Called to Care: A Christian Worldview for Nursing

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Called to Care: A Christian Worldview for Nursing

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Jack Coughlin. The authors quickly survey the history of nursing, and they compare a biblical worldview for nursing with modern Enlightenment and post-modern paradigms for nursing. In subsequent chapters they develop further the implications of Christian theology for our understanding of the person chapters , the environment chapters , health chapters and nursing practice chapters They consistently compare and contrast the implications of a Christian worldview with the implications of modern and post-modern worldviews.

Called to care : a Christian worldview for nursing / |

The book has a number of strengths, among which we would note this first: that it is readable without being shallow, and sometimes profound without becoming inaccessible. Those who are just beginning to reflect about the implications of the Christian faith for nursing practice will be able to understand and follow it, and those who have been thinking about these issues for some time will find it useful and challenging.

One of the authors of this review is a nursing student in the Hope-Calvin nursing program; the other is a theologian who has been thinking about health care ethics for three decades; and we both appreciated the book very much and learned a great deal from it. A second strength of the book is its attention to real life vignettes taken from the experience of the authors and their colleagues.

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These serve to keep the book -- and the theology surveyed in the book -- connected to the experience of nurses. Occasionally these vignettes, however, are neglected after being used to introduce a topic or a chapter. One notable example of this neglect was the story of an order not to treat a child born with anencephaly.

It was used to introduce Chapter 4 but then ignored. The vignette seemed to suggest both that the child should be regarded as the image of God and that care for such a child required an effort to keep the child alive as long as possible, but the authors did not return to the vignette or give a compelling argument for the claims suggested. The impact on patient care has proven confusing and discouraging to many nurses.

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Miller define nursing for today based on a historically and theologically grounded understanding of the nurse's call: Nursing is a ministry of compassionate care for the whole person, in response to God's grace toward a sinful world, which aims to foster optimum health shalom and bring comfort in suffering and death for anyone in need. Called to Care asserts that nursing is a vocation, giving nurses a framework for understanding their mission and living out their calling: service to God through caring for others.

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