Free write #4

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Guidelines for the Family Free Writes and Brainstorm

From our course syllabus:

Early in the course, each student will write a 2-page open write on each of the following four topics:

1. Healthy Families

2. Family during Acute Care Experience

3. Family in Crisis or Trauma

4. Chronic Illness Experience

The free write is not an edited piece of work, but you must use one outside source. Please write down your thoughts, insights, stories, cases, examples, experiences and whatever comes to mind for that particular topic. I also encourage you to use the course competencies for thematic elements to your writing. Please upload the paper into the discussion thread posted for that purpose. Please read and respond to one student in your group when ideas are interesting and relate what you have learned from them. These are amazing and I am not satisfied to be the only one reading them! Thanks.

This free write is meant to help you access your deepest and most powerful feelings about family, as well as building on your past and your developing knowledge of family: academically, professionally, and personally.

The 2-page free write on healthy families, (for example, there are four categories) may include ideas gleaned from your text, stories from your childhood, something you read in the newspaper, a novel or poem, or an interaction you witnessed in the grocery story. The objective of the free write is to help you decide what most interests you in family health nursing and what literature you might use for your annotated bibliography and your final research work with a family. Examination of the course topics will organize your thoughts and focus your ideas on the desired outcomes of the learning you are doing.

As stated in the syllabus, this is not an edited piece of work. This material is rich in image, story and insight. The free write is meant in part to get in touch with this material. Thoughts from your readings may also be included and will spark new ideas unique to you. Use at least two references in your work for full points.

Please post your writing to the group discussion link under Family Free Write Brainstorm as indicated. Everyone in your group should have one response to the free write, though no references are necessary for your response.

Rubric for Family Free Writes Brainstorm

40 points total


Total possible

Total gained

Completion of all 4 topics


Application literature/citations


Relevance to principles of family nursing


Writing clarity and care


Insight and creativity


NURS 362 Summer 2022


Family Topic

Assigned Content/Readings

Thought/Discussion Topic

Written Assignments/


Module 1

Week 1

May 16


Background Understandings of Family and Societal Care

George Maverick audio

Watch the three video clips in order:

Video 1: Brief with Family Focus

Video 2: Simulation with Family Focus

Video 3: Simulation without Familiy Focus

Kaakinen*, Coehlo, Steele, & Robinson (2018) Ch. 1

Denham*, Eggenberger, Young, & Krumwiede (2015) Ch. 1 & 12

Bell (2011)

*Reading list will just use first author name

Individual, Family and Societal Care

Foundations for Thinking Family

Look for posted orientation video on D2L explaining basics of course syllabus, calendar, and assignments. Please ask if further questions after listening and reading documents thoroughly. Thanks!

Free Write #1 regarding healthy families due

May 22nd

Group Discussion in D2L – Week 1

For each week, your initial posting is due by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday and 2 responses to your peers by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday. Remember to include citations and references to support your comments.

1. Introduction Thread – Help your classmates to get to know you as a person, nurse, and family member. Share aspects of yourself in a posting–For example, Tell us about your family of origin. Tell us about your current family (remember that if you do not have biologic members present in your life, friends as family may apply to you. Pictures of you and your family? What is the work of family? What are your future family goals? What piques your interest in this course and family focused nursing care?

2. Reflect on an illness experience in your own family or a family you know. Describe the struggles the family experienced with the illness. Consider the biological, social, psychological, or spiritual factors that influenced the management and coping of the family. Based on your experience pose a nursing approach that may have been helpful to the family. Use your readings to support your analysis and response.

3. What is your definition of family and family health?

4. Describe your family health experience utilizing the 3 family health domains (contextual, functional, and structural).

5. Describe your family’s health routines. Identify some barriers or challenges for families not developing or maintaining health routines

6. To introduce family nursing practice and give you a background on how to care for the family unit, please watch video clips of our former nursing students caring for George Maverick in our simulation suite on the Mankato campus. Observe the similarities/differences seen between the individual focus (video 1) vs. family focused care (video 2).

7. Thinking Family – Address the health inequities or health disparities: Does the basic premise of family focused nursing care hold true: When the health of one family is improved, the health of society has also been improved.

Week 2

May 23

Background & Understandings of Family Nursing

Theoretical Foundations for Family Nursing

Family Structure, Function, Process

Aspects of Health

Kaakinen (2018) Ch. 2, 3 & 6

Denham (2015) Ch. 2, 3 & 7

Khalili (2007)

Duhamel, Dupuis, & Wright (2009)

Foundation for ‘Thinking Family’

Family as Unit of Care or Context?

