Family Interview with Genogram

Family Interview with Genogram

Student’s name

Institutional Affiliation

Oliver is 25 years old. He was admitted to a healthcare facility with the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. However, it is his aggressive behaviors towards nurses that made nurses wonder what his problem was. These behaviors made it difficult to manage his condition. Although the nurses felt sorry for Oliver, they thought of him as very rude. To understand the patient better, a solution was reached to conduct a brief family interview. The interview aimed at understanding Oliver’s behaviors. His family was invited to attend the meeting.

A 15-minute interview was conducted. The nurse started by introducing herself to the patient and the family members. She started by sharing her name. She then expressed the role she will be playing in taking care of Oliver. These roles included taking blood from Oliver to test for blood sugar levels, monitoring sugar levels, providing good patient care, and promoting self-care. Then, the nurse oriented Oliver and the family members to the purpose of the brief family interview which was to understand Oliver’s expectations, beliefs, and resources. These steps helped the nurse to use manners, a key ingredient to an effective brief family interview (Lorraine & Maureen, 1999).

After the introduction, the nurse made a priority to draw a quick genogram for the families who were more likely to make an impact on Oliver’s care. The genogram focused on three generations. During this section, the nurse obtained information about the sex, ages, and health status of every family member (Wright & Leahey, 1994). The nurse also collected data of any member who had died, the cause of death, and the date. Data on relationships among the family members were also collected.  From the interview, the nurse noted that Oliver’s grandfather from the father’s side had died from respiratory disease in 2013. Both grandparents from the mother’s side died from a car crash in 2010. The rest of the family members lived under the same roof.  Oliver’s grandmother was under medication for type 2 diabetes and this was the reason she did not attend the interview.

Genogram Diagram

Text Box: [Grandma]
Text Box: [Grandma]
Text Box: [Grandpa]
Text Box: [Grandpa]
Text Box: [Mother]
Text Box: [Father]
Text Box: [Patient]
Genogram Legend                           Male                              Female                         Deceased Male                             Deceased Female  
               Close Relationship  

Oliver also lived with both parents who were all healthy. From, the interview, the nurse noted that all the family members have a close relationship and helped each other to live a good life. Obtaining this data served as a quick engagement strategy with the family (Lorraine & Maureen, 1999). The strategy helps in creating a therapeutic and trusting relationship with families as it proves that the nurse believes that illness is a family affair essential for fulfilling family needs (Santos et al., 2016). The nurse included the genogram in the patient’s record to remind other healthcare provides involved with Oliver to think of a family in their interventions.

In the next few interview minutes, the nurse asked therapeutic questions to explore Oliver’s expectations, beliefs, and resources (Santos et al., 2016). The first question focused on understanding Oliver’s resources and any possible conflicts in the family. The nurse asked Oliver about the family members he would like healthcare givers to share his information with or not. Oliver responded to the question by saying that the information should be shared with all family members. This proved that there were no conflicts among the family members.

The next question focused on Oliver’s expectations and beliefs. He was asked about his expectations from nurses during the hospitalization (Lorraine & Maureen, 1999). Oliver responded by saying that he expected nurses to treat him like a human being. He said that he had experienced a bad encounter with a rude nurse during his previous hospitalization and hoped this time nurses would treat him better and show him respect. The nurse posed the same question to other family members. She noted that the family expected nurses to attend to Oliver completely, kindly, and with respect.

Then, the nurse asked the family members about how helpful she was during the brief family interview. This question is key in a therapeutic conversation (Wright & Leahey, 1999). Oliver and all family members said that the interview showed the willingness of the nurse to collaborate with them during Oliver’s hospitalization something that had never been shown previously. The nurse commended Oliver for his willingness to fight the illness. She also commended the family members for the support they give each other, especially when facing a problem.

From this interview, the nurse understood Oliver’s aggressiveness towards nurses. She identified previous rude encounters with nurses as the contributing factor to the behavior. To address this behavior, the nurse apologized to Oliver for the rude encounters and promised him better relationships during the hospitalization. She also encouraged other nursing staff to treat Oliver and other patients with respect and build trust with them (Benner, 2001). By the time Oliver was leaving the hospital, the sugar levels were under control and he was no longer aggressive towards nurses. This shows that the brief family interview and the identified interventions were effective. 


Benner, P. (2001).  From novice to expert: excellence and power in clinical nursing practice. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Santos, L., Cruz, A., Mekitarian, F., & Angelo, M. (2017). Family interview guide: strategy to develop skills in novice nurses. The             Brazilian Journal of Nursing, 70(6), 1129-1136.

Wright, L. & Leahey, M. (1994). Nurses and families. A guide to assessment and intervention (2nd ed.). Philadelphia: F. A. Davis.

Wright, L. M. and Leahey, M. (1999). Maximizing Time, Minimizing Suffering: The 15 Minute (or less) Family Interview. Journal          of Family Nursing, 5(3), 259-274.

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