Family-friends-community Supportive Participation

This concept encompasses the need to encourage and support patients' family members, friends and community services participation in patient's care, according to patients' wishes and as this is possible and appropriate. Patients live within a network of family and friends and all are influenced by a range of cultural, social, religious, political and economic factors. We collect information on these factors under various headings in the patient's admission assessment and we take them into consideration in planning their care while in hospital – and especially in discharge planning.

We will become aware of who the patient's immediately supportive person/s are. When patients have special learning and self-care needs related to their illness, their supportive person/s may need to become involved with them in their care, particularly in health education. We identify such needs during our on-going nursing assessment and address them through nursing diagnoses, outcomes and interventions. 

For example, in implementing nursing interventions, selected family members, friends, or community members can be guided and assisted to develop care-giving, assistive and supportive roles as necessary. In discharge planning community nursing services can be arranged to continue to provide nursing care following discharge from the hospital.

In addition, referrals to other health care professionals may be necessary, for example, occupational therapists and physical therapists who will provide their services to patients in hospital and in the community following discharge. Social workers may be needed to identify and arrange contact with a range of social services in the community that patients can draw on for support. 

Therese C. Meehan ¬© April 2015