I cannot understand the praise for this textbook I have seen from other reviewers. While the authors treat the medical/surgical aspects of maternal and pediatric nursing with due attention and thoroughness, the book suffers from an overall absence of consistent internal organization. Unlike my med/surg or psych textbook, each chapter has a different layout, and many of the chapters contain passages that wander, endlessly, until I actually forgot what subheading in what chapter I was reading. "Information overload" is a good way to describe it, although this probably would have been bearable if the authors had spent as much time organizing their material as they did actually cramming material into the book.
Where the textbook completely loses me, though, is in its many chapters devoted to the same old pop-PC psychobabble I've come to know and loathe in so many nursing books. Professors and other students may disagree with me, but I regard the inclusion of what is essentially sociology with a healthcare spin in what should be a book predominated by med/surg content a particularly loathsome phenomenon. This book, of course, has it in spades. Entire chapters are devoted to explorations of women's health, and are loaded with nauseating multi-cultural, politically-correct, New Age jargon. I'm not saying there's not a time and place for that (preferably in an entirely different textbook). Community health and women's health nurses, in particular, seem to love that sort of content (interpersonal energy flows, anyone?). At least the ones I've met. I'm saying it distracts from the med/surg fundamentals of women's health- you know, the actual medical and nursing science- to include hundreds of pages of social science in the same textbook.
There's also not a few unintentionally hilarious passages, such as this gem: "Gender influences provider-patient communication and may influence access to health care in general. The most obvious gender consideration is that between men and women."
Really? Between men and women, eh? Is that how that works? One wonders if the authors wanted to include a discussion of gender differences in health care between, say, men and hermaphrodites, or men and an alien species with a third gender, or men and transgendered men, or men and Archaea. Sheesh.
Edit: I bumped up the rating a star and changed the title of the review. Though the flaws I pointed out in this textbook remain, the material really starts to shine in later chapters that deal with the pathophysiology of pediatric illnesses. First-rate material, as good as or better than any straight med/surg text I have ever read.