For the nurse to be successful in its role towards family health promotion, it is important to familiarize itself with the Gordon’s eleven functional health patterns. These patterns serve as basis for nursing diagnosis and health promotion. It focuses on how developmental tasks are completed by the family, it assist with learning about health perception and beliefs; it also assists the nurse to formulate health promotional goals and ways to improve family’s overall health practices (Edelman & Mandle, 2010).
This author will use the information collected from the Duarte’s family by using the eleven functional health patterns to identify risk factors and dysfunctions in order to identify areas of interventions, and promote positive changes towards achieving ultimate goal of optimal health. The Duarte’s were very open and enthusiastic in answering questions formulated from each functional health patterns by Gordon.
These questions made it easier for this author to assess and collect adequate data that was necessary in making nursing diagnosis, and sound judgment about their functional health patterns in areas of: Values, health perception, Nutrition, Sleep/Rest, Elimination Activity/Exercise, Cognitive, Sensory-Perception, Self-Perception, Role Relationship, Sexuality and Coping. The Duarte’s are interracial couple both born outside the United States but met here, got married, and are now raising two children ages 8 and 3 years old. Mr. Duarte is 67 years old, born in Mexico; he migrated to America with his first wife and 3 children in 1979.
He divorced his wife, met and married current Mrs. Duarte who came with her parents to America from South Korea as a child. She is 37 years old, 30 years younger than her husband. They seem happy together. Mrs. Duarte is the main breadwinner of the family because her husband sustained a serious back injury while training aspiring boxers at his privately owned boxing club last year. This family has a good value system; they are doing really well considering the fact that they were both from different cultural background. Their strong Christian values have definitely bridged the cultural value gap.
They are practicing Catholics. They both agree in the sanctity of life and marriage. They are faithful to each other and take great pride in raising their two children. Mr. Duarte is a smoker, he acknowledged that he has battled nicotine addiction for a long time and predicts that he may never stop smoking. His wife is in good health; both children were born without any complications. She does not smoke but drinks socially once in a while. In assessing health perception, they are particularly proactive when it comes to their children’s health maintenance.
The children are not lacking in any required immunization, they regularly visit their dentist and pediatrician for physical evaluation. In order to maintain current health status, they both remain physically active; they get regular check-ups. They do not have chronic illness but the husband attends regular therapy sessions to relieve back pain suffered during boxing training session. Based on assessment of nutritional pattern of the Duarte’s, this author has recommended a lot of changes to their diet pattern in order to prevent potential complications as a result of poor eating habits.
They acknowledged that they hardly eat fruits and vegetable, they drink a lot of juice and soda; and mostly eat out because the husband prefers Mexican foods while the wife does not. Even though they eat three meals per day, they agreed that it is hardly a balanced diet. Sleep is very important in maintaining optimum health. Lack of sleep can alter behavior; create changes in elimination pattern, activity tolerance, and appetite (Edelman &Mandel, 2010). Mr. Duarte and the children do not have sleeping problems; they have an average of eight hours of sleep every night.
The same does not apply to Mrs. Duarte who works night shift as a dealer at the Casino. This family’s sleeping pattern needs some intervention since mother sleeps during the day when every other family member is awake, while she works at night when others are sleeping. Elimination assessment focused on bowel movements frequency, pattern of voiding, pain during urination if any, and appearance of stool and urine. The family does not have any elimination problems both in urination and bowel movement. Activity and exercise is one area where Mr.
Duarte is very motivated. He views exercise as a hobby due to his sports background. They all appear to be in top shape despite unhealthy eating habits and limitations due to chronic back pain, none of them is obese or overweight. He attributes this to involving his children more in outdoor activities rather than let them watch television at home. They do not have problems with performing activities of daily living. Cognitive-sensory perception pattern for this family was assessed initially by judging cognitive functions such as; memory, language, and decision aking, sensory perception such as pain, taste, hearing, vision, smell, was also assessed without any negative findings. Communication skills, rate of understanding, and response to questions seemed normal. Family has a good cognitive and sensory perception. The children do not seem to have any cognitive deficits in areas of learning, mental retardation, or answering age appropriate questions. Both parents are high school graduates; they both appear to have a normal mental faculty in regards to perception about self and others.
Self-perception assessment was focused on how they view themselves and others around them. They have a sense of content towards their body image, self-worth, competencies, success, and feeling of overall well-being (Edelman & Mandle, 2010). They consider their family religious; they are also involved in teaching their children the cultural aspect of their Mexican and Korean heritage. They have good interaction with relatives, friends, and neighbors. They take pride in being good parents to their children and contributing positively to the development of their community.
During assessment of role and relationship, both parents agree that they are happy with their respective roles in their marriage and in raising their children together. Because dad is on permanent disability, he helps with housekeeping and making sure that the children were ready for school every day. Mom on the other hand works two jobs, one full time at the Casino, and the other one in the evening as a baby sitter. Their family relationship is strong, they love being parents to their kids and loving couple to each other. They also volunteer at their church during the weekends.
Areas of sexuality assessment includes: sexual satisfaction, sexual functioning, number of children, number of pregnancies, and overall sexual fulfillment. They both verbalize dissatisfaction with their sex life. Work schedule of Mrs. Duarte and the health condition of the husband has contributed to lack of sexual satisfaction and intimacy issues. They are determined to make changes and work towards a better sexual experience. The Duarte’s credits the success of their marriage to their coping abilities even when under enormous stress.
They have learned to tolerate each other’s shortcomings, they communicate a lot and adapt to pressures related to their age difference and the reality that he may not live long to see his grandchildren. Their church continue to be a pillar of support, they pray often and believe in a divine power. Based on the above assessment of the Duarte’s family, this author has determined two nursing diagnosis for the family as follows: Readiness for Enhanced Nutritional Metabolic Pattern, and Readiness for Enhanced Sexuality Patterns.
Family is encouraged to eat home cooked meal and reduce the number of times they eat at the fast food restaurant, they are encouraged to eat more fruits and vegetables, by so doing they will live a more healthier lifestyle devoid of diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol. Wife is also encouraged to make adjustment in her work schedule to accommodate her husband’s sexual needs if possible. They are encouraged to take vacations, and spend time together whenever possible and make time for romantic outings without the kids once in a while.
Husband is encouraged to seek medical attention and possible pain medication for his chronic back pain. In order to accurately, assess and plan intervention for the whole family, it is important to collect accurate data, and gather as much information as possible. Gordon’s eleven functional health patterns was a valuable tool in helping this author identify problems, determine health perception, set strategies for interventions, provide education, and determine required health goals. This tool is important towards helping this family attain optimum health.