Family Health Assessment is a family health approach concerned with assessment and intervention. It is also concerned with family health in relation to cultural diversity, research and evaluation of family health and social policy, and social service delivery. Thus, family health assessment is applied by nurses for the purpose of coming up with viable means of treating certain diseases that are thought to be hereditary in a family lineage. This indicates that one purpose of family health assessment is to establish the health history of members of a certain family in order to establish potential threats to their health. According to Weber & Kelley (2009), there exists a connection between heredity and multiple diseases, such as heart problems, mental illness, thyroid disorders, hearing and vision loss, and strokes. Thus, this explains why Marjory Gordon came up with the functional patterns to help nurses in areas of assessing a patient. Gordon’s functional health patterns include nutritional/metabolic, elimination, exercise activity, sleep rest, cognitive perceptual, self-concept, role relationship, sexuality reproductive, coping stress tolerance, and value belief pattern. According to Pardeck & Yuen (1999), Gordon’s functional health patterns assist nurses in coming up with a framework of assessing a patient. Despite nurses having a prior knowledge of handling the assessment process, the functional health patterns availed by Gordon are significant, as they simplify the process for the nurses. Notably, the framework availed by Gordon’s functional health patterns commences with a basic question regarding an individual’s daily life. It thus avails the nurses information starting with the basic and progresses to the critical questions, such as sexuality reproductive and coping-stress tolerance. According toWeber & Kelley (2009), another significance of Gordon’s functional health patterns lies in the fact that it assists nurses in coming up with a diagnosis for a patient. This also builds on the questions asked in Gordon’s tool, which focus basically on an individuals’ health. For instance, the tool touches on activity exercise and sleep rest, which can help a nurse in establishing whether a person’s health problem emanates from the lack of enough sleep, lack of exercises altogether or over-indulgence in exercises. On the other hand, Gordon’s nutritional metabolic tool is also essential for nurses in coming up with a diagnosis in that the tool encourages nurses to observe an individual’s appetite, weight loss, healing, skin problems, and dental problems. These are essential for a nurse in assessing a patient’s abdominal skin, teeth, and temperature, since they enable to come up with a viable diagnosis. Lastly, Weber & Kelley (2009) connect Gordon’s assessment tool with nurses coming up with a plan of care. For instance, the sleep rest tool asks nurses to observe a patient’s sleep patterns, which are essential for a nurse to determine the correct times when a patient requires a check-up or when it is conducive for the nurse to administer an injection. The tool also lets the nurse know how frequent one should check on a patient, especially if a patient requires sleeping aids.
The questions asked under Health promotion, Nutrition,and Elimination are essential because they enable a nurse to notice how a person fairs healthwise. Concerning Activity-Exercise, Cognitive-sensory, and Sleep-rest, this are essential in helping a nurse to come up with the most viable ailments that a person can be suffering from. This can be based on the fact that the questions seek to establish how often a person engages in physical exercises and if there are pains that result from the physical activities. These also have a connection with sleep-rest, as they help determine whether a person’s sleep interruptions emanate from engaging in the physical activities. Self-perception avails much information regarding a family’s history. A nurse can employ the questions to determine whether a person uses steroids or other body-altering medicines. Role-relationship also informs a nurse regarding the pressures that a patient can be experiencing. This is because questions, such as the role played in the family, can help a nurse determine the possibility of a person using sedatives in order to avoid pressures in their lives. The questions under role-relationship can also help a nurse determine the type of care that a person can be subjected to, especially when a person plays a significant role in his or her family, and the person’s presence is highly required back at home.
Sexuality enables a nurse to establish whether a person is married or is in a stable relationship or engages in myriad relationships. This enables a nurse to obtain information pertaining to a person’s possible ailment, which can be due to the use of sexual enhancement drugs or involvement in multiple sexual relationships.
Concerning coping/ stress tolerance, the questions asked are effective, as they will enable a nurse to establish whether a person uses drugs to counter stress or whether a person handles the situation naturally. Lastly, under values, two questions concerning a person’s faith and the essence of religion in his/her life are asked. A person’s values regarding religion are essential for nurses, as they will help determine whether a person believes in the treatment that will be advanced to him/ her (Pardeck & Yuen, 1999). Research intimates that some people do not take medication seriously and depend on their faith for healing, which can interfere with the diagnosis advanced.
In conclusion, family health assessment is an essential tool for nurses because it enables nurses to come up with a diagnosis for patients and a plan of care. Gordon’s functional health patterns provide nurses with a mode of advancing their service. Thus, nurses are encouraged to employ the tool in their services, as it ensures provision of good care to patients.
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