The purpose of this paper is to present a family assessment. Community health nurses
work with individual families and with families as an aggregate within the population (Clark, 2003). Several areas will be presented such as biophysical, psychological, physical environmental, sociocultural, behavioral and health system considerations. The data obtained during family health assessment enable the nurse to make informed decisions about the health care needs of families (Clark).
On the maternal side, this family has one living eighty five year old male and one living seventy seven year old female. Two of the paternal members are deceased at the age of forty and eighty-eight. There is one living fifty-three year old male and one living forty-eight year old female. This couple has three children, two males, age twenty and fifteen, and a female age eighteen. All of the above family members have accomplished age-appropriate developmental tasks. The younger male has a learning disability which does cause some excess stress in the family. This is an example of an extended family and also the dual-earner family. This family consists of two working parents with children and also includes a kin network which provides mutual support for the family (Clark, 2003).
The younger family members are currently healthy and are not being treated for any health conditions. The eighty-five year old male is currently undergoing treatment for colon-rectal cancer. This treatment consists of weekly visits to a doctor’s office for chemotherapy. There is a family history of genetic pre-disposition to cancer as his mother had this illness also.
The typical mode of communication in the family is verbal. The family uses the switchboard pattern, in which all members have reciprocal communication. A successful pattern of communication is the “switchboard” in which there is reciprocal communication among all family members (Clark, 2003). The family lives in the same city and is able to have frequent face-to face verbal conversations. The family also uses the telephone frequently to have verbal conversations. The subject of death and dying is taboo for the family. The family members are reluctant to talk about the eighty-five year old male’s illness. Many things are withheld from the children in the family. There is an attempt at denial for the outcome of this illness.
The family is very cohesive. The elderly couple has been married fifty-two years and is very supportive to each other. The forty-eight year old mother and twenty year old son are a sub-group and at times exclude the father from decision-making. The two brothers are slightly alienated from each other. The sister has a good relationship with both brothers. The daughter seems to have a closer relationship with the father than the mother.
Decisions are made by the whole family. A problem is first defined and evaluated by the parents with all alternatives being presented to the rest of the family. The family members give their ideas and usually a compromise can be found if there is a disagreement. The women in the family usually are the ones to carry out the decision.
The elder male had a “telling” relationship in regards to his family but with his current illness, he has let his spouse become the “telling” leader. This is appropriate at this time due to role adjustment and lack of motivation for him. The forty-eight year old female is the leader in her immediate family. She has a “participating” leadership style with the husband and twenty year old son. She uses a “selling” leadership style when dealing with her learning support son. A “delegating” style of leadership is used with her daughter which is appropriate due to her daughter attendance at a college in Philadelphia. At times she uses a “telling and selling” leadership style with her parents which is appropriate to their age and abilities. These are the four...