NRSE4530 Discussion board Responses-traits of a healthy family

!.Rodger Davenport

Traits of a Healthy Family

For the past 10 years I have worked in organ donation. That being the case, most of my family interactions over that time have been based on approaching these families for consent for organ donation.

Initially, I struggled to find the one family that stood out from the literal hundreds I have approached in my career. The text, however, introduced me to the concept of an energized family. The Garrett family did that for me. The potential donor was a trauma surgeon. I approached his wife, sister, mother and father who’s occupations were ED physician, criminal defense attorney, superior court judge and college professor, respectively. An educated, articulate family, their interactions and the manner in which they communicated and supported one another was clearly what Pratt considered a family that was energized. (Kaakinen 2017)

While the family traits we look for may not be broken down as specifically as box 1-1, organ donation approach and consent training has focused on identifying similar family traits and taking them into consideration when the time comes for a donation conversation. So important are these considerations that most organ procurement organizations plan for a team huddle at some point prior to family approach. (Shemie 2018) During this huddle, various members of the health care team discussion the family dynamics at length to determine everything from who is in charge, who seems like their in charge but really is not, how well they communicate, understand. Basically, all the parts of box 1-1.

It has been my experience that in order for a family consent for donation, several of these traits must exist. Families that say no to donation are the rare ones that lack any of the traits of a healthy family. When a family says yes to donation, you have to work closely with them for several days. I now realize how lucky I have been in the sense that most of my long-term interactions with families, have been with healthy families


Kaakinen, Joanna Rowe, et al. Family Health Care Nursing Theory, Practice, and Research.

F.A. Davis Company, 2018

Shemie, SD, Robertson, A, Beitel, J. End-of-life conversations with families of potential donors: leading practices in offering the opportunity for organ donation. Transplantation. 2017;101(5S Suppl 1):S17–S26.

Kimberly Dulaney

Traits of a healthy family

The discussion post this week gives the task of considering a family that I have encountered in my career and discuss the healthy family traits they exhibited. I will also describe the roles that I carried out as the nurse providing care. For the purpose of this post I will speak in reference to an 87-year-old dementia patient and her family.

A well-functioning family may mean something a little different to each of us. To me a well-functioning family is a family that involves all members as a whole. Each member plays an important part the family team. My patient had dementia. She required 24-hour care and financially was ineligible for any assistance other the short-term skilled nursing following a hospital stay for a urinary tract infection. It was evident from my first visit that this family communicated well. All members of the family unit participated in the care of their elder. They were supportive and respectful, and each understood the shared responsibility of caring for their family member. Kaakinen, Coehlo, Steele, & Robinson (2018) state that while it is possible to define family health, it is difficult to describe a well-functioning family. Some of the traits of this particular family display a well-functioning family.

While providing care to my patient I also took on the roles of health educator, technical expert, clarifier, and consultant to the family. According to Dening & Hibberd (2016) dementia has a significant effect on the family as well as on the person diagnosed. As a home care nurse, it becomes my job to educate. In the case of the dementia patient, it was my job to educate the family on ways to deal with behaviors, medications to manage illnesses, and I was the one they could come to when they had questions regarding ways to best meet the needs of their family member.

In conclusion, there are various traits of a well-functioning family to include open communication, a willingness to support each other, the ability to remain respectful even when they may not agree, and the sharing of the responsibility of caring for their family member. Family health nurses have many different roles to fill such as case manager, health educator, counselor, role model, advocate, and liaison. The roles are dependent upon the situation and can be ever-changing to meet the needs of those we care for.

Dening, K. H., & Hibberd, P. (2016). Exploring the community nurse role in family-centered

care for patients with dementia. British Journal of Community Nursing, 21(4), 198-202.


Kaakinen, J.R., Coehlo, D.P., Steele, R., & Robinson, M. (2018). Family health nursing care:

Theory, practice, and research (6th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis Company

Post a thoughtful response to at least two (2) other colleagues’ initial postings. Responses to colleagues should be supportive and helpful (examples of an acceptable comment are: “This is interesting – in my practice, we treated or resolved (diagnosis or issue) with (x, y, z meds, theory, management principle) and according to the literature…” and add supportive reference. Avoid comments such as “I agree” or “good comment.”

Response posts: Minimum of one (1) total reference: one (1) from peer-reviewed or course materials reference per response.

Response posts: Minimum 100 words excluding references

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