Approach To Family Nursing

Approach To Family Nursing

This approach focuses on caring for and assessing an individual patient. It is the traditional approach in nursing and family serves as the stressor or resource to the patient. According to Van Driel et al. (2021), when the nurses view family as a context, they majorly focus on the development and health of a particular member existing within a family. Even though the nurses use the nursing approaches on the individual health status of individuals, they also assess how the family supports the individual patient and provides basic needs (Kaakinen et al., 2018). For instance, a 10-year-old girl in a family of five was diagnosed with brain cancer and the family decided to acquire nursing care. The girl experienced frequent headaches, lack of appetite, reduced body weight, damaged blood vessels among other problems. The parents provided her with all essential needs including medications, a balanced diet, love, and care. They also ensured that their daughter’s needs such as education, clothing, shelter, and food were met. The needs tend to differ in terms of a person’s situation and level of development. Since most families provide more than material needs, their ability to support a patient psychologically should be considered.

Family as a System

Family as a system is another approach used by nurses to treat patients. This approach focuses on the entire family rather than the client alone. The mode of interaction between family members will significantly influence nursing care through this approach (Kaakinen et al., 2018). There was a male patient who was diagnosed with kidney failure in his late forties. He was married with three children and when the children found out that he was sick they broke into tears. The was went into denial and could not come to terms with the fact that his husband my die. Before deciding on the most effective intervention, as a nurse, I had to wait for the family to interact first. I assumed the role of a therapist to enable the family to express their feelings. In the end, the wife had to accept her husband’s diagnosis and that she was his caregiver at home during his last months.

Family as a Client

This approach focuses on the family in the foreground and other family members in the background. The family represents every member within the unit. The focus is also concentrated on all family members individually as every person’s issue affects the entire family (Kaakinen et al., 2018). To achieve treatment using this approach, the nurse comes up with objectives for tertiary, primary, and secondary treatment levels while in consultation with the family. The nurse then assesses the willingness and ability of the family in general to complex to directions of treatment and change their behaviors. Special considerations include educating the family members, respite care, and timing visits (Zhang, 2018). An example of this approach is demonstrated in my family. My family routinely sees our primary care provider since my sister was diagnosed with diabetes. The primary care provider and other health providers significantly assessed our needs and focused on each of us individually. They concentrated on our perceptions, needs, and understanding of everything around us. After assessing all the needs of our family each of us was provided with special care.

Family as a Component of Society

In this approach, the family is viewed as one of the major institutions within society. Just like the other units, the family is a primary or basic unit in society, and they are all part of the larger social system (Kaakinen et al., 2018). As a whole, the family interacts with other institutions to give services and communication and receive an exchange. Since this approach focused on the interaction between communities and families, nurses have significantly employed this approach in their practice (Smith, 2018). For example, a middle-aged man with a wife and one daughter was admitted to the hospital for heroin addiction that needed treatment. Due to the man’s illness, the family was suffering emotionally and sort to seek medical services. As a nurse, I supported the family by providing them with significant information concerning community assistance and resource for substance abuse problems including rehabilitation centers. Eventually, the man was admitted into a substance abuse rehabilitation center and significantly improved after a few months. To function well, the family needed a community center that would provide them with all the support.

In conclusion, family nursing is all about focusing on the needs of patients as well as their family members. The four significant methods of family care in nursing include family as a context, client, system, and a component of the society. When it comes to family as context nurse focus mainly on the specific patient while family as a client focuses mainly on the family rather than the individual patient. Family as a system pay attention to on both the family and the specific patent while family as a societal component views the family as a unit with other units in the society. When working with families, nurses must keep these approaches in mind to achieve effective care.










Duhamel, F. (2017). Translating knowledge from a family systems approach to clinical practice: Insights from knowledge translation research experiences. Journal of Family Nursing, 23(4), 461-487.

Kaakinen, J. R., Coehlo, D. P., Steele, R., & Robinson, M. (2018). Family health care nursing: Theory, practice, and research (6th Edition). New York: FA Davis.

Smith, W. (2018). Concept analysis of family-centered care of hospitalized pediatric patients. Journal of Pediatric Nursing42, 57-64.

Van Driel, A. G., Becqué, Y., Rietjens, J. A., van der Heide, A., & Witkamp, F. E. (2021). Supportive nursing care for family caregivers–A retrospective nursing file study. Applied Nursing Research59, 151434.

Zhang, Y. (2018). Family functioning in the context of an adult family member with illness: A concept analysis. Journal of clinical nursing, 27(15-16), 3205-3224.


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