For a nurse to be in a position to come up with a health care plan for a family or an individual, he/she needs to assess the current health status needs to be taken into consideration. Various considerations are made before assessing a family or an individual. Of importance is the tool to be used in acquiring the required information (Thomlison, 2010). To this end, the Gordon’s Functional Health Patterns provides a tool for acquiring a comprehensive nursing database on an individual or a family.
The purpose of this paper is to assess the eleven Gordon’s Functional Health Patterns on a family and use the information to identify wellness nursing diagnosis for the said family. The questions covering all the Gordon’s Functional Health Patterns were posed to a nuclear family of five of American origin. The couple had been married for 44 years. Their eldest child is a daughter of 31 of age, the son being 25 years and a teenage girl of 17 years of age. The daughter is married while the only son in the family moved out to try out a life independently. The parents (mother being 66 years and the father being 71 years) live with their daughter who is still pursuing her high school education.
- Values and Health Perceptions
The family members defined health as the absence of disease. However, the father incorporated the aspect of well-being thereby negating the misconception that health only denotes the absence of infirmity. The mother added that she emphasized on good hygiene and nutrition in order to maintain good health. A quick check around the compound revealed a high level of cleanliness. The teenage daughter added that it was a family requirement to wash hands with soap and water frequently and evidently, the compound was littered with washing points. The father added that there was no history of illnesses in the family.
After taking the anthropometric measurements of all the family members, I calculated the Body Mass Index (BMI) of each family member. Everyone but the son had a good nutritional status for their height and age. The son was underweight; a fact that can be attributed to the number of meals he consumed per day (Fulton, Lyon & Goudreau, 2010). He confided that he had been missing meals for the last three months. Only the daughter in the family consumed the recommended amount of water per day.
The wife brought out the issue of the husband snoring. She was concerned that the husband might be suffering from sleep apnea. The parents reported to sleep for an average of six to seven hours per day while the younger daughter slept for 8 hours a day. The other two siblings’ hours of sleep were five to seven hours on average each day.
The entire family reported regular bowel movements. They also reported no difficulties during evacuation. The consistency of the excreta was reported as normal over the past week. There were no foul odors when urinating and the color of the urine was consistently clear for all the family members.
- Activity/ Exercise Patterns
The son acquired some dumbbells by which he regularly exercises with. The older daughter runs in the morning .While the parents’ prefers to have evening walks as their form of exercise. The daughter plays in the school basketball team .When it comes to leisure activity, the daughter spends it with her family while the son prefers playing video games and reading books.
- Cognitive patterns
Both the parent puts on reading lenses together with their younger daughter. It was evident that they had vision problems when it came to reading. They seem to be to be suffering of short-sightedness. The parents had a double check up a month ago while the daughters’ was done a week ago. The son admitted to be absorbed by minor obstructions when conversing with people. The family disclosed that none of their member has ever had or experienced psychiatric problems in the past.
- Sensory perception
- Self Perception
After engaging in a conversation with the family members, I noted that none of the family members suffered from an inferiority complex or low self esteem. On the contrary, all family members held themselves in high esteem. The daughter perceived herself as a beautiful lady with budding prospects for her future. The son felt he needed a better muscle tone and was sensitive about his physical appearance. The parents were proud of the fact that they had brought up a healthy family and were still together after forty four years of a blissful marriage.
- Role relationship
As a result of moving out, the son seemed to be distant from the family. The parents however showed strong relations with the younger daughter. I later probed the youngsters about their current relationships with their friends. The younger daughter had a stronger relationship with her friends as compared to her brother as I later came to understand. The parents hold a strong relationship with the immediate neighbors. From the probe I could conclude that the younger daughter had an active social life.
This particular pattern had to be done with a lot of consideration. I chose on asking the younger daughter fewer questions. The older daughter who is married had an active sexual life. The parents had just a normal kind of sexual activity. The son did not engage in sexual activity on a regular basis. The son also reported to copulating with multiple partners from time to time. Where else the younger daughter had never had any sexual intercourse. On the use of contraceptive, the parents and older daughter rarely uses contraceptive. But the son attested using condoms whenever he had sexual intercourse. The parents and daughter claimed to be happy and satisfied with their sexual relationships. All the members of the family were heterosexual.
- Coping Patterns
The son major stress factor was the next step he would take in the career world. This was warmly invited by the other family members. The younger daughter had end of year exams in a few days time that gave her chills, as she had put it. The younger daughter reporting to engaging in binge eating whenever she was stressed up. All the members attested not to be using any drugs or either smokes. The son also shared that he confides in his elder sister whenever he needed someone in whom to confide. The mother shared with other women during their meetings. The father participated in indoor games like chess and darts with this peers whenever he was overwhelmed.
- There is an opportunity for enhanced relationships to better the association between the son and the parents as evidenced by the son reporting distant relations with the parents after moving out of their house. (Herdman & NANDA, 2008).
- There is an opportunity for enhanced coping strategies to better the ways of dealing with stress as evidenced by the daughter reporting to binge eating whenever she is overwhelmed by stress.
Fulton, J. S., Lyon, B. L., & Goudreau, K. A. (2010). Foundations of clinical nurse specialist practice. New York: Springer.
Herdman, T. H., & North American Nursing Diagnosis Association. (2008). NANDA-I nursing diagnoses: Definitions & classification, 2009-2011. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Thomlison, B. (2010). Family assessment handbook: An introduction and practical guide to family assessment. Belmont, CA: Thomson Higher Education.