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Nurs Prax N Z. 2008 Jul;24(2):41-51.

Nurses' views of family nursing in community contexts: an exploratory study.

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School of Nursing, Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, Christchurch.


In their day to day practice nurses interact with 'family' as a whole in a variety of community locations. Public health, Practice, District, Well child health and Rural nurses participated in a qualitative study in which four focus groups were used to explore the ways in which each nurse integrated 'family' into their practice. Thematic analysis of the data revealed four related themes: the labyrinth of family nursing, relational webs, personal and professional knowing, and contextual determinants. It was found that 'family' was integrated into participants' community practice in a "narrative, dialogical, relational and contextual" manner (Doane Hartrick, 2002, p. 623). Each family/nurse interaction had its own story exemplifying the contextual complexity and uncertainty, while at the same time showing the deep satisfaction inherent in working with families. Paramount in this practice was dialogue and building relationships, not only with families, but also with colleagues, health and other professionals. While it is apparent a family/family health nursing role has yet to be established, the possibilities of such a role have been recognised in this study. Yet considerable work still remains to be done before this nursing role is seen as an imperative in improving family health and wellbeing.

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