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Family Health Assessment Importance in Nursing Process

In order to administer any type of care to an individual or an entire family, the health assessment is crucial. In this paper, the time was taken to assess and analyze the health of Nelson family that lives in Miami, Florida. The mother is a registered psychiatrist, and the father is an owner of a relatively large chain of car washing service facilities. They have two sons aged eleven and eight. The collected data about the family helped to identify three nursing diagnosis and compose a short plan with the use of a nursing process. The paper has also utilized the functional health patterns of the Nelson family to identify the lifestyle and other choices that may affect their well-being (Clarke-Douglas, n.d., p. 1).

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In the assessment of the Nelson family values, an important thing is a bond that exists between the family members. Parents strongly believe that their children should be raised in discipline and respect for others despite the family being well-off. On the basis of health management and the perception of health, the family does not have any strict rules or regulations. The father occasionally smokes, drinks a lot of coffee, and due to his busy lifestyle rarely has three healthy meals of day. The mother, on the other hand, is a strong believer that healthy lifestyle affects the mental health of an individual and tries to teach her sons the same. They frequently visit a swimming pool with their mother to stay and active and healthy. The family diet consists of fruit, vegetables, fish and meat. Occasionally children are treated to a McDonald’s that the mother does not approve of. The physical state of the family can be described as medium, although the father has a small amount of excess fat on his stomach area that can be attributed to the stressful situation he goes through at work.

Importance of Family Health Assessment

Health care that is built on the basis of family assessment can be an instrumental aspect at providing high-quality health care to children and their parents. Family health care assessment was designed to improve the settings of health care, raise awareness about the importance of sustaining a healthy lifestyle within the family, offer a distinct and organized pattern of health assessment as well as identify the areas in which future growth and improvements occur within the sphere of health care. Family assessment tools were created in order to provide opportunities for health improvements rather than providing a score that outlines the health of a family (Family Voices, 2008, p. 3). Furthermore, the results of a health care assessment will provide the family with information that will characterize the skills and strengths when it comes to taking care of each other, especially children. A discussion with the health care providers as well as policy makers will also have positive results in the process of improving health care services as well as other support.

Families can be different in their size, race, cultural background, income, religion, and other factors that affect the lifestyle and health choices of the family. Furthermore, people can become a family by means of adoption, birth, marriage or any other way that unites people. Family members have significant influence on each other in terms of knowledge, values, standards, and, of course, health choices. Family can also be described as a small dynamic in itself that has different ways of living and realizing its dreams and aspirations. When combined with other families, they can become a basis for the diverse cultural heritage. Lastly, as any individual, a family has its strong points and weaknesses as well as other qualities that come from every family member and from a family as a whole element (Family Voices, 2008, p. 4).

Family Health Evaluation

The introduction briefly outlined the lifestyle of the Nelson family thus this section will provide detailed information about three family members, excluding the younger son because the analysis calls for establishing three nursing diagnoses and short nursing care plans.

Mr. Nelson

The first family member for assessment is the father. He is a forty-three year old white American of Irish descend. He owns a chain of car washes scattered across Miami and has a very busy and stressful lifestyle because of his job. The lack of time to have a healthy breakfast or lunch causes Mr. Nelson to reserve to a fast-food drive through accompanied with a large cup of coffee to keep himself awake and energetic. Furthermore, Mr. Nelson’s small excess of fat in his stomach area is a hereditary issue that it not that easy to fix, even if he tries. Because of the poor nutrition pattern, the father has experienced some cases of hypertension that only contribute to the overall state of health. High blood pressure can often be undetected and negatively affect the body. Thus the main issue that can cause damage to Mr. Nelson’s health is hypertension that is caused by poor diet choices that include junk food, excess caffeine as well as occasional smoking.

Since the cases of hypertension Mr. Nelson experienced were not severe yet, the following nursing plan does not involve any medication recommendations.

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  1. Regular exercise. At least thirty minutes of physical activity a fay can be instrumental in lowering blood pressure. However, Mr. Nelson is advised to be consistent in his exercising pattern. There is clinical evidence that if the exercising unexpectedly stops, blood pressure will rise again.
  2. Healthy diet. Sustaining a healthy diet in a busy lifestyle Mr. Nelson experiences is not the easiest task; however, it can be accomplished. Mr. Nelson is advised to stop relying on coffee as a main source of energy, start his busy day with a healthy filling breakfast, drinking water and bring some healthy snacks like fruit or nuts along to his work (Bertol, 2015, para. 8).
  3. Reduce sodium. Sodium is a component that is widely known as a reason for the increase of hypertension. Thus, by reducing the amount of sodium in his diet, Mr. Nelson will be able to keep his blood pressure under control.

Mrs. Nelson

Mrs. Nelson is a thirty-nine year old American of Spanish heritage. She is a certified psychiatrist that specialized in evaluating and treating any issues that arise within families. The lifestyle of Mrs. Nelson greatly differs from the one of her husband. Her office where she receives patients is in her house, so she rarely has to travel to a different location for work, except for emergencies when she is needed for the home of her patients. She visits the gym three to four times a week as well as spends time with her sons in a swimming pool. Furthermore, Mrs. Nelson is a vegetarian by choice but does not force her lifestyle on her children and husband. Occasionally Mrs. Nelson experiences headaches and sudden losses of energy. Headaches and sudden fatigue can be signs to vitamin B12, Iodine and Zinc deficiency in Mrs. Nelson’s body. The following plan gives reasoning and solutions for fixing the deficiencies.

  1. Metabolism is regulated by the hormones that are produced by thyroid that needs iodine in order to be in a healthy state. Seafood is one of the main sources of iodine that can also be found in some dairy products. If Mrs. Nelson does not wish to consume any seafood or dairy, she can consume a quarter of a teaspoon of iodized salt once a day.
  2. Vitamin B12 can be found in animal products and produced blood cells within a body. A vegetarian diet can put the body at risk of the B12 efficiency, so Mrs. Nelson is advised to add B12 supplements into her diet.
  3. Immune system performs poorly in the absence of zinc. Despite the fact that zinc is found in both animal and non-animal products, the human body absorbs it better from the animal foods. In a plant-based diet, zinc id best absorbed through fortified cereal or through supplements (Sheldon, 2015, para. 6).

Nelson’s Older Son

As mentioned previously, the older son of Mr. and Mrs. Nelson is eleven years old and attends the local primary school. He is a healthy-looking and energetic kid that has a passion for swimming and, unfortunately, video games. Despite the fact that his parents try to limit his hours behind a computer of a gaming console, he still manages to spend from two to four hours a day playing video games. By evaluating the health of the boy, it is evident that his eyesight has worsened in a few years, he has troubles at reading from a blackboard at school, he squints for trying to see something on a distance, and he sometimes has redness in his eyes. These are signs of a refractive error of nearsightedness that means poor vision of a distance. It is usually treated by prescription contact lenses or glasses (KidsHealth, 2014, para. 12). Furthermore, parents should be stricter in allowing their son play video games an limit the playing time to maximum two hours a day.


The health assessment of the Nelson’s family has shown that the lifestyle of the family greatly affects the state of their health. Mr. Nelson is a busy person that has no time to have a healthy and balanced diet that will keep his body in shape as well as lower his blood pressure. Mr. Nelson is advised to keep as healthy of a diet as possible, reduce the consumption of caffeine and sodium, and try to exercise on a regular basis. A strict vegetarian diet that Mrs. Nelson follows has caused her have headaches and quickly lose energy throughout the day. Mrs. Nelson was advised to take vitamin supplements and try to incorporate some seafood into her diet to increase the amount of iodine that is vital to adequate operation of the thyroid. Lastly, the older son is a overall healthy boy due to the fact that his mother takes care of his diet and active lifestyle. But the boy’s passion for videogames has affected his eyesight which can have negative consequences if not treated and taken under control in time.


Bertol, K. (2015). 13 Healthy Tips for a Busy Lifestyle. Web.

Clarke-Douglas, K. (n.d.). Family Health Assessment. Web. 

Family Voices. (2008). Family-Centered Care Self-Assessment Tool. Web. 

KidsHealth. (2014). Your Child’s Vision. Web. 

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Sheldon, L. (2015). The Negative Effects of Vegetarianism. Web. 

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