Family Health Nursing As A Growing Specialty

1354 words - 5 pages

University of PhoenixThe family's health has become an important focus in healthcare today. Nursing research has moved from client centered care to viewing the client within the context of the family. Changing family dynamics and functions have made an impact on its health. Researchers have written materials that give explanation to the reasons for the evolving family and its impact on society. This paper will explore family health nursing by focusing on four areas. First, it will explain why the family is important for the nurse to include while assessing and caring for a patient. The paper will also mention how families have changed within the last few decades and what might constitute a family in today's society. Finally, this paper will give an insight of what this writer's view of family health nursing is.Family is a group of people who are related or connected through a common bond. Family structures differ significantly around the world among cultural, racial or ethnic groups. The members often rely on each other for support, identity, and stabilization. Through the interaction of the family, members derive their meaning of life and the society around them. Through family, the members gain an understanding of their place in society; develop social etiquette, self-worth and values. What constitutes a family is an ever evolving question. Today the family is comprised of a variety of individuals and interdependent relationships. Many sociologists have formed a definition of family. What is interesting to note is that individuals have their own definition of family and who they consider family. In caring for a family the nurse needs to ask the patient who he or she considers to be family. Per Friedman, Bowden and Jones (2003) the only "sure" way of determining who the individual client's family is, is to ask him or her.The family is an important focus for nurses. The family helps to influence and care for their loved ones who are our patients. Through the family patients derive their meaning of wellness and sickness. The family is the basic unit in which health and healthy life styles are defined for its members. In order for a nurse to be effective in teaching or guiding a patient to self change in his or her health and healthy lifestyle, the family must be included. The nurse must first assess the patient's view of health as well as the family's view of health. Understanding their views will assist the nurse in identifying holes, gaps and unhealthy thinking and help formulate a care plan for the patient and family. According to Stanhope and Lancaster (2004) the family is a major influence on the individual's concept of health and illness. Within the family a person's sense of self-esteem and personal competence is developed. The action taken by or for the person with a health problem depends on this sense of self-worth and the family's definition of illness.The definition and demographics of the family is ever evolving with the changes in...

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