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Social Solutions for Diabetes

Monday September 24, 2007
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Diabetes: Sugar-Coated Crisis: Who Gets It, Who Profits and How to Stop It by David Spero, RN

Diabetes: Sugar-Coated Crisis deals with a crucial health issue that is often ignored — the subject of power. Spero does more than document the social dynamics that drive the diabetes epidemic; he proposes solutions from which both patients and medical caregivers will benefit. He believes Type 2 diabetes isn't so much an illness as a racket, forced upon people with less power by those with more power. The author calls Type 2 diabetes a social disease caused by environments high in stress and sugar and low in opportunities to move or feel good about ourselves.

Spero, a nurse for 32 years, specializes in self-care — helping people help themselves. The author knows firsthand that people's health flows from the quality and difficulty of their lives. "People get sick because their lives are hard, the environment is unhealthy, and they lack the power to respond effectively," he says.

The author begins his book with Diabetes 101, an overview of the disease: Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, who is predisposed to diabetes and why, who lives well with it and who suffers, and how media and mainstream medicine overlook its most important causes. Spero reveals the medical mistreatment of diabetes, from excluding diabetics from medical insurance to underfunding diabetes education. But we also learn about the many success stories and effective medical programs taking place in communities around the world. A special section (appendix) includes valuable diabetic self-care tips and resources.

New Society Publishers, $13.00 (paperback)

Leadership Competencies for Clinical Managers: The Renaissance of Transformational Leadership by Anne M. Barker, EdD, RN, Dori Taylor Sullivan, PhD, RN, CNA, CPHQ, and Michael J. Emery, PT, EdD

To break new ground, stimulate minds with practical ideas, and advance a body of knowledge is often a challenging experience. The authors accomplish this with their careful balance of theoretical and practical information that allows clinical leaders to sustain excellence within their organizations.

This is a "must read" and necessary component for practicing and aspiring clinical nurses who want to successfully combine the art and science of transformational leadership. In accordance with today's practice environment in which patient care is delivered by a multidisciplinary health care team, Leadership Competencies focuses on the wider scope of clinical leadership — building healthful environments for patient care-centered facilities.

The authors write in a conversational style, using self-assessment and application exercises to help the reader apply theory to practice. In reading this book, one can't help but consider his or her organization's culture, structured roles, and expectations. By modifying suggested approaches and adopting strategies based on assessment, one can achieve a high-performance healthcare team that works together to ensure positive client outcomes.

Jones and Bartlett Publishers, $43.00 (paperback)

National Guidelines and Tools for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Edited by the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA)

This handy pocket guide provides a comprehensive list of national guidelines and tools relevant to cardiovascular disease prevention. The publication, a second edition, was initiated by PCNA, a leader in promoting the professional development of healthcare practitioners who focus on prevention of cardiovascular disease.

National Guidelines, secured with a sturdy spiral binder, includes lists of commonly used medications for the treatment of diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension, obesity, and smoking cessation. The guide's convenient index tabs allow nurses to easily find a topic of interest. Carefully constructed graphs assess risk factors and lifestyle changes and guide individual patients through their prospective treatment plans.

Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association $25.00 (paperback) http://www.pcna.net 1.800.345.6425

Terry Ratner, RN, MFA, is a freelance writer for NurseWeek and Nursing Spectrum. E-mail Bookcase@nurseweek.com.