Genetic Family History

Two swiftly growing areas of medicine are the fields of genetics and genomics.  Genetics is the biological study of all inheritance patterns and gene variation in living organisms, while genomics is more specifically focused on genes and the human genome (Rowe-Kaakinen, Padgett-Coehlo, Steele, Tabacco, & Harmon-Hanson, 2015).  While the study of genetics is centuries old, genomics and the unraveling of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA) has only become possible in the last seventy years as technology has advanced (Donnely, Nersesian, Foronda, Jones, & Belcher, 2017).  In the following paragraphs, I will examine the findings of both a genetic and genomic nursing assessment completed on a friend, S.D., going back three generations in her family.  I will include findings such as her family’s ethnic identity, reproductive history, any growth or development variations, and also her family’s comprehension level regarding genetic pre-disposition and associated risks.  Finally, nursing interventions appropriate for S.D.’s family will be discussed.

Family Members and Health History

S.D. is a 40-year-old female.  She is currently married to her second husband, having been widowed at the age of 28 when her first husband was killed in a motor vehicle collision.  She has two children, both from her second marriage.  Her son is six years old, and her daughter is three years old.  S.D. is the youngest of three children, with both an older brother and older sister.  S.D.'s medical history includes treatment for depression, endometriosis, frequent migraines, a torn rotator cuff in her right shoulder, and cosmetic breast augmentation.  S.D. does not smoke or use recreational drugs, but she does drink alcohol, reporting two to three glasses of wine per week.  S.D. has a history of being obese but recently lost significant weight through a medically supervised weight loss program focusing on nutrition and exercise.  She currently is within a normal range on the body mass index (BMI) scale.

S.D.’s older brother is F.H.  He is 44 years old and currently serving as an officer in the United States Navy.  His past medical history includes a traumatic right femur fracture from a high school football injury, a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee, and a recent history of angina that is currently being investigated and followed in a cardiology clinic.  He is divorced with two adult children.  F.H. does not smoke cigarettes, but he does smoke a cigar on occasion.  He also is a social drinker, consuming 4-5 drinks at a time.

S.D.’s older sister is J.N.  She is 42 years old, married, and has four children.  Her past medical history includes frequent migraines, an ectopic pregnancy with subsequent removal of her right fallopian tube and ovary, depression, obesity, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).  J.N. does not smoke, drink, or use any recreational drugs.

S.D.’s mother is A.H.  She died in 2015 at the age of 68 as the result of glioblastoma but was relatively healthy before her brain cancer was detected.  A.H. had recently retired from her career as an elementary and middle school teacher.  Her past medical history included "thyroid issues" for which she had her parathyroid glands removed and took an oral synthetic replacement.  She had also had her left hip replaced after a golfing injury where an intoxic

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