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August 22, 2023

Patient Interviews and Patient History

Patient Interviews and Patient History. What are the goals of a patient interview? Name and described each component of the Patient History (Chief Complaint, History of Present Illness, etc.). Describe an incident where you had used improper technique on measuring blood pressure, what did you learn from that incident? What are the goals of a patient interview?  Name and described each component of the Patient History (Chief Complaint, History of Present Illness, etc.). Describe a barrier when you had assess a patient from a different culture.


Patient interviews and gathering a comprehensive patient history are fundamental aspects of healthcare assessment. They enable healthcare professionals to establish rapport, gather relevant information, and provide patient-centered care. In this paper, we will explore the goals of a patient interview, discuss the components of a patient history, and address potential challenges when assessing patients from different cultural backgrounds.

Goals of a Patient Interview

Establishing Rapport and Building Trust

A primary goal of a patient interview is to establish a positive rapport with the patient. By demonstrating empathy, active listening, and respect, healthcare professionals can build trust and create an environment where patients feel comfortable sharing their health concerns openly.

Gathering Relevant Information

Patient interviews aim to gather comprehensive and accurate information about the patient’s health. This includes obtaining a detailed medical history, exