DQ: What is a definition of family that encompasses the different family structures prevalent today? NRS 429

DQ: What is a definition of family that encompasses the different family structures prevalent today? NRS 429

DQ What is a definition of family that encompasses the different family structures prevalent today NRS 429

The definition of family that encompasses the different family structure prevalent today is made up of many different units that an individual feels is part of their inner circle whom they reside with and rely on for support. A current family structure is more than having a genetic link or a traditional family such as mother/father and children. Family is “not only people related by blood or marriage, but also close friends, partners, companions, and others whom patients would want as part of their care team (The Institute of Medicine, 2014).”

It is important to acknowledge nontraditional family structures to ensure you build trust with the patient and family. When providing care to a patient, if family is present, it is important to acknowledge and know who they are to the patient. If a patient feels like you are not engaging with the family, they may feel judge, undervalued and less likely to follow the plan of care. A patient’s illness not only affects the patient but the family as a whole (Davidson et al., 2017). It is important when meeting a patient alone to assess their current family structure. Building an open line of communication is important. If a patient is fearful to discuss their current living situation, their care may be affected. If a patient feels they are free to discuss, their living structure, regardless if it’s traditional, or nontraditional, (LBGTQ +), homeless, living on a compound or a single parent house hold, it is important that they feel they can discuss this with you freely and are not being judge. They may not talk about an illness or symptoms they are having due to feeling looked down on.

The family systems theory can be used to better understand the interactions of a modern family by looking at the family as a whole. If there is a change in one family member, it can have a positive or negative impact on the family unit. “Observing or understanding the complexity and emotions of the family system lends to understanding of the individual (Yoder et al., 2016).”




Davidson, J.E., Aslakson, R.A., Long, A.C., Puntillo, K.A., Kross, E. K., Hart, J.,Netzer, G.

(2017). Guidelines for family-centered care in the neonatal, pediatric, and adult ICU.

Critical Care Medicine 45(1), 103-128.


Institute of Medicine. (2014). Dying in America: Improving quality and honoring individual

preferences near the end of life. 28.


Yoder, J. R., D., & Hodge, A. (2016). Families of youth who have sexually offended:

Understanding shared experiences and moving towards a typology. 25, 1581-1593.

The Family of Choice encompasses the different family structures that are most prevalent today. This structure focuses on how a family is chosen either by love, trust or friendship and can include pets. The structure model looks beyond the traditional (nuclear family) that focus on parent, children, and blood relations. Because this structure could include children being raised by other family member, single parents, mixed families, or multigenerational families is why I think this is the most prevalent family structure

Family can sometime be a complex unit with multiple situations, that the nurse might not be aware of. If the nurse wants to promote healthier lives as a family unit, the nurse must involve the people that are closest to the patient in the decision making process. As non-traditional family become more prevalent it might not always be a family member who is the primary care giver, so it is important to include everyone close to patient that might be interacting with their care.

The family system theory helps nurses understand the role of each family member and how that member of the family affects the whole family unit. Understanding how the importance of each member of the family will help promote healthy changes for the patient. The family system theory makes nurses aware that the patient does not exist in an isolation of the family unit and without considering that each person in the family unit is looking for attachment and intimacy of the family while still remaining an independent thinker.

Green, S. (2018). Understanding families and health promotion, In Grand Canyon University (Eds.), Health and Wellness Across the Continuum.

DQ: What is a definition of family that encompasses the different family structures prevalent today? NRS 429

Barnes, M. D., Hanson, C. L., Novilla, L. B., Magnusson, B. M., Crandall, A. A. C., & Bradford, G. (2020). Family-centered health promotion: Perspectives for engaging families and achieving better health outcomes. INQUIRY: The Journal of Health Care Organization, Provision, and Financing57.

According to Green (2018) a nuclear family was defined as a mother a father and their children. “Today’s use of the term usually denotes a couple and their children, without indication of gender, marriage, or biological relationships. In contrast, a single-parent family is household in which only one parent is present with a child or children.” (Green, 2018). Coming from a single-parent family structure I can understand the importance of acknowledging other nontraditional structures. Being able to recognize these different structures allows a nurse to properly formulate an individualized plan of care. This becomes especially true when thinking about discharging a patient home. Family members will typically take on the role of caretaker when a client is sent home from their hospital stay. Identifying the structure of the family will give the nurse an idea of how to approach the situation and who will take the lead on the client’s needs after discharge.

In order to maintain a stable family unit, each member of the family is considered a subsystem. According to Bowen’s thesis humans cannot be studied in isolation in order to understand family dynamics. In order to accomplish this one must observe and assess the client’s family and the interaction that takes place between them. Changes in one subsystem affect the other components, in turn, the family will respond by adapting. Families are more likely to make good lifestyle choices when one individual within the family system leads by example. These efforts to promote public health are vital (Yoder et al., 2016). When providing care and encouraging health promotion for the patient, their family should be included in the teaching program.


Yoder, J. R., Ruch, D., & Hodge, A. (2016). Families of youth who have sexually offended: Understanding shared experiences and moving towards a typology. Journal of Child and Family Studies25, 1581-1593.

Green, S. (2018). Understanding families and health promotion, In Grand Canyon University (Eds.), Health and Wellness Across the Continuum.

You can as well read:

A family used to be known to be 2 parents and a child. In today’s day, we have seen an evolution in growth of what it means to be a family. The definition of a family now includes same sex couples, even if they don’t have any children, as well as 1 parent households (Sharma, 2013). This being the case there has also been an increase in blended families which includes 2 people with children from past relationships.

When it comes to healthcare, family can be the one key to really understand where the individual being taught has learned behaviors and how to accommodate them to promote health. Family should be viewed as an exclusive system to observe their learning style (Falkner et al., 2022). By incorporating family in an individual’s health promotion plan, this person will be likely to reach desired outcomes, but that may not always be the case as it also determines how family views the healthcare system (Sharma, 2013).

An example to better understand the family system theory would be one that I personally experienced as a household member. My brother at 8 years-old was diagnosed with DM type 1 (3 years ago), as a nursing student at the time I was very involved in the learning aspect as well as my mom due to her having to make the changes to care for my brother. As a family, we decided to look through our pantry to see where we can adjust to provide my brother with healthier snack choices and began to understand how to read labels to give him his proper insulin doses based on carb intake. On the nursing side, observing the family make these changes as a whole made the teaching and learning process a lot easier because we all learned how to care for my brother and know what to expect rather than only our mom learning the carb count and sliding scale and having a hard time trusting someone else to care for my brother.





Falkner, A., Green, S. Z., & Whitney, S. (2022). Health Promotion: Health & Wellness Across the Continuum. (Second Edition). Grand Canyon University.

Sharma, R. (2013). The family and family structure classification redefined for the current times. Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care2(4), 306.