a strength of this book that could easily have been overlooked in the development of a procedure manual. The inclusion of adolescent depression in this chapter is another strength.
Part Five focuses on pediatric hospice care. Organized differently than the rest of the book, this section offers an overview of the topic and an in-depth discussion of specific issues including symptom management, pain management, psychosocial issues, spiritual care, and bereavement concerns. While hospice care is worthy of an entire book itself, its inclusion in this manual will be helpful to the nurse.
Most chapters of the book, with the exception of some of those in the hospice section, are arranged using the following standard format:
1. Purpose (of the procedure);
2. Related procedures (e.g., the chapter titled 'Gastrostomy Tube Replacement' lists enteral/gavage feedings and gastrostomy care/general guidelines as related procedures addressed in the book);
3. General information about the topic;
4. Equipment (a list);
5. Procedure (a detailed, step-by-step outline);
6. Nursing considerations (including suggestions for teaching, assessment, and referral); and
7. Documentation guidelines.
This standard format is easy to follow and the amount of detail provided is appropriate for nurses with a range of levels of experience. The occasional use of diagrams and photographs enhances the text.
Relatively few books focus on the topic of pediatric home care. Robyn Rice's Manual of Pediatric and Postpartum Home Care Procedures is an important contribution. Its clear and comprehensive focus on pediatric procedures will benefit nurses caring for children in the home setting and the children and families they care for.
Editors' Choice is a bimonthly 'biased' book review on a hot new book for pediatric nurses! Each issue, a member of the Pediatric Nursing editorial board picks a recent favorite publication and offers readers a brief description of why they would recommend it for their personal or library collections.
Elizabeth Ahmann, ScD, RN, is a Consultant in Family and Child Health in Washington, DC, and Section Editor of the Family Matters Column.