Family Centred Care- Case Study

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Over the past fifty (50) years the idea of family-centred has evolved to encompass the entire family. Once, the focus was on the ‘presence’ of a parent when caring for a child, currently the focus is on ‘participation’. The idea behind such a progress was empirical evidence the effects of parental participation have on a child’s emotional, physical and psychological wellbeing. Smith, Coleman and Bradshaw (2002) tell us that nurses now follow an ‘inclusion policy’ when caring for children, due to its steadying influence on their child’s health.

This essay is based on a case study regarding Emma, and her daughter Lucy. Emma is six months pregnant with her second child and has a partner who does contract work away from home. Emma’s family live interstate and Emma’s family relocated two years ago. Emma is worried about Lucy’s weight. Emma asks questions regarding immunisations and what Lucy might need in preparation for school. Emma looks tired and during the nurses interactions she is teary and talks about her fears.

Using the information provided in the case study this essay will consider Lucy’s physical, cognitive and psychosocial development and describe what developmental milestones should be expected of a four year old girl. The essay will consider the factors influencing Emma, and her family, and make an assessment of their needs. An outline of potential problems Emma and her family are experiencing will be delivered. A description of family-centred care will be provided and referrals to appropriate health care professionals. The essay will also discuss a guideline and strategy from the Safe Start Program provided by NSW Families.

Family-centered care is not necessarily a model of care; it is described as an approach to nursing care that encompasses the entire family. The importance of a healthy family plays a role in the successful functioning of the unit (London, Ladwig, Ball & Bindler 2007). Support also comes from the extended family or friends. For Emma, as her partner works away from home, the need for extra supports when he is absent is compounded in Emma and Lucy’s lives.

As Emma has attended an Early Childhood Clinic and has lived in the area for two years, it can be assumed that Emma and Lucy have attended the clinic prior to this visit. The nurse will obtain Emma and Lucy’s previous notes to validate and reiterate their circumstances and needs. The initial family assessment is to focus on collecting information regarding the family dynamics, arrangement and configuration (London et. al 2007). The relationship Emma has with her partner’s family are important for support for her and her partner’s role in Lucy’s life. Open-ended questions throughout the assessment phase will assist Emma in feeling supported by the nursing staff and will build rapport and feelings of security with the Centre.

Communication is the key for successful use of supports. Is Emma able to contact her partners, or her, family at any time to discuss her thoughts and feelings? The internet can play an important role in communicating via emails and so forth with video chatting sites allowing face-to-face contact. Her partner’s family may have the same or differing ideas on childrearing, culture, religious or health beliefs that may be imposed upon Emma while her partner is away (London et. al 2007) which may give Emma feelings of insecurity. Do Lucy and the baby share paternal blood or does Lucy’s biological father live interstate? Does Emma have a supportive group of friends? Do Emma’s friends have children the same age as Lucy? Is Emma a member of a religious or community group? Is Emma vulnerable to anti-natal or postpartum depression or anxiety? Does Emma have a history of anxiety or depression during or after her pregnancy with Lucy? The more the family history is collected during the assessment and interview phase the more other questions can arise from the answers.

Emma is emotional and in...
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