Family nursing – why and what is it?

Professor Alison Metcalfe PhD BSc RN PG Cert

For decades, nursing in all specialties in the UK has focused on improving and developing patient-centred or client-centred care. Highly laudable and imperative to providing care that recognises the patient / client as an individual, with their own values, beliefs, knowledge and experiences. However, some nurses are beginning to recognise that patient-centred care is only the tip of the iceberg in assisting patients / clients to recovery, healing or learning to live with long-term conditions or adjust to life changing events such as childbirth, death and bereavement. Patients or clients’ management of their health, illness and wellbeing is dependent on their most ‘significant others’, their families and friends or ‘relational care’.

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