Today, offering care to terminally ill patients can be quite daunting. This is in reference to the resources such as time and money that are required for providing care to the chronically ill patients. Additionally, it can also be challenging for the family of a chronically ill patient to transition to caring for such a sick relative. This essay shows how a nurse can help a family transit to offer care to their terminally ill relative, the effect of health education and family development and structural theories in caregivers transitions.
How the Nurse Can Aid in the Transitioning the Family in Caring for the Terminally Ill Patient
There are several strategies that the nurse can help in preparing Mrs. Jones and her family to adjust to the changes they are about to face from caring for their terminally ill mother. First, the nurse could impact health education on the family on topics pertaining how to take care of a chronically ill relative. Health education entails providing persons with knowledge of how to administer healthcare interventions to patients (Koelen & Ban, 2004). By using health education, the nurse will be able to teach Mr. Jones and her family on how to manage their physical, emotional, social as well as mental health when caring for the patient.
Consequently, this will aid them in making the transition from their regular life to a situation where they have to offer substantial assistance to their sick relative. Second, the nurse can offer to advise Mrs. Jones and her family pertaining the importance of using palliative or hospice care to manage the conditions of the terminally ill persons. The use of hospice and palliative care centers can help the caregivers to reduce the burden of work associated with caring for terminally ill patients (Smith, 2012). This is because such centers are run by professionals equipped with modern technologies and medicine to manage the condition of terminally ill patients.
Family Development Theory and Family Structural Theory
The family developmental theory is focused on studying the behavior of families, which is used in explaining the patterned change (White, Klein, & Martin, 2014). It is also focused on studying the dynamic nature of a family unit as well as how changes take place in a family life cycle. In the featured case, through the development family theory, the change cycles that the family undergoes through in taking care of their sick can be divided into two phases. The first phase should describe the changes in the family structure while the second phase describes the roles of family members occurring in each stage.
Consequently, the nurse can learn the changes that occur in Mrs. Jones family due to taking care of their chronically ill parent. Furthermore, the nurse can develop positive approaches to helping the family curb with such changes and changes in roles in taking care of such changes. Conversely, the family structural theory theorizes that the family unit cannot be well understood in isolation from each other (Regina, 2011). Instead, the family should be considered to be a single emotional unit. In the featured case, the nurse should focus on addressing the transitioning problems experienced by Mr. Jones with her family included. This can be done through regular collective family group meetings to address the issues affecting the entire family in taking care of the chronically ill patient.
Health Education in Health Promotion for the Family
The primary role of health education is to influence or shape the health behavior of persons or communities working or caring for the health conditions of others (Brooker & White, 2013). Additionally, it is also focused on improving the health status of the patients and their caregivers (Denehy, 2001). In the featured case, the use of health education will offer Mrs. Jones family effective strategies for managing their physical, emotional, social and mental challenges when offering care to the chronically ill patient. Consequently, this will promote the level of offering care to the patient, which can also translate into an improved healthcare outcome for the patient.
In conclusion, to aid a family transit into offering care for their terminally ill relative, a nurse can use health education and advise to the family to use palliative and hospice care. Moreover, through the family developmental theory, a nurse can influence the changes in the family structure and their roles in caring for the chronically sick relatives. Contrariwise, through the family structural theory, a nurse can address all challenges limiting transition to caring for a terminally ill patient by considering the whole family as a single emotion unit. Ultimately, health education can be employed to influence or shape the health behavior of family members taking care of chronically ill patients. Consequently, this would aid in the health promotion of such patients.
Brooker, C., & White, E. (2013). Community Psychiatric Nursing: A research perspective. Berlin: Springer.
Denehy, J. (2001). Health Education: An Important Role for School Nurses. The Journal of School Nursing, 17(5), 233-238.
Koelen, M. A., & Ban, V. d. (2004). Health Education and Health Promotion. Wageningen: Wageningen Academic Publishers.
Regina, W. F. (2011). Applying Family Systems Theory to Mediation: A Practitioner's Guide. Lanham: University Press of America.
Smith, C. E. (2012). A Hospice Guide Book: Hospice Care: A Wise Choice Providing Quality Comfort Care Through the End of Life's Journey. Toronto: Inspiring Voices.
White, J. M., Klein, D. M., & Martin, T. F. (2014). Family Theories: An Introduction. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.
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