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Family Assessment Essay

Gordon’s functional health patterns is a method developed by Marjory Gordon, a nursing theorist and professor. The functional health patterns are to be used during the nursing process to obtain a more comprehensive assessment. There are 11 functional health patterns to in place to create a comprehensive assessment. The functional health patterns are values and health perception and management, sleep/rest, nutrition, activity/exercise, elimination, cognitive-perceptual, role relationship, self perception, coping-stress tolerance, sexuality and religion.

In this paper, I will discuss all of these functional health patterns as they pertain to my husbands perception of our family. Functional Health Patterns I interviewed my husband using Gordon’s functional health pattern guided questions. Miguel is a 41 year old father of four children, Trysten who is 6, Tyernen is 5, Lola is 3 and Eva who is 14 months old. Miguel has been married to Susan for 13 years. He has been running a household for the past 5 years at, taking on the newest role for men as a stay at home parent.

The Health Perception–Health Management pattern involves health practices used to reach current level of health or wellness and the individuals actual health status. Questions should focus on the individuals perceived health status and meaning of health. During the assessment of this pattern, a nurse may unearth other patterns that may need to be explored. (Edelman) Rarely sick, Miguel goes to the doctor when necessary and is on Zoloft for anxiety. The kids have been to the doctor this year for their well check ups. Trysten is battling allergies, and just got over a sinus infection.

Eva had an ear infection and is now teething. Tyernen had his tonsils out last year. Lola is relatively healthy and Susan just discovered she has been starting to get migraines and is trying different home remedies for these. Nutritional-metabolic patterns focus on the nutrient intake relative to metabolic need. This includes evidence of nutritional balance (physical examination) and reports and description of food and fluid consumption (history). (Edelman) Many meals are eaten out, fast food and restaurants are frequented.

When foods are cooked at home, stews, steak, chicken cutlets, pastas, bread, and salads are usually made. Snacks include fruits and banana shakes he makes for the kids. He is overweight and states he knows so. The kids are healthier, and the parents make better choices for them then they do for themselves. Susan is, too, overweight. A very important factor when assessing the sleep-rest pattern is the perception of getting an adequate amount of relaxation and sleep. If the individual reports energy levels waning or fatigue this may provide some indication of the individual’s satisfaction.

People have their own ideas about the roles that rest and sleep play in preparing the individual for desired or required daily activities. This pattern becomes extremely important when sleep and rest are reported as insufficient because it effects other aspects in the assessment. (Edelman) Miguel states that he has trouble sleeping and is often tired the next day. He states “the doctor ordered a sleep study for my sleep apnea I’m sure I have, but I never go. ” Children sleep well through the night, approximately 10 hours. Susan just switch from working night shift to day shift, and is flipping her schedule around.

Elimination patterns include bladder, skin and bowel function. Nurses ask the patient about regularity, quality, and quantity of stool and urine through reports from the individual any changes or perceived problems and about methods used to get regularity or control. Perspiration quantity and quality determine excretory skin function. (Edelman) In regards to his bathroom habits, he states he goes regularly. Miguels skin is clear, some dryness on elbows and knees noted. Hair and nails look healthy and clean. Children have normal patterns and skin is clear no dryness.

Susan has drier skin, states bathroom needs are normal. The activity-exercise focuses on activity level, regular exercise program, and leisure time activities. Physical and subjective assessments include movement capability, activity tolerance, use of assistive devices, self-care ability, satisfaction with activity and exercise patterns, and any perceived problems. (Edelman) With the 4 children, he does get out and play with the kids, but there is no regular exercise routine. The children play everyday outside, wether in the park or in the yard. Susan doesn’t have a regular exercise program either.

Cognitive patterns are the ability of the individual to understand and follow directions, make decisions, solve problems, retain information and use language appropriately. Auditory, olfactory, visual, gustatory, tactile, and kinesthetic sensations and perceptions impact the perceptual and sensory patterns. (Edelman) Cognitively, Miguel reads the news online and utilizes the internet to write to his family in Argentina. English is his second language, and he does need assistance expressing himself every once in a while. He does wear glasses, but they are more for driving needs. Children are developmentally on target for their respective ages.

Susan is working full time, taking on line courses and running a home with the help of her husband. The sense of each individual’s personal identity, emotional patterns, goals, and feelings about the self is the self perception pattern. Self-image and sense of worth come from the individual’s perception of personal appearance, limitations, and competencies, including the individual’s self-perception and others’ perceptions. (Edelman) Miguel wants to go back to school, but his family is first. At this time, he is at home, allowing his wife to continue her education to better their situation.

He feels trapped at times, wants to go back to work. He wants to go to the gym, but his children are more important at this time. He reads to better his knowledge base and fixes the cars, thriving on a bargain when it is found. Again, children seem to be on with their developemental milestones. Susan is having trouble with her physical appearance. Though she projects a confident persona, she is uncomfortable with how she looks at this time. Roles-relationships pattern describes the identity the individual assumes with in a social group and how they interact with others with in that social group and how they are connected.

The individual’s perception is a large component of the assessment, as is the individual’s subjective level of satisfaction with the roles and relationships they are in. (Edelman) Miguel states “I am a daddy, husband, and a friend. ” He describes himself in his roles, “daddy” being the most important to him. The childrens role are still being determined due to the fact they are so young. Trysten is big brother to all and best friend to daddy. Tyernen is a big brother and in competition with Trysten all the time, though it seems to make them want to be better. Tyernen favors his mother, but jokes around often with daddy.

Lola seems to have taken on the role of trouble maker, and Eva is following her footsteps. Susan has taken on the role of mother, breadwinner, student, and nurse (not in any specific order). She tends to lead the family, get everyone moving. The sexuality-reproductive pattern is defined by the individual’s sexual functioning, sexual self-concept, methods of intimacy, and reproductive areas. The importance of sexuality to the individual’s life and health is related to the relationship and self-perception patterns. Body image, gender identity and role are linked to sexual identity.

Sexual functioning involves, but is not limited to, sexual relations with a partner. (Edelman) Miguel and Susan have not been physically intimate in a long while. Either one of them remember the last time. This is mostly due to Susan’s self-perception/body image and the busy lives that are being lead. Miguel has expressed more than once that the physical aspect of their shared sexuality is unsatisfying. The ability to manage stress in life is a learned behavior. Stress is an inevitable part of life; without it there is no motivation to grow. Most stress comes from minor irritations that build over time, not great tragedies. Edelman) There are many stressors affecting this family. Four young childrens’ demands, being in Arizona when we would prefer to be in New York, working full time, going back to school, staying home with the kids, many many stressors are impacting the lives of the two parents. For the most part, the stress is handled well, though we both seem to be reaching for food too often and may need to re evaluate our coping mechanisms so it doesn’t impact the childrens learned coping mechanisms. The values-beliefs pattern is defined as the individual’s goals, spiritual values and beliefs.

Each of the 11 health patterns addresses the value systems of individuals, family, and society. Individual values or beliefs develop over time and guides the individuals life through societal influences and personal experiences with family. (Edelman) There is no firm religious influence in the home. The family is valued, belief in building a strong base for the children to grow. After compiling the data from the assessment of the family discussed in the paragraphs above, some nursing diagnosis that would be appropriate would be: Altered Nutrition more than body requirements related to using food as a coping mechanism.

Sexual dysfunction related to change in body or self-image. Ineffective coping related to inadequate coping method. In conclusion, the functional health patterns gave me a better idea of what is happening in my family and how it is effecting my husband and our relationship. There is always an aspect of the health patterns that can be improved upon within a family, it is the nurses job when assessing to be thorough and helpful.


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