Rutgers College of Nursing Dean's award winning book updated and released

08/11/05

TO THE POINT: Award winning book on clinical genetics by Rutgers College of Nursing Dean Felissa R. Lashley has been released in the third edition with updated and new information

NEWARK, N.J. The award winning book, "Clinical Genetics in Nursing Practice," authored by Felissa R. Lashley, Rutgers College of Nursing dean and professor, has been issued in a third edition with new and updated information about genetics pertinent to nursing practice.

The third edition, published by Springer Publishing Co., is a comprehensive overview of genetics and provides nurses and other health care professionals with information on how to assess, diagnose, manage and educate individuals with genetic conditions and their families. In addition to a summary of basic human genetics, proteinomics, and discussion of the Human Genome project, this new edition includes the latest research findings, updated information on major genetic disorders; genetic influences on common diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and emphysema; resistance and susceptibility to infectious diseases; and assessment and treatment as well as covering prenatal diagnosis, genetic screening, testing and counseling.

"The book helps nurses 'think genetically' and integrate genetic concepts and principles into their practice," said Lashley, who is also the director of the Nursing Center for Bioterrorism and Infectious Diseases Preparedness at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. "It is important to understand the implications of human genetic variation, gene environment interaction, and overt genetic diseases and how they affect patients and families in regard to disease treatment and prevention."

The first two editions received the American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year awards in 1984 (J.B. Lippincott Co.) and 1998 (Springer).

Lashley is the first nurse to be certified as a PhD medical geneticist by the American Board of Medical Genetics and is a founding fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics. She began providing clinical genetic services and genetic counseling in 1973. Lashley also received an Exxon Education Foundation Innovation award for her paper on integrating genetics into community college nursing education in 1996.

"Nurses play a variety of roles in aiding the clients and their families affected by genetically determined health conditions," said Lashley, a West Orange resident. "As they assist their clients, nurses must be able to understand the implications of human genetic variations and gene-environment interaction, as well as overt disease."

During the past decade, scientific discoveries in the field of genetics have provided knowledge with potential for tremendous influence on health care. Understanding the role genetics plays in health care provides the means to integrate such information into diagnosis, prevention and treatment of many common diseases.

Using genetic tests health care professionals can predict, in some cases, the chances that someone will contract serious illnesses like heart disease, cancer, or mental illness, and then offer either lifestyle advice or medication with the aim of preventing or minimizing such symptoms. Nurses must be familiar with such tests and assist clients in understanding the results and their genetic risk.

The book also includes more than 100 tables, figures, and illustrations of the distribution of diseases; including photos of specific genetic disorders; and an appendix listing associations, organizations and web sites relevant to genetics.

From its headquarters at Rutgers Newark, Rutgers College of Nursing offers a broad range of academic programs on all three Rutgers campuses. The college offers a master's program with unique practitioner specialties and the only doctoral (Ph.D) nursing degree in New Jersey.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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