The development of appropriate health care plans for a person and his/her family sometimes require the use of family health assessment, which is an important component in the nursing process. Family health assessment is significant in the nursing or health care process because it helps in upholding family health. One of the most commonly used methods for family health assessment is a functional health pattern assessment that was introduced by Gordon. This model provides a holistic mechanism for family health assessment given that health patterns are classified in 11 categories (Hooper, 1996, p.238). The summary presented in this paper is a family health assessment based on questions listed in the previous pages across the 11 health patterns. The health assessment was carried out on Martin's family, which consists of a 50-year-old father, 46-year-old mother, and 4 children named Amos, Josh, Maureen, and Victor. The summary of findings also includes identification of at least two wellness nursing diagnoses based on the family assessment.
Background of the Family
Martin's family is an ordinary one with a decent life in Hoboken, New Jersey with the parents working in a family business they founded nearly approximately 5 years ago. Martin's three children, Amos, Josh, and Maureen are college students in fourth, second, and first year respectively while the youngest son, Victor, is currently in Grade 5 in a nearby school. Martin lives together with his wife and children and upholds close relations with all family members. From my observation, the entire family seems relatively happy as they dine together daily while sharing their experiences of what happened in their respective activities of the day. Despite establishing certain values and beliefs based on their religion, there are indications chaotic health behaviors with significant impacts on their well-being.
Findings of the Family Health Assessment
In light of their values and beliefs, these people have a custom through which makes them not to seek clinical help unless in emergency situations. However, they have a primary care provider who they visit for annual follow up for information on the status of their health. The family has not have a standardized an exercise regimen for all members, which means that they exercise at their own pleasure. One of the family members, Janet, the mother, does not usually participate in family activities like exercises because of her overwhelming work and home duties. In addition, her metabolic function had been largely affected by her condition of borderline hypertension and diabetes. Due to the numerous responsibilities of the mother and her condition, Martin's family nutrition experience challenges. It is difficult for her to effectively attend to all duties on a daily basis and regularly suffers from burnout. Consequently, they do not have a healthy eating regimen that promotes their health and well-being. Therefore, the family is likely to experience nutritional risks brought by deficiencies in nutrients and vitamins as well as difficulty in suitable evaluation of fat contents of every meal.
The family's unhealthy eating habit is partly regulated by increased consumption of high fiber breads and salads that help their elimination patterns. In the past few months, Martin has experienced changes in his elimination patterns after being diagnosed with intermittent diarrhea that been increasingly difficult to manage. A conversation with the parents demonstrates their recognition of the significance of nutrition education and establishment of a regular exercise regimen. The entire family acknowledges that regular exercise and physical activity is an important method of enhancing health. Nonetheless, each of them tends to find explanations or excuses for their irregular involvement in exercise or physical activity.
As previously mentioned, the family rarely exercises or conducts physical activities that enhance their physical well-being. However, they have established a sleeping pattern that helps in lessening sleep disruptions. The establishment of the undisturbed sleep pattern is based on the mother's emphasis on the need to get enough rest in order to be ready and fresh for the following day's activities and schedule. Therefore, every family member goes to bed almost immediately after dinner and gets at least 7 hours of sleep every day. Regardless of the undisturbed sleep pattern, Martin's sleep is frequently disturbed by the elimination patterns due to his condition. Unlike the other family members, Martin tends to wake up feeling tired in the morning because of the interrupted sleep. Martin's family spends most of their leisure time or family relaxation time watching television or holding family discussions.
The primary health care provider who they visit annually for follow-up is the source of the family's medical and health information. The health and medical information they obtain from the primary care provider helps them in adjusting their health planning and medication as well as making necessary adjustments to promote their well-being. The other sources of medical information for the family include television programs and occasional discussions or conversations with relatives, friends, and neighbors. While health and medication is a rare topic in family discussions, every member regularly read materials that provide them with important health information.
One of the most important traditions for this family is regular discussions about pertinent issues that affect every individual and the family as a whole. Martin and his wife usually counsel their teenage sons and daughter about sexual behaviors and other issues affecting their life. These parents encourage their children to abstain from inappropriate and irresponsible sexual behaviors. This is primarily based on their Christian beliefs since they are Pentecostals who attend church services regularly and pray and fast on a regular basis.
Wellness Nursing Diagnosis
Martin's family could benefit from a wellness nursing diagnosis given that some of their health behaviors and practices have considerable impacts on their health and well-being. Wellness nursing diagnosis can primarily be described as a clinical judgment regarding a person, family, group or society from their current wellness level to a higher or greater one. According to Weber (2005), nursing wellness diagnosis in terms of wellness, risk, and actual is classified based on functional health patterns. Based on an analysis of the functional health patterns of Martin's family, there are various actual diagnoses and risk diagnoses that are present. The most appropriate wellness nursing diagnosis for Martin's family in light of focus on nutritional health for all its members is readiness for improved Nutritional Metabolic Patterns.
They need to obtain nutritional education and information regarding caloric intake as they embark on health behaviors and practices. Through this diagnosis, members of the family will work together towards preparing homemade nutritious meals instead of leaving it to the mother who has an overwhelming daily schedule. In addition, readiness for enhanced nutritional metabolic patterns will enable the family to have a set routine of preparation of meals on a weekly basis. Some of the major elements to include in the program include nutritional choices low on the glycemic index, juicing, and physical activity.
Martin's family assessment demonstrates that the family has embraced a holistic view of belief and value system that govern their health and well-being practices. However, the family suffers from various issues related to nutrition and physical activity. Therefore, the health practices and wellness level of this family provides an opportunity for improved health and well-being through achieving a higher standard of living.
Hooper, JI. (1996, October). The Family Receiving Home Care: Functional Health Pattern
Assessment. Home Care Provider, 1(5), 238-43.
Weber, J.R. (2005). Nursing Diagnoses (Wellness, Risk, and Actual) Grouped According to Functional Health Patterns. Retrieved August 24, 2014, from http://web.archive.org/web/20120526135152/http://jxzy.smu.edu.cn/jkpg/UploadFiles/file/TF_06928152357_nursing%20diagnoses%20grouped%20by%20functional%20health%20patterns.pdf
Questions for Martin's Family
1. Values, health perception
What is your family's health status in relation to activities to promote health and wellness?
What would you consider as harmful habits to the family's health?
Is there any history of disease or medical issues or challenges in the family?