Family Health Nursing
University of Phoenix
June 11, 2007
DOCVARIABLE SH5SectionTitleFamily Health Nursing
Family health nursing, which is synonymous with family-centered care, is one approach to providing nursing care. Along with describing family health nursing, the importance of family, the changes that family has undergone, and what constitutes family in today's society will be discussed. A personal definition of family health nursing will also be provided.
Description of Family Health Nursing
What is family health nursing? Actions the nurse performs on behalf of the family while attending to the family's unique situation (Meiers, 2002). Family health is a dynamic state created by aspects of the family system's experience which are or may be influenced by the health status of a family member; it incorporates both wellness and illness in interaction with the environment (Meiers, 2002). Family health nursing is also referred to as family-centered care and can be defined as a way of caring for families within health services which ensures that care is planned around the whole family, not just the individual person, and in which all the family members are recognized as care recipients (Shields, 2007).
Patient- and family-centered care is an innovative approach to the planning, delivery and evaluation of health care that is grounded in mutually beneficial partnerships among health care patients, families, and providers. Patient- and family-centered care applies to patients of all ages, and it may be practiced in any health care setting.
The core concepts of family centered care are:
_Dignity and Respe_ct. Health care practitioners listen to and honor patient and family perspectives and choices. Patient and family knowledge, values, beliefs and cultural backgrounds are incorporated into the planning and delivery of care.
_Information Sharing_. Health care practitioners communicate and share complete and unbiased information with patients and families in ways that are affirming and useful. Patients and families receive timely, complete, and accurate information in order to effectively participate in care and decision-making.
_Participation._ Patients and families are encouraged and supported in participating in care and decision-making at the level they choose.
_Collaboration_. Patients and families are also included on an institution-wide basis. Health care leaders collaborate with patients and families in policy and program development, implementation, and evaluation; in health care facility design; and in professional education, as well as in the delivery of care (The Institute for Family-Centered Care, 2007).
When providing family health nursing or family centered care the nurse must incorporate the whole family into the care being provided.
Importance of Family
The word "family" refers to two or more persons who are related in any way-biologically, legally, or emotionally. Patients and families define their families (The Institute for Family-Centered Care, 2007). The importance of family varies with each individual based on the individual's background and personal needs.
In the patient- and family-centered approach, the definition of family, as well as the degree of the family's involvement in health care, is determined by the patient, provided that he or she is developmentally mature and competent to do so. The term "family-centered" is in no way intended to remove control from patients who are competent to make decisions concerning their own health care. In pediatrics, particularly with infants and young children, family members are defined by the patient's parents or guardians (The Institute for Family-Centered Care, 2007).
Changes in Family
"Family" has undergone many changes. In the past a family was considered to be a man and woman living together within...