Community Health Nursing: Family Health Assessment

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Topic: Health & Medicine
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Family health assessment has proved to be an effective practice to find out the atmosphere in the chosen family that might be useful for choosing the right way to treat the patients. It is used for gathering a comprehensive understanding of the health status of each family member (Willemse & Kortenbout, 2012). To develop a detailed picture of family health, it is necessary to include such information as the family demographics, the way of dividing the roles among the family members, patterns of functioning, solving problems, and making decisions, social, cultural, religious, and financial environment in the family, and physical and psychological atmosphere (Allender, Rector & Warner, 2010).

I will focus my attention on Eduardo family health assessment, who live in Miami, Florida. It is a traditional heterosexual, middle-class family. Father, aged 37, is a police officer at the local police department. Mother, aged 34, works as a teacher at a community school. They have two kids – a son, aged 10, and a daughter, aged 7. Both attend the school their mother works at. The ethnic background of the family is Latin American, however, all family members were born and grew up in the United States. Father is the leader in the family and the primary provider. Even though mother also works, her position is part-time, that is why her role in providing funding for the family is minor.

General physical and psychological condition in the family seems to be healthy. Family members are friendly and appear to be happy. They live in a separate house in a residential district, have a dog and a cat living in a house with them. Sometimes, their parents come to visit them for holidays. Eduardo family has a balanced, healthy diet avoiding snacks and junk food. Diary, fruit and vegetables, some cereals, and lean meat compose the basis of their daily ration. From time to time they enjoy confectionery products, but try to keep the amount of consumed sugar to the minimum. All family members go in for sports regularly. In addition to that, they do not report sleeping disorders and have a sleeping regime – all family members sleep 6 to 8 hours a day and usually do not stay up late because they all wake up at 6 in the morning. Father and mother drink alcohol socially and deny smoking or illicit drug use. For these reasons, primary health concerns that sometimes affect family functioning are seasonal diseases.

The family’s stage of development is the family with school children. Parents are quite good at carrying out their goals of supporting their children’s process of socializations and encouraging their educational ambitions (Goldenberg & Goldenberg, 2008). However, the fact that their second child just went to school creates some stress in the atmosphere, as it is sometimes difficult to encourage the little girl and help her in socializing. Generally speaking, all family members are quite successful in coping with their age-appropriate developmental goals, as father and mother feel the responsibility for their children’s development and help them achieve their objectives however they can and children do their best to gain new knowledge and skills and interact with their peers.

Eduardo family has some health issues as the wife’s father died from leukemia and the husband’s mother suffers from sugar diabetes. In fact, they are afraid that they might have the genetic predisposition to these diseases. That is why they have chosen to lead a healthy lifestyle including lots of sports and limiting sugar and fats. In addition to that, they have their tests regularly, so that they know whether there are some threats to their health. Being a bit paranoid when it comes to health issues, they had all the necessary vaccines for their children including diphtheria, poliovirus, and hepatitis of all types and usually have vaccines for every new type of influenza evolving.

On the other hand, such smothering of parents had positive outcomes for the health status of their children, as they do not have any serious health issues. The only thing that bothers this family from time to time is seasonal diseases such as getting cold. Eduardo family always suffers from stress when one of the family members gets sick. However, the only experience of hospital admission was when their kids both had chickenpox. Parents were too concerned that they might have had skin infection after attending a pool at a community school mother of the family works at.

The members of Eduardo family believe that sharing thoughts freely and open communication are the most valuable aspects of family relations. That is why they choose the consensual model of communication. Both parents and children express their feelings and thoughts openly, they know that they can trust each other, but the fact of the matter is that all decisions are made by the parents even though kids are free to share their arguments (Cuncic, n.d.). The chosen model has proved to be effective because the parents encourage their children in sharing their feelings and emotions but still kids know that these are parents who make the vital decisions. So, the family is friendly but at the same time has a strict division of roles and authority. It helps to avoid role overload and collision of functions carried out by the family members. Nevertheless, they acknowledge that they have some problem while making decisions especially when it comes to those regarding their daughter. Because the father is believed to be the leader of the family, there are some clashes between the interests, as mother claims that she knows better what their little girl needs.

