As a nurse, we are responsible for not only the holistic care of our patients, but also as a collaborator, and advocator, and more importantly, an educator. Many people do not realize the influence that a nurse has over a patient when it comes to education. We are responsible for making sure that the person understands everything about how to care for themselves, and most often we are left to answer any questions that the patient may have regarding to the care to which they or a family member are receiving. With this paper, I was able to fully embrace the educator side of nursing practice.
The family that was selected for this paper was a family of a fellow band member that I have met at a previous time through sporting events at the university. The structure of this family could be described as a blended or reconstituted family, meaning there are "two parents with biologic children from a previous marriage" (London, Ladewig, Ball, Bindler & Cowen, 2011). The mother, CM, has three biological children from a previous marriage, KP, CP, and TP, and also shares a child, JM2, with her current husband in this household, JM1.
During the first visit to the household, I was able to introduce the purpose of the assignment to the family. They agreed to let me write my paper about them after explaining that their confidentiality would be kept between the instructor grading my paper and I. During the next visit to the family's household, I was able to complete my family assessment guide. We were able to come up with several priority needs that were available for teaching or referral, such as health insurance referral for CP, family counseling, insomnia prevention and remedies, and scholarship opportunities for KP. After discussing with the family what needs they felt took top priority with this activity, we decided that the top three needs that required the most attention were: knowledge deficit in relation to pediatric asthma, smoking cessation education, and knowledge deficit in relation to nutrition.
Pediatric Asthma Education
The first topic of teaching that I felt was most important for discussion was education in regards to the chronic asthma that TP suffers from. The family never received proper education in relation to what causes asthma and how to properly manage the asthma, both long-term and in emergency situations. TP has been prescribed Symbicort as a long-acting maintenance beta2-adrenergic agonist for control of his asthma, as well as albuterol for a short-acting bronchodilator rescue-inhaler in case of an attack. I explained the differences in the two medications by telling the parents that albuterol is for use in emergency situations, since it is a medications that works rapidly to help open up the airways to help the child breathe. I went on to explain that the Symbicort was just for maintenance of the disease, because it works to decrease the inflammation that is associated with asthma. I began by teaching the...