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Family Nursing Network
  • What is a Family Nursing Construct?

    A family nursing construct is an abstraction or mental representation inferred from family health or family care focused situations or behaviors. (Polit and Beck, 2008; Abate, 2002)

  • Family Suffering

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    Lynn Kuechle

    (Lindholm, Eriksson, 1993; Marshall, Bell, Moules, 2010; Wacharasin, 2010;  Wright, 2005, 2008; Wright & Bell, 2010; Wright & Leahey, 2013) 


    “…physical, emotional, or spiritual anguish, pain or distress. Experiences of suffering can include illness that alters one’s life and relationships as one knew them; forced exclusion from everyday life; the strain of trying to endure; longing to love or be loved; acute or chronic pain; and conflict; anguish, or interference with love in relationships.” (Wright, 2005, p. 3). Suffering has also been defined as “the state of severe distress associated with events that threaten the intactness of the person” and the family unit (Cassell, 1991, p.33; Wright and Leahey, 2013).

    ·        Use relational and communication skills to develop a trusting relationship between nurse and family

    ·        Explore individual family member’s and family unit thoughts, emotions, beliefs about suffering in the family

    ·        Dialogue about cultural and religious beliefs that could provide peace and support

    ·        Family meetings and dialogue to increase family interaction and induce understandings and provide family support

    ·        Find ways to empower family

    ·        Engage in dialogue that facilitates family finding meaning in suffering

    ·        Search for new meanings in suffering

    ·        Create and invite therapeutic conversation with family members

    ·        Invite family stories of suffering

    ·        Acknowledge suffering in the family

    ·        Seek means of support for each individual family member and unique family

    ·        Use therapeutic questioning techniques, examples:” How can we be most helpful?”, “Who do you believe is suffering most and needs the most support?”, “What is one question you would most like answered during our time together?” (Wright & Leahey, 2013).

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