Family Values There are many resources that are in short supply to health care workers and agencies that are needed when caring for patients and their families (Angood, Dingman, Foley, Ford, Martins, O'Regan, Salamendra, Sheridan, & Denham, 2010). With resources lacking, nurses need to be proactive in utilizing resources that are readily available to them. One of the most underutilized resources in health care are patients and his or her families. Patients and their families are arguably one of the most important resources in health care (Newman, Lawless, & Gelo, 2007). The patient and his or her family’s time and input are limitless, they can help to greatly improve the results, quality, and overall success of any plan of care.
Promoting the health of family members Family involvement in health care is essential to making sure a plan of care is successful. Family is considered to be “the constant” in a patient or clients life (Friedman, M. M., Bowden, V. R., & Jones, E. G., 2003). The family works together as a system to help promote the well being of each other. According to Friedman, Bowden, & Jones (2003), there are two basic purposes of a family, to meet the needs of the society that it is a part of, and to meet the needs of the individual members in it. The family works together to maintain a healthy lifestyle and helps to support each other when someone is ill. Each family is different, each has their own health behaviors, values, culture, attitude, religion, and own way of doing and dealing with things. The way a family cares for themselves and individuals in it affect the way that they live. Families can help to encourage good health behaviors, but can also hinder the health of each other depending on how the live their lives. Health promotion and risk reduction start with the family. Each member contributes to the health and well being of the individuals in the family. Not only can the family help to better the health of each member, but they can also expose the members of their family to health hazards. If children grow up thinking that it is okay to smoke, eat unhealthy food, and not exercise they can begin a very unhealthy lifestyle. The parents, or the head of the household play a vital role in how their families live.
The Concept of Family The concept of family most commonly used on the surgical unit at a children’s hospital is family as context. “The family is viewed as context to the client or family member” (Freidman, Bowden, & Jones, 2003, p. 36). The family is the child’s most important supporter. Because children cannot care for themselves or provide information about their lifestyle or health history, the family is the best resource to use. Involving the family in the care is essential to the success of the child’s recovery. The nurse uses the family as a resource for information and for helping in providing care to the child. In the inpatient setting, involving the family and educating them is important because they are the ones that will be caring for the child at home. The family of the child has a significant impact and role on the treatment plan. The family, especially the parents or caregivers of the child can provide information that is critical for helping the child recover and get better. The parents know what is best, and what will and will not work for the child. According to Frampton, Wahl, & Capiello (2010), there are many benefits to including the family in the plan of care. Some of the benefits include, a better overall perception of care, reduction in the number of complaints, reduce the number of medical errors, increase adherence to treatment and self management (p. 53), and reduce the amount of time spent in the hospital. This concept of family is the most helpful and beneficial when considering the inpatient pediatric setting, but may not be the most helpful when viewing the family health setting as a whole. This concept is very useful when