To begin working with families, nurses must have a scientific knowledge base in family theory as well as an adequate knowledge base in family nursing. Although the past and present health care system tend to emphasize the individual, family focus is not needed in order to be able to safety discharge client back to family or community setting.
This emerging group of family care gives unique message to provide care for a family member, this group frequently must take major adjustment to integrate the challenges & time commitment of caring for a family member with their own lives. (Hunt, 2003)
In is based on assumption that all people regardless of age are member of some type of family form. This family form may be traditional nuclear family, single parent family, extended family.
The goal of family nursing is to help the family & its individual member reach and maintain maximum health through out & beyond the illness experience. It is focus on the future across all practice setting & is emphasized in all health care environment.
There are different approaches:-
Friedman (1992) suggest 3 focuses :-
- The individual with family as context.
- Relationship within family.
- Processes within the family ( transactional)
For the purpose, family nursing have 3 level of approaches :-
The 1° focus is on the health and development of an individual member existing with in a specific environment. Although the nurse focuses the nursing process on individuals health states, the nurse also assess the extent to which the family provide the individual basic needs.
When the family as client is the approach, family process and relationship ( parenting or family care giving ) are 1° focuses of nursing care. The focus of nursing assessment usually on pattern versus individual characteristics.
It is important to understand that although theoritical and practical distinction can be made between the family as context and family as client,they are not necessarily mutually exclusive and both are often used simultaneously such as with perspective of family as system.