For the same reason of openness and discretion, there are no signs of violence in the family. Parents have chosen moral and spiritual levers of affecting their kids’ behavior. The most stringent punishment that may be used to children is leaving them without television or the Internet for some time without any application of physical force. Such friendly atmosphere in the family is also beneficial for handling any crisis situations because all family members know that their home is a safe haven for them when they can find love and understanding and are free to share their concerns without being mocked or criticized.

What also affects the division of roles and the environment in the Eduardo family is that the members are highly religious people. They attend the Catholic Church every Sunday and acknowledge that religiosity has a robust effect on building interaction inside as well as outside the family. It also has a positive impact on their psychological welfare. As of the social factors that might influence the state of health of the family members, they include constant stress caused by the working conditions. Father of the family usually works overtime. Moreover, the work of police officer is stressful for both the police officer himself and his family members as they worry for his well-being.

As for now, the family goals are to guarantee the health of every family member. As for the future, parents want to give their children the possibility to obtain higher education that would help them achieve their goals in life and become successful. For achieving these goals, they have both internal and external sources of support. As of the inner sources, they basically include some savings of parents. Speaking of external support, the parents of the Eduardo family were lucky enough to come from rich families, however, they have chosen to achieve success and financial sufficiency by themselves that is why their parents’ wealth is the last resort in the case of emergency or significantly severe crisis situations.

Overall impression of Eduardo family is positive. They seem to be friendly and happy. As of the relations between wife and husband, they demonstrate love and affection towards each other, that is why children grow in a healthy psychological atmosphere. Moreover, the parents of the family acknowledge that they are satisfied with their sexual life, and their primary objective is to make their children realize that there is nothing shameless in showing affection towards the loved ones.

Based on the given assessment of Eduardo family it is possible to determine wellness nursing diagnosis for Eduardo family and plans of care. First of all, it should be said that this type of diagnosis is about highlighting that the patient or the group of patients have the desire to lift to improve the level of their health in the areas that they find disturbing whether it be physical or psychological well-being (Carpenito-Moyet, 2012). What, in fact, can be at the back of this splendiferous openness is readiness for enhanced role performance in the case of the father. Even though parents seem to be quite good at sharing the role in the family, there are some collisions in the decision-making process. That said, the care plan for this specific situation is trying to determine husband’s self-image and self-perception. It might help find out whether there are subconscious problems that, in fact, mean that father of the family suffers from ineffective role performance or whether both parents are affected by parental role conflict.

In the case of the kids, the diagnosis might be readiness for enhanced communication. Even though they claim that they are open and feel free to share their thoughts and emotions, there might be some underlying problems, as the parents made their kids understand that the vital decisions are made by them. So, what might be the problem is impaired verbal communication (Weber, 2013) as the kids might feel the strain in readiness to share the most innermost thoughts. What should be assessed is the children’s emotional patterns of behavior to find out how open they are in communication.

Finally, the diagnosis for the whole family might be readiness for enhanced family stress coping. What can be said about this family is that they do not have the plan for dealing with the unpredictable situations. All they know is that they can fall upon their parent’s wealth as the last resort. What should be analyzed is their life values and goals including their religious beliefs. Underlying problem might be anxiety. That said, Eduardo family is the bright example proving that what might seem perfect outside is not always the same on the inside and that it is always crucial for the nurses to be critical when it comes to determining the state of mental health of their patients.

References

Allender, J.A., Rector, C. & Warner, K.D. (2010). Community health nursing: Promoting and Protecting the Public’s Health (7th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: LWW.

Carpenito-Moyet, L. J. (2012). Nursing diagnosis: Application to clinical practice (14th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: LWW.

Cuncic, A. (n.d.). Types of communication patterns in families. Web.

Goldenberg, H., & Goldenberg, E. (2008). Family therapy: An overview. Belmont, CA: Thomson Learning.

Weber, J. R. (2013). Nurses’ handbook of health assessment (8th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: LWW.

Willemse, J. J., & Kortenbout, E. W. (2012). Undergraduate nurses’ experience of the family health assessment as a learning opportunity. Health S A, 17(1), 1E-9E.