Family Nursing Theory

Denham’s Core Processes

Health Routines

Free Write #2 regarding

family during acute care experience due May 29th

Group Discussion in D2L – Week 2

1. What are the barriers/challenges described in your readings that you also face in your environments as you attempt to provide family focused nursing? (e.g. family as client, family as context, family as barrier, family as caring process, family as resource)

2. Review the power point: “Family Nursing Background and Understandings.” Reflect on nursing practice that views family as the unit of care and nursing practice that views family as contextual to the individual patient. Do you believe that current nursing practice most often views family as the unit of care or family as a context to the situation? How do these two views differ?

3. Develop 5 questions focusing on one of Denham’s Core Processes. Interview a client in your workplace or within your community and describe their answers to your questions. Identify family routines and factors related to family health routines.

4. From the Khalili article, what were the most significant aspects of the illness transition for the family? What resources did the family need/want? What were the barriers and facilitators to obtaining the needed resources or supports? What may have changed in the care situation for the family if the family would have been viewed as the unit of care?

5. Using one of the family theories/frameworks described in the literature reflect on an illness experience in a family. (You can reflect on a family you have cared for in your nursing practice.) Consider how family structure, function, and process influenced the family health experience and outcomes. Analyze the experience from a family theory/framework perspective.

6. Use your reading on a One Question Question by Duhamel et al. (2009) to practice this questioning strategy with a family. Share your reflections and outcomes.

Module 2

Week 3

May 30

Family Construct

Share examples from the book to describe Denham’s Core Processes

Fault in Our Stars (Green, 2012)

Read The book and complete the Family Constructs Grid

Post & Discuss

Fault in Our Stars Book Discussion

Free write # 3 regarding family in crisis or trauma experience due

June 5th

Complete First Family Visit

Family Assessment-this is just a guideline to keep you on track-it is not literally due.

Group Discussion in D2L – Week 3

Read Green (2012) and fill out the family construct grid in relation to Green (2012) located in Module 2. Please note, the grid is only to guide your thinking and discussion posts. Please post your grid and any relevant commentary about which family nursing concepts seem most pertinent.

The focus for this week is the Fault in Our Stars book discussion by John Green. I am providing the following list of questions to jump start the book discussion. You don’t need to answer all of the questions. This is meant to be a free-flowing conversation, and I expect each of you will add your questions throughout the discussion.

Each of you can tell us how you experienced the book and pick one of the questions below to answer if these help focus your thoughts.

1. John Green uses the voice of a teenage girl to tell this story. Why do you think he choose to do this? Was it effective? How would it have been different if he had told the story from a different voice? How does voice relate to family nursing practice?

2. What does the title, Fault in Our Stars, mean?

3. How would you describe the two main characters, Hazel and Gus?

4. How do Hazel and Gus relate to their cancer?

5. At one point in the book, Hazel states, “Cancer books suck.” What is she really meaning?

6. How do Hazel and Gus change, in spirit, over the course of the novel?

7. Why is “An Imperial Affliction” written by Peter Van Houten Hazel’s favorite book?

8. How many of you looked to see if, “An Imperial Affliction” was an actual book?

9. What do you think about the author Peter Van Houten?

10. Why it was so important for Hazel and Gus to learn what happens after the heroine dies in the An Imperial Affliction?

Week 4

June 6

Annotated Bibliography

Read syllabus for assignment instructions. Below are several reputable websites that explain how to prepare an annotated bibliography.

Annotated Bibliography

June 12th

Please upload your Annotated Bibliography. 

Review and provide feedback for two individual’s Annotated Bibliography.

Incorporate the feedback you receive from your peers into your final Annotated Bibliography.

Week 5

June 13

Family Chronic Illness Experience

Family Construct

Share examples from the book to describes Denham’s Core Processes

Genetics & Genomics

Genova (2009) Still Alice

Read the book and complete the Family Constructs Grid

Post and Discuss

Kaakinen (2018) Ch. 10 & 11

Denham (2015) Ch. 8, 9 & 13

Svavarsdottir (2006)

Alzheimer’s disease fact sheet:

Bennet (2008) This is a very complex and technical article. Read through it for the general ideas presented about the history and uses of genetic mapping.

