Family Health Assessment Paper
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Family is an important unit in the community system. Family should be thought of as a unit, in which each person within the family has their own unique role. Family can be considered as either extended or nuclear, in which extended consists of multiple generations whereas nuclear family consists of the immediate family. An extended family has the benefits of having the older generation around to help raise the younger generation, while parents and other family members can occupy themselves with other activities, such as work, etc. When one member of the family is ill or deviates from the normal routine, that affects the entire family. In order to observe the way in which the family unit works normally, and with certain obstacles, a family was surveyed and it was found that when one individual displayed a different routine, the entire family unit functioned differently.
Gordon’s Family Health Patterns explains elaborately how to assess a family, making the nursing process easier by covering every aspect of the health of an individual within a family’s overall well-being. Using Gordon’s Family Health Patterns, a suburban Hispanic nuclear family of four was assessed to further understand the overall family dynamic. When it comes to values/health perception, there was an overall strong bond among family members in which family itself was considered the first priority. As a religious family, God plays an important role in every aspect of the family’s life, due to the family’s prayers for good health when faced with sickness.
In addition, when there was overall good health, the family showed their thankfulness to God for their well-being. Along with religious and family values, the family itself held strong ethnic beliefs that reflected their culture and food. Herbal remedies showed precedent in comparison to medicinal remedies. While the adults in the family did not go to routine checkups, unless faced with illness, with their primary care physicians, the children of the family routinely went to their PCPs annually. However, the entire family did not go to their dentist unless facing an ailment. This was due to the fact that the family did not hold dental insurance.
In regards to nutrition, the entire family showed some poor choices. Meals mainly consisted of carbohydrates, and sugary drinks such as soda. One of the children was borderline overweight, while the father was diabetic. Both of these family members showed some constraint to the types of food they were consuming, however, observing the family as a unit, there could have been major improvements in diet. Supermarkets were widely available to the family, and food options such as fruits and vegetables also proved to be accessible. The family did have a routine bowel elimination pattern, however, the mother showed signs of stress incontinent. This can be due to the effects of child bearing, in addition to poor pelvic floor muscles. One of the children had eczema.
The family was equipped with a car, however the primary mode of transportation was public transportation. Family activity centered around family game night and outings. The children played with neighborhood children for a about 1 hour a day after school, however the amount of time spent on the computer, TV, and other electronics far outweighed the amount of physical activity that the children participated in. The parents did not show any signs of participation of physical activity, however they hinted that they were planning on buying a treadmill. Once in a while, the family as a whole went for walks to the park and around the neighborhood.
While everyone’s hearing was good, when it came to vision, one child was wearing glasses for near-sightedness. There were no complaints for memory loss or problems. The family was a mix of audio-visual learners and write-read learners. For sensory perception, the mother greatly was involved with the decorative concepts of the house to make it more homely and comforting for the entire family. The family was openly very affectionate to one another, in terms of hugging and kissing. In addition, if there was a problem with one family member, such as the individual being obviously angry, the other family members were easily perceptible to this attitude and adjusted their manner in order to appease or avoid the situation.
The overall self-perception of the family was mixed. Both children, in their teenage years, showed a low-self esteem value, with one child showing a overall lower self-value. Both parents displayed worry over not having a proper education and not having well-paid jobs. The main strength of the family was that they found comfort and happiness in one another, while the weaknesses centered around money issues and everyday annoyances with one another.
The family was content with their current living situation in their suburban home. The children were involved with the town-sponsored sports teams, while the father was a coach for one of the children’s teams. The mother participated in the PTA organization. Thus, this involvement further assisted the family when it came to socializing and making new friend within the community.
Though the family was not as open to discussing sexuality, the final outcome of this aspect was that the parents were happy as a couple. The teenagers showed no confusion with their sexuality, and even though the teenagers currently utilized no contraceptives, the parents had reported that they previously have discussed the use of contraceptives. Both the father and mother did utilize contraceptives in their sexual lives.
The major stress of the family was based on money. Overall, there was worry over income and money management. In order to cope with such stresses, the family plans low-budget activities, such as camping in the backyard, going to local outings, staycations, and so forth. For the children, school guidance counselors are available to discuss any concerns, whether inside or outside the school environment. Both children, however, did not show that they ever made an appointment with the school counselor. The adults turned to one another or to friends and other extended family members to discuss stressful situations.
Based on the assessment of the family, there were several diagnoses to be made. The mother had a urinary elimination problem, and the nursing education/treatment was for her to perform pelvic floor muscle exercises/ kegel exercises. For the father, who is a diagnosed diabetic, the wellness diagnosis would be to maintain a proper well-balanced and nutritious meal pattern by following the Healthy Plate campaign from the US government. For the children, who were both suffering from low-self esteem, it is important for the parents to ensure readiness for enhanced self-perception and self-concept by providing the children healthy role models, along with facilitating discussions on the mental capacity of both children. This will overall help bridge a gap between parent and child for open communication. Overall, Gordon’s Family health pattern is a useful tool in assessing a family. In the family which was observed, the family could be improved in multiple ways when it comes to elimination aspects, nutritional aspects, and self-concept/self-perception aspects. This tool can be useful to many nurses in understanding the role of individuals within a family unit.