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2.1 Person- and Family-Centered Care

A family consists of people who share a kinship and is defined by the people who make up that kinship. The nurse cares for the family by using inclusive language and respecting all cultures and disabilities. Knowing how people would like to be addressed, knowing when to ask questions at a time family is present, using a professional interpreter, and ordering special equipment for people with disabilities allow patients to feel included in their health care. The nurse can advocate for updated educational brochures, inclusive photos of different types of families, updated EHRs, and general acknowledgement that not all families look the same. Nurses play an important role in caring for families and ensuring all people are respected and heard.

2.2 Family Health and Cultural Factors

Family, religion, and culture make up a person’s belief system. Family roles are often defined by these influences. To help care for a person physically, mentally, and emotionally, the nurse takes a thorough family history, noting risk factors for disease and identifying traditions and roles that are important to the person.

The importance of community health and health care in certain cultures and families determines how the nurse approaches education and explanations of procedures and treatments. Many cultures or religions rely on traditional medicine healers. Traditions and ceremonies surround childbirth and childbearing. The nurse asks about any traditions or ceremonies during pregnancy to ensure they are safe for pregnancy and during labor or postpartum and to help the patient prepare items to bring to the birthing facility. The nurse is aware that respecting the culture and tradition of people helps them feel cared for and empowered.

2.3 Culturally Competent Care

People bring their cultural expectations and beliefs into all health-care encounters. The nurse must determine what interventions can be altered to respect those beliefs. Performing a cultural assessment is a way for the nurse to determine the person’s expectations. Health-care workers should not assume the person’s values or beliefs without asking the person. Using culturally sensitive techniques to enter the room and interact with the person and family shows respect and a desire to understand the person.

2.4 Families at Higher Risk for Poor Health Outcomes

Families at risk for health issues caused by health inequities are at even higher risk during the childbearing years. The nurse does not only provide health care for these families but also connects them with resources for the social, financial, and mental issues that are more common in these families. The nurse needs to be aware of social programs and free medical services available to these families and may need to engage the hospital case manager, social worker, or health department in offering assistance to these families. Social determinants of health guide the Healthy People 2030 objectives in hopes of addressing these health inequalities.


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