Family Coping with Chronic Illness

Family Suffering

Still Alice Book Discussion

Free Write # 4 regarding

family during a chronic illness experience

June 19th

Complete Second Family Visit

Family Intervention – this is just a guideline to keep you on track-it is not literally due.

Group Discussion in D2L – Week 5

1. Svavarsdottir conducted an integrative review about Nordic families with children who are chronically ill. Three exemplar family cases were described. How can nurses be empathetically connected to these families? In Figure 1, Svavarsdottir (2006), shows how family daily activities, family relations and family health are interconnected. Describe how the family’s quality of life is affected if one or more of these 3 factors were hindered. What may be some suggestions to help these families boost their quality of life? Feel free to share any experiences in your career where you were empathetically connected to a family and helped boost their quality of life.

2. From your readings and your own experience, identify and discuss five needs of families during a crisis experience.

3. Develop a three generation pedigree to assess your personal family history information using the following website The pedigree should represent three generations (student, parents, grandparents). Complete your family history, save it, and view your history grid and genogram. Share your insights into your family health with your group (you do not need to post the pedigree itself).

4. The Bennet article is a helpful resource for pedigree and genogram symbols when you start diagramming genograms in Module 3.

5. Read the genomics case study and Alzheimer’s fact sheet.

Module 3

Week 6

June 20

Family Assessment & Interview

Denham (2015) Ch. 4 & 5

Review Kaakinen (2018) Ch. 5 & 8

Duhamel, Dupuis, & Wright (2009)

Family System Strengths Stressors Inventory pdf on D2L

Family Assessment

and Interview

Family Assessment and Interventions in Practice

Complete Third Family Visit

Family Evaluation -this is just a guideline to keep you on track-it is not literally due.

Group Discussion in D2L – Week 6

1. What is your perspective on key elements of family assessment, based on your text readings? Develop and post the family interview guide you plan on using for the family interview. What underlying framework supports your interview guide (Calgary Family Assessment Model (CFAM), described in Wright and Leahey A Guide to Family Assessment and Intervention, Family System Strengths Stressors Inventory (FS3I)? See PDF attachment on D2L

2. Discuss family assessment in your groups. Discussion may include why family assessment is important or how assessment approaches and structure may differ across settings. Discuss barriers, personal or institutional, to engaging in family assessment.

3. Create and upload the Family Nursing Tools:  Genogram, Ecomap, Circular Conversation, and Attachment Diagram.  {Make sure the name of your family members are changed to protect their identity. 

Module 4

Week 7

June 27

Family Assessment and Interventions in Practice

Family Interventions

Review Kaakinen (2018) Ch. 10 & 11

Denham (2015) Ch. 11, 14 & 15

Wiegand (2008)

Review Video in Module 1: Simulation SEE Model

Video: Debriefing SEE Model with Family Constructs and Family Nursing Actions

Refer to the following chapters to identify nursing interventions:

Kaakinen (2018) Ch. 12-17

Denham (2015) Ch. 10, 11, 12, 13, & 14

Family Level Nursing Approaches

Upload draft Family Nursing Project into discussion thread this week

Please upload your Family Nursing Project.

Review and provide feedback for two individual’s Family Nursing Project.

Incorporate the feedback you receive from your peers into your final Family Nursing Project paper.

Module 4

Week 8

July 4

Family Nursing Policy

Review Denham (2015) Ch. 12

Family nursing interventions and approaches

Family Nursing Project due July 10th

July 10th is the last day to submit graded assignments.

Group Discussion in D2L – Week 8


2. 1. Based upon your readings and your family interview paper experience, what policies (community, institution, statewide, nationwide, global, unit-based, etc.) would you want to put into practice to support the use of the family nursing interventions?


3. 2, Consider your readings and discussions this semester (textbook, personal annotated bibliography, articles, postings, etc.). What family nursing interventions/approaches do you propose to support the family health and illness experience and advance family nursing practice?  Post at least 5 nursing interventions/approaches (include citations and references).


4. 3. Choose a policy at your institution and review it from a family friendly perspective. What did you see? Are there improvements you could suggest?


5. 4. Contact your risk manager or quality and safety nurse to learn whether or not family is used as an indicator within your institution. If yes, find out why and how the institution is measuring the family indicator. If no, propose why the institution needs to focus on family and how a family focused nursing practice could be implemented.

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