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NUR4636 – Community Health Nursing

Case Study

Chapter 18

Theoretical Basis for Promoting Family Health

The family as the unit of service has received increasing emphasis in nursing over

the years. Today, family nursing has an important place in nursing practice,

particularly in community health nursing. The community health nurse is reviewing

with the student nurses the key concepts about the theoretical basis for family

health. The students are being asked questions about family characteristics and the

stages of the family life cycle.

1. Families share universal characteristics with every other family. These

characteristics provide an important key to understanding each family’s

uniqueness. What are five of the most important family characteristics that

community health nurses must recognize and consider in their practice?

2. The community health nurse is sitting in a living room talking with a young

mother about her new infant. The community nurse finds it is difficult to keep

in mind that all the other family members are present by way of their

influence. Systems theory offers some insights about how families operate as

social systems. Knowing the attributes of living systems or open systems can

help strengthen understanding of family structure and function. What are five

attributes of open systems that help explain how families function?

3. The community health nurse is sitting in a living room talking with a young

mother about her new infant. There are two broad stages in the family life

cycle. What are the two broad stages in the family life cycle and what stage

is this young mother with a new infant?

4. In US society, certain social institutions help perform some aspects of

traditional family functions. What are the six functions that are typical of

American families today and are essential for the maintenance and promotion

of family health?

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