The concept of family
The concept of family is extremely important when considering the health promotion of an individual. Families help patients to adhere to medical advice, by monitoring and encouraging them to exercise and listen to the instruction of health care professionals. The family or patient’s support is the basic unit and accessible part of the community. Nurses need to take into consideration during assessments and collecting data on family risk factors, diseases, illnesses, and family influences on each member that can affect the patient’s decision-making process. Prevention of diseases and intervention through the family will promote good health (Green, 2018). Such health promotion and education are specific and adapted for a family and therefore beneficial by reducing both the morbidity, hospital visits and the economic costs of the disease when seeking specialized medical intervention through referrals as well as to empower patients and family to take control to improve their health care. A partnership between a family and their healthcare provider is characterized as family-centered care. For instance, teaching the consequences of drinking alcohol to a parent and what are the repercussions if they drink too much as well as what illness it can cause; like cirrhosis.
In order to determine the best health promotion strategy for a patient, it is necessary to asses and understand his/her physical and social environment, individual biological and genetic influences on the family, determinants of health (smoker/drugs), family behavior and dynamics within the particular family, the community’s culture and believes, background, language, interests and demographics. After data is collected, nurses can identify the problem and create health promotion and education information base on the needs of the patient and family, a Family-Centered-Care (Green, 2018). This will also allow learning strategies that may include the family, following their learning style, emotional support for the family’s beliefs, needs, preferences, knowledge, experiences, values and their own pattern of daily living conditions (Green, 2018). In this way, the information provided will promote adherence to treatments and self-control over diseases, better comprehension and changing towards a positive health promotion behavior (Whitney, 2018). Nurses must be compassionate, empathic, and responsive to the families especially in difficult moments.
Green, Sue Z. (2018). Health Promotion: Health & Wellness Across the Continuum, Understanding Families and Health Promotion. Chp 4. Retrieved from https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs429vn/health-promotion-health-and-wellness-across-the-continuum/v1.1/#/chapter/2
Whitney, S. (2018). Teaching and Learning Styles. In Grand Canyon University (Ed) Health Promotion: Health & Wellness Across the Continuum. Retrieved from https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs429vn/health-promotion-health-and-wellness-across-the-continuum/v1.1/#/chapter/4
Family health is important because the health of the family also effects the health of the individuals within that family. This is why the family systems theory is important. It brings to light just how each family is intertwined and connected between each subunit within it. For example, with subunits being connected and effected by each other, the health of the parent figure may affect the health and personal struggles of an individual within that family unit, wither it be stress of said parent figures health or feelings of worry and fear about it. This may affect how they react to stressors in their life in the future.
There are many strategies nurses can use for family health promotion. “Family-Centered Care” aims to make health care a partnership with the family and healthcare professionals. This helps to make the families feel like they are in control of what is going on with their loved ones, it helps the families be involved with decision making, it takes into consideration the family beliefs, needs and values. “Family-Nurse Partnerships” have several programs that aim to aid families in need. One program aims to help low-income first-time mothers with home visits that will help educate and support these mothers during and after their pregnancies. This program has resulted to improved outcomes with immunizations, fewer pre-term births, reduced smoking during pregnancies and lower infant deaths. One more strategy that I really enjoy is “Relationship building and communication”. This involves nurses promoting positive nurse-patient and nurse-family relationships. Positive relationships are built with honesty, trust, caring, and cooperation with everyone involved in the relationship. When patients and families trust the nurse and form a positive relationship it helps improve the health and healing of the patient, helps communication and understating of their time in the healthcare setting wherever it may be (Green, 2018).
The way a nurse can determine what strategy would best enable the targeted individual to gain more control over and improve their health would be to assess their family. This involves multiple types of assessments including functional assessment, development assessment, an assessment of risk factors, the primary care giver, location, support and the family dynamics. I’m going to elaborate on the “structural”, “functional”, and “developmental” assessments. The structural assessment focused on who are within the family currently, this helps the nurse find the emotional connections inside the immediate family and those outside of the immediate family. Functional assessment will observe the functional health and well-being of the family by focusing on how they communicate, their routines and their activities of daily living (ADLs), this helps get an idea of their strengths and weaknesses that may affect health promotion. Development Assessment will help nurses assist the family’s response to change by gaining information about the development of the family by births, marriage, death and separations (Green, 2018).
Green, Sue Z. (2018). Understanding Families and Health Promotion. Health promotion: Health and wellness across the continuum. Retrieved from https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs429vn/health-promotion-health-and-wellness-across-the-continuum/v1.1/#/chapter/4