Importance Of Family Assessment In Nursing

1371 Words 6 Pages
“Nursing Assessment of a Family”
Families play an important role in determining the health of both individuals and groups within the community. Nurses must understand the importance of including the family when assessing a patient, as one single health issue can have a significant impact on the entirety of the family (McMurray, 2007). The following essay will discuss the principals of a family assessment and its importance within nursing practice. The Australian Family Strengths Nursing Assessment Guide (AFSNAG) will be utilized to assess the Benson family, identifying key issues, as well as the formulation of nursing goals.
The Principals of Family Assessment
The ability for a nurse to undertake a comprehensive family assessment is essential
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The choice of assessment tool is dependant upon factors, such as the competency of the nurse, intended outcome and personal preference (Barnes & Rowe, 2008). The most common tools include; Australian Family Strengths Nursing Assessment Guide (AFSNAG), Pedigrees, Ecomaps and Calgary Family Assessment Model (Barnes & Rowe, 2008).
The Principals of a family assessment are based on examining the family as a whole, in order to provide an overview of family dynamics, beliefs, values, patterns of communication, health literacy, and family functioning (McMurray, 2007). This is foundational knowledge for the nurse, as it helps to identify and understand current issues faced by the family (Kendall, Rodger, & Palmer, 2010).
Family assessment is an integral process in nursing, as it helps to address the needs of a family, in order to provide quality patient and family centred care (Boyd, 2005). In comparison to tradition models of care, where the focus is solely on the individual, family assessment helps to include families as equal contributors in the healthcare process (Simmons & Lehmann,
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Up to 85% of women experience short-lived changes in hormones after childbirth, feeling overwhelmed and tearful for a few days. However, PND occurs when these feelings persist beyond these early days and start having an impact on daily life (Macdonald, 2013). Within Australia, more than one in seven new mums experience PND each year (Post and Antenatal Depression Association , 2012). This can have debilitating effects on mother and baby relationships, on the relationships between the parents and can have a negative impact on the psychological development of the child (Macdonald, 2013).
PND can arise for no obvious reason and often there is no single cause; however, research confirms potential risk factors that may be accountable for this occurrence. Known risk factors include: lowered self-esteem, social isolation, stressful periods during pregnancy, lack of social support, history of mental health problems, and family genetics (Macdonald, 2013). Common symptoms of the condition include: feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, change in appetite, extreme lethargy, and in extreme cases, recurrent thoughts of death or suicidal (Horowitz & Goodman,

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