Building a Health History

Discussion: Building a Health History

Effective communication is vital to constructing an accurate and detailed patient history. A patient’s health or illness is influenced by many factors, including age, gender, ethnicity, and environmental setting. As an advanced practice nurse, you must be aware of these factors and tailor your communication techniques accordingly. Doing so will not only help you establish rapport with your patients, but it will also enable you to more effectively gather the information needed to assess your patients’ health risks.

For this Discussion, you will take on the role of a clinician who is building a health history for one of the following new patients:

  • 76-year-old Black/African-American male with disabilities living in an urban setting
  • Adolescent Hispanic/Latino boy living in a middle-class suburb
  • 55-year-old Asian female living in a high-density poverty housing complex
  • Pre-school aged white female living in a rural community
  • 16-year-old white pregnant teenager living in an inner-city neighborhood

To prepare:

With the information presented in Chapter 1 in mind, consider the following:

  • How would your communication and interview techniques for building a health history differ with each patient?
  • How might you target your questions for building a health history based on the patient’s age, gender, ethnicity, or environment?
  • What risk assessment instruments would be appropriate to use with each patient?
  • What questions would you ask each patient to assess his or her health risks?
  • Select one patient from the list above on which to focus for this Discussion.
  • Identify any potential health-related risks based upon the patient’s age, gender, ethnicity, or environmental setting that should be taken into consideration.
  • Select one of the risk assessment instruments presented in Chapter 1 or Chapter 26 of the course text, or another tool with which you are familiar, related to your selected patient.
  • Develop at least five targeted questions you would ask your selected patient to assess his or her health risks and begin building a health history.

By Day 3

Post a description of the interview and communication techniques you would use with your selected patient. Explain why you would use these techniques. Identify the risk assessment instrument you selected, and justify why it would be applicable to the selected patient. Provide at least five targeted questions you would ask the patient.

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