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Family Health Assesment

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Family Health Assessment
Family is the structural support of society. Family shapes everybody’s character and supports a person’s emotional, physical and psychological development. “Family is set of interacting individuals related by blood, marriage, cohabitation or adoption who interdependently perform relevant functions by fulfilling expected role” (Edelman, Mandle, & Kudzma, 2010). The family plays a vital role in a child’s progression. A functional and loving family is very necessary for the society.
“Gordon’s functional health patterns are an exceptional tool for gathering data, organizing the intervention unique for the family and identifying nursing diagnosis. Nursing assessment defines the health status of an individual. Gordon’s eleven functional health make possible a standardized and organized approach to data collection, and enable the nurse to determine the following aspects of health and human function: Values and health perception, Nutrition, Sleep/Rest, Elimination, Activity/Exercise, Cognitive, Sensory-Perception, Self-Perception, Role Relationship, Sexuality and Coping” (Gordon, 2013). By using both Gordon’s frame work and the nurse’s assessment data, nurses are in a position to improve patterns which mirror many different lifestyles. Gordon’s utilitarian health patterns help nurses to focus on effective nursing interventions and outcomes. Interview of the Family: Mrs. John is a 43 year old Indian woman, who lives with her husband and her three children. She is a full time RN and works in a community hospital. Mr. John, her husband, is 46 years old and also works full time as an RN within a community hospital. Her oldest son is 11 and attends 6th grade. Their daughter is 8 and attends 2nd grade while their youngest child is 4 and he is in Pre-Kindergarten. They are an everyday middle class Indian family that, like most families, deals with the struggle of prioritizing both their jobs and their family life.
Mrs. John had met with some health issues for the past two years. About 3 years ago, Mrs. John got diagnosed with Breast Cancer, which was dealt with surgically. Later, she completed 6 cycles of chemo therapy. During that time period, she lost a considerable amount of her weight and unfortunately was unable to recover it all. Later, she was diagnosed with diabetes type 2 when she was 35 years old. She acknowledged that the whole process of having to endure cancer was a really hard time of her life, when she had to accept that she had cancer and was a mother of three at the same time. She broke into tears while she discussed about this time period. Her parents came from India to help her through those tough times.
Values and Health Perception
“Health perception and values are focused on the individual’s perception of their health, beliefs, and values” (Edelman, Kudzma & Mandle, 2014). Mrs. John’s family is a very religious and disciplined family. The children are taught how to respect others. They value the formal education of the children, as well as their spiritual education. They always eat together at meals and try to spend as much time as possible with one another. The parents always stress the importance of a healthy diet and regular exercise to their children. Nobody drinks alcohol or smokes. They always go to church on Sundays and try to go on other days as well. Therefore, based on their health perception, it can be said that they are a relatively healthy family.
Following the traditional Indian diet, Mrs. John and her family usually eat together and eat either rice/wheat along with other foods such as fish or chicken along with vegetables. They are not big supporters of eating junk food or too many processed snacks and drinks. The parents discourage their children from consuming soft drinks such as coke, sprite, etc. They eat a balanced meal and at school the children make healthy choices in regards to what they eat at lunch. There have been no reports of diseases/conditions such as diabetes or obesity.
Sleep and Rest
Nobody in the family has any sleeping conditions such as insomnia or other problems. There also are no signs of irregular sleeping patterns. The children usually sleep early around 9:00 p.m. and do not stay up late in the night. The parents also set a model to their children by sleeping relatively early as well. Nobody is using medications or sleeping pills to induce sleep in this family.
None of the individual members of the family are using any medications or laxatives to stimulate bowel movement. Also there are no reports of diseases or conditions related to that such as diarrhea or constipation. All the members of the family have healthy bowel movements. They don’t eat anything which causes them to disrupt their digestive systems. The parents, as well as the children, try to drink a healthy amount of water to keep their digestive system healthy.
The family gives importance to regular exercise. Mrs. John exercise daily by walking for 30 minutes to an hour daily. Mr. John, however, usually comes back home exhausted and tends to sleep early, not really going outside and exercise, although he wishes to do so. Around the evening, the children usually play games with each other or do sports such as basketball. They also are permitted by their parents to play occasionally with the Wii (a gaming console manufactured by Nintendo), which fortunately involves physical movement. The family sometimes goes out together to watch movies. They also sometimes like to visit family friends and relatives.
The family is well educated and informed of current events in the news. The parents often come together, along with their kids, to discuss on matters with require a decision. The parents actively support the education of their children and try to help them in subjects that they may be struggling in. The children have a keen interest in their studies and are doing exceptionally well in their grades.
Sensory Perception
After assessing each family member’s sensory perception, I found out that none of the family members have severe problems in their ability to see, smell, hear, taste, or touch. However, there was a need to wear glasses. The parents wore reading glasses and the eldest child recently started wearing glasses. They have eye checkups every six months.
The family views itself as a loving and caring family. When problems or conflictions arise, they are ready to handle whatever happens with prayer and support. They see themselves as God’s family and do their best in putting God first in their lives through prayer and attending church regularly. As a traditional Indian family, they always place an emphasis on following traditional Indian culture and passing that on their children. They also participate in church activities and do what they can to support their faith and church.
Role Relationship
Each member of the family performs each of their roles in an earnest and efficient manner. Mr. John is the head of the family and manages the internal and external manners of the family along with his wife. Mrs. John cooks the food and takes care of the children along with Mr. John. The children are obedient to their parents and work hard in their studies. They do their assigned chores on time and help out their parents whenever possible. They always sit together to eat at dinnertime. The children love their parents very much and stick close to them, wherever they go.
Both Mrs. John and Mr. John believe that their children are God’s children to them. They are happy regarding their sexuality and enjoy their time together. The husband and wife support and really care for each other. They are happy with their family and wish to keep their family as it is in its current state.
Both Mr. John and Mrs. John know that there will be trials and suffering that they will have to endure as a family. Regardless of what type of confliction the family might meet, the family is willing to put its faith in God and discuss as a family how to respond. None of the members rely on alcohol or medications to get past stress.
Wellness and family nursing diagnosis for the family
1. Disturbed Sensory–Perception (Visual)
To accommodate with the fact that both parents have reading glasses and that their oldest son needs glasses, the family must take measures to make sure that the parents nor the child ruin their vision.
2. Readiness for enhanced activity-exercise pattern
There is a need in the family for other family members to encourage the father, who doesn’t do regular exercise, so that his health may improve. Conclusion
According to the Family Systems Theory, the family is interconnected and each member of the family depends on one another for their own physical and psychological development. This can be seen in the family I interviewed. Their interconnectedness and dependency on each other in different aspects such as nutrition or sleep is very vivid and while there may be a few problems to be dealt with, it can never overrule the unity and support that can be used to overcome it. References
Edelman, C. L., Kudzma, E. C., & Mandle, C. L. (2014). Health promotion throughout the life span. (8th ed.). St. Louis, Missouri: Mosby. Retrieved from
Gorden, M. (2013). Functional health patterns. Retrieved from

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