Australian Family Strengths

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To enhance health care relationships between the nurse, child and family, nurses must first understand the concept of family in contemporary society and recognise the strengths that exist in the family structure. Every family has strengths, and nurses can use the conceptual framework of the “Australian Family Strengths Nursing Assessment” as a mechanism to optimise the best outcomes during challenging times, stressful periods and illness.
The definition of family is forever transforming and evolving with culture. Families in contemporary society are becoming more diverse and complex as a result of transformations in culture, environment and the community (Barnes and Rowe 2013). The concept of family in contemporary society can be defined in
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Nurses can use the family strengths approach as a mechanism to aid communication and build positive relationships within the healthcare setting. The AFS Guide is designed to encourage families to talk openly with healthcare providers, tell their story and allows the nurse to better understand the family and offer support that is more beneficial for them (Smith & Ford 2013). For example, a nurse may identify a strength in their family as spiritual well-being, the nurse may then include a referral to pastoral care for the patient’s hospitalization. Another person may indicate that their family shared dinner every Sunday night at their grandmother’s house, the nurse may then plan an intervention that privacy is ensured when family visits the patient throughout hospitalization. The AFS guide assists nurses to assess and address the needs and concerns of the whole family which can instigate change, support and family resilience for a better outcome in health. To include the entirety of the family is beneficial for nurses to help families experiencing the most significant and complex difficulties, ensure that the support provided is coordinated and focused. The AFS Guide can create a connectedness between nurse-child-family, it can assist in developing and strengthening trust, support and unity based on understanding and respect (Smith & Ford