Family Health Assessment is a useful tool especially for families which are at the confluence of establishing a lasting health care plan. Family Health assessment is required to keep checking the health status and condition of all members of the family (Edelman & Mandle 2010). Actually, it is furtherance for the achievement of stable health care in a family through continuous checks, initiatives, and follow-up programs to sustain family health year-round (Weber 2005).
This paper presents a detailed description of the role of a nurse in fostering family assessment and means of carrying out a successful family health assessment. Different findings from various functional health patterns are presented in this article as result of tests carried out in families to assess their health. In addition, important strategies of health promotion are also discussed.
Nurses have an integral role to play in health promotion in families, regions, communities and nations (Como & Thomas 2006). This kind of assessment begins with patterns to be followed in managing and perceiving health records that have already been put in place. Families had the opportunity to verbalize their feelings concerning the already existing practices employed in health care, as well as habits noted to be useful in preventing diseases and maintenance of health in families.
The family under assessment was a couple with three children that had been living together for a period of eleven years. Children’s ages were two, seven, and ten while the parents were thirty-nine for the father and thirty-six for the mother respectively. Based on their knowledge on health management, they reported that their day to day habits revolved around eating three meals made up of breakfast, lunch and supper, smoking and alcoholism were not part of their life vocabulary and their children were continually immunized as evidenced from their clinic cards and as required.
An assessment on the normally nutritional pattern of the family revealed that the family relied on the so-called normal diets, specifically, breakfast, lunch and supper complemented by one snack after the evening meals. The parents normally ensured that the family gathered to eat at least a meal together since their children go to school every morning making them form a habit of preparing their own meals twice or thrice in a week. Another notable exceptionality in this family was that they were mindful of their day-to-day calorie intake, as well as consumption of fluids relative to their metabolic demand.
Besides, they were keen on maintaining the RDA for specific types of food required by the body for their children at their distinct ages and for them. They ensured that by specially considering an exclusive shopping for only food known to be healthy and nutritive. When interrogated about the pattern of elimination, it came to light that all the members of the family experienced normal bladder patterns, while the last born in the family aged two was still under toilet training.
An assessment of the pattern of physical activities revealed that all members of the family are active physically and normally allocate specific times of taking children for a stroll in the park. They also fix their own time for bonding by engaging in various aerobic exercises for example; jumping and walking among others.
Different news emanated when questioned about their sleeping patterns they said that the family does not get enough sleep, especially parents who share responsibilities equally to ensure that they are financially stable and do not experience a meltdown in present and will not experience it in the future life. They explained this by illustrating that father engages in part time job as he goes to school each day to complete his degree in nursing.
On the other hand, mother works full time as a nurse and many times works in the night shifts making them do their jobs in opposite shifts in order for them to delegate enough time to spend with their children. Nevertheless, despite the fact that they never have time to enjoy sleep to the fullest, they ensure that their children get enough sleep.
Shifting to the results from an assessment on the family pattern surrounding cognitive-perceptual life, it was unfolded that they normally rely on the internet to get up to date information regarding good family health care and fitness. They also read journals and magazines to add on to the information they already have.
The family is also well conversant with immunization and ensures that their children immunization is up to date as evidenced from their healthcare menu, as well as continually receive yearly flu shots done in the country to curb flu. In the same way, the family maintains checkups on their eye sights and teeth. For the general welfare of the kids, the parents are conscious about materials that can be hazardous to the children’s health and always keep out of their reach.
As a matter of self perception, it was uncovered that they enhance healthy relations with their neighbors and create an atmosphere of love between relatives help one another in finding the correct solution to crisis either socially, physically, spiritually or economically. In addition, the family is socially active in the community and normally take parts in community and church services. Stress management was another issue in focus and it came out that parents who were going through stressful conditions made efforts to relieve themselves by spending time with friends and praying about everything.
Following the assessment, 2 nursing diagnoses were identified namely, deteriorating family process and disturbed pattern of sleep. In some occasions, the family struggled to keep smooth running of their activities such as in time of sicknesses and in different occasions, they aided their colleagues resolve crisis. At the later stage it was recommended that the family members were to improve on the way of expressing their fears, concerns, as well communication mechanisms.
This also entailed creating a rapport in work schedules. The nurse also asked the family to flex muscles to be able to keep at bay/control any arising situation. They were also informed to continue on relevant reading patterns and other ways of observing good eating habit, maintaining good health and important rituals to practice.
Based on system perspective, the kinds of responses adopted by family members greatly influence the patters and behaviors of the family as a whole. A family is a unit whereby actions of a single member affect others in different ways depending on the role played by each member. Therefore, in preparation of strategies to be employed in family heath assessment and promotion, the nurse in play is obliged to integrate all members of the family but not a single patient only (Brown & Preston 2010).
In conclusion, for determination of right interventions on households, a well formulated family health assessment is required. Actually, the nurse must be adequately informed about mechanisms of carrying out a powerful and fruitful assessment to act as a paradigm for planning for interventions (Gordon 1994).
Brown, V. and Preston, G. (2010). Choice and Change: Ethics, Politics and Economics of Public Health. Canberra: Public Health Association.
Como, D. & Thomas L. (2006). Health Promotion Throughout the Lifespan. Missouri: Mosby Inc.
Edelman, C. & Mandle, L. (2010). Health promotion throughout the life span. Mosby: St. Louis.
Gordon, M. (1994). Nursing Diagnosis: Process and application. Mosby: St. Louis.
Weber, J. (2005). Nurses Handbook of Health Assessment. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.