The family is considered to be the basic unit of a community which means that a healthy family contributes to a healthy community. Various traits such as effective communication and listening as well as sharing of leisure time among others are identified by Kaakinen, Hanson and Denham (2010) characterizing healthy families. Teaching respect for others to children as well as right and wrong, the sharing of a religious core, having a sense of play and humor, affirming and supporting other members as well as the display of a sense of shared responsibility defines a family I assessed in the community. Others like a shared sense of trust, the value placed on service to others as well as various family rituals and traditions, could be observed and which can be inferred as contributing to the relative strength of family compared to others.
The various roles within the family can be largely categorized into parental roles as well as roles of children. The parents are essentially burdened with almost all roles especially the provision of necessities like food, clothing and shelter among others to the children. They are also responsible for teaching and disciplining the children alongside other affective and instrumental responsibilities like providing emotional support, encouragement, reassurance and warmth as well as promoting life skills development. The latter element incorporates promotion of physical, psychological/emotional, educational and social development. The children, on the other hand, basically obey, cooperate and respect the parents while also coming together in social and emotional support when necessary while adhering to role allocation and accountability. It is important to note that these roles change as the members of the family age upon where they acquire new roles like being a grandparent, spouse or parent.
The family health nurse contributes to a healthy family by accomplishing vital roles focusing on health management ranging from disease prevention and health promotion to rehabilitation as well as treatment and care for the ill and the dying. These health services are specifically directed to the family and community in general which includes providing education about healthy living, chronic disease management, injury and disease prevention as well as appropriate care and treatment (Grant and Ferrell, 2012). The family health nurse also acts as a vital link in the family-physician relationships who also focusses on understanding social and psychological elements associated with family health problems where he/she can facilitate contact with relevant agencies in case of socio-economic problems or other challenges. Further, he/she can help individuals and families cope with disability, illness or stressful situations alongside provision of various relevant adjustment and social support systems.
- Grant, M., & Ferrell, B. (2012). Nursing role implications for family caregiving. Semin Oncol
Nurs., 28(4): 279–282. Doi: 10.1016/j.soncn.2012.09.011
- Kaakinen, J. R., Hanson, S. M. H., & Denham, S. (2010). Family health care nursing: An
introduction. In J. W. Kaakinen, V. Gedaly-Duff, D. P. Coelho, & S. M. H. Hanson, (eds.). Family health care nursing: Theory, practice and research (4th Ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis.