NURS 6512 Discussion comprehensive health history for a patient is important in developing a treatment plan for them

NURS 6512 Discussion comprehensive health history for a patient is important in developing a treatment plan for them

NURS 6512 Discussion comprehensive health history for a patient is important in developing a treatment plan for them

Being able to obtain a comprehensive health history for a patient is important in developing a treatment plan for them.  The purpose of this discussion post is to discuss interview techniques I would use for an 85-year-old white female living alone with declining health.  I will talk about the risk assessment instrument I would use and why.  Lastly, I will list five targeted questions I would ask to assess her health to start building a health history.

The first meeting with any patient is so important to build a good relationship and partnership from the start (Ball et al., 2019).  With this patient being 85 and living alone there will be a lot to consider when interviewing her.  I will need to establish is she is mentally with it, if she has hearing problems, and how much she understands about her health.  Older adults often assume certain problems are just normal parts of aging and not anything to be considered (Ball et al., 2019).  Often, older adults can also experience agism (Garrison-Diehn et al., 2022).  Even in health care settings older adults experience feelings of incompetence and being a burden (Garrison-Diehn et al., 2022).  It will be important to make sure she feels comfortable speaking to me knowing there is no bias or judgement.

The risk assessment I would do for this patient is the functional assessment.  This is an older lady who lives alone.  It will be essential to figure out how well she is able to function on her own.  One of the biggest risks for older patients is falling.  Falling is associated with adverse outcomes that can lead to a patient not being able to live at home anymore along with increased mortality (Snehal et al., 2020).  The functional assessment would give information regarding how well she can move around the house, is she is able to keep a clean environment, how meals are prepared, how she goes to the bathroom, and keeps good hygiene (Ball et al, 2019).  All these issues are going to contribute to her overall health.  It is important to gather this information to determine what assistance, if any, she will need.

After introducing myself and establishing how the patient would like to be addressed, I would start by simply asking “What brings you in today?”  This is a way to find out what her chief complaint is for coming in.  My second question would be “When did this start?”  This brings the patient back to the beginning and prompts them to tell the whole story regarding why they came in.  My third question would be “What medications do you take on a regular basis and what are they for?”  In my experience patients may or may not even know what they are taking, let alone why they are taking them.  It can also lead to her discussing if she is compliant with her medications.  To follow that, my fourth question would be “What medical problems do you have?”  Before going through a formal review of systems, this can give a clue to what she considers to be important in her history.   My last question would be “How well do you feel you are able to take care of yourself at home?”  This is an open-ended question to gain some insight on the functional assessment.  If the patient’s initial chief complaint is not urgent it is okay to give the patient some time while understanding the time constraints of you as the provider (Ball et al., 2019).

Establishing a relationship with patients and getting a thorough health history can be a daunting task for providers.  It is key to tailor interviewing skills to meet patient specific needs.  Modifying interview skills to the individual will eliminate communication barriers between the provider and patient (Bass et al., 2019).  Creating a strong relationship with the patient will allow the nurse practitioner to obtain the most comprehensive health history and provide the best possible care to clients.


Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2019). Seidel’s guide to physical examination: An interprofessional approach (9th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.

Garrison-Diehn, C., Rummel, C., Au, Y. H., & Scherer, K. (2022). Attitudes toward older adults and aging: A foundational geropsychology knowledge competency. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 29(1), 4–15.

Snehal, K., Rashmi, G., & Aarti, N. (2020). Risk factors for fear of falling in older adults in India. Journal of Public Health, 28(2), 123-129. doi:

Effective communication is vital to constructing an accurate and detailed patient history. A patient’s health or illness is influenced byNURS 6512 Discussion comprehensive health history for a patient is important in developing a treatment plan for them 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 a particular new patient assigned by your Instructor.

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To prepare:

With the information presented in Chapter 1 of Ball et al. in mind, consider the following:

  • By Day 1 of this week, you will be assigned a new patient profile by your Instructor for this Discussion. Note: Please see the “Course Announcements” section of the classroom for your new patient profile assignment.
  • 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 social determinants of health?
  • What risk assessment instruments would be appropriate to use with each patient, or what questions would you ask each patient to assess his or her health risks?
  • 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 5 of the Seidel’s Guide to Physical Examination 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 of Week 1

Post a summary of the interview and a description of the communication techniques you would use with your assigned 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.

Note: For this Discussion, you are required to complete your initial post before you will be able to view and respond to your colleagues’ postings. Begin by clicking on the “Post to Discussion Question” link, and then select “Create Thread” to complete your initial post. Remember, once you click on Submit, you cannot delete or edit your own posts, and you cannot post anonymously. Please check your post carefully before clicking on Submit!

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6 of Week 1

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on 2 different days who selected a different patient than you, using one or more of the following approaches:

  • Share additional interview and communication techniques that could be effective with your colleague’s selected patient.
  • Suggest additional health-related risks that might be considered.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience and additional research.

Submission and Grading Information

Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:

Week 1 Discussion Rubric

Post by Day 3 of Week 1 and Respond by Day 6 of Week 1

To Participate in this Discussion:

I really liked the way you presented your discussion post; it was very organized and thought out. However, as a PMHNP student, I was inclined to read through a few articles and I came across the following Risk assessment tools that would assess the psychological issues associated with one’s LGBTQIA status.

The Gender Minority Stress and Resilience Scale (GMRS) is used to measure the difficulties associated with identifying as a gender minority and protective factors for psychological well-being.The 58 items were adapted from other measures and compiled into the GMRS to measure nine different constructs, including Gender-related Discrimination, Gender-related Rejection, Gender-related Victimization, non-affirmation of Gender Identity, Internalized Transphobia, Negative Expectations for Future Events, and Nondisclosure (Shulman et al., 2017).

Strength of Transgender Identity Scale (STIS)This assesses how strongly an individual identifies as transgender and how important transitioning is to them. Although largely related to identifying transgender people, it contains items that may be relevant to understanding someone’s gender identity and how that might change in therapeutic interventions. The STIS has six questions and no factors were identified in the original validation study. Example items include “I identify as trans,” “It is important to me that people I am close to know I transitioned,” and “The fact that I transitioned is important to who I am.”

Transgender Adaptation and Integration Measure (TG AIM) measure the stresses associated with being transgender and the individual’s efforts to cope with stress. The TG AIM has 15 items, and three factors were identified in the initial validation study that is scored as subscales: Coping and Gender Reorientation Efforts, Psycho social Impact of Gender Status, and Gender-related Fears. A fourth factor, Gender Locus of Control, was also identified but was not recommended for use due to poor internal consistency. Example items of the three recommended factors include “I fear discrimination,” “I take/have taken hormones,” and “Being transgender causes me relationship problems.”


Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2019). Seidel’s guide to physical examination: An interprofessional approach (9th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.

Shulman, G. P., Holt, N. R., Hope, D. A., Mocarski, R., Eyer, J., & Woodruff, N. (2017). A review of contemporary assessment tools for use with transgender and gender nonconforming adults. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity4(3), 304–313. to an external site.

Effective nursing health assessment interview techniques. (n.d.). Walden University. to an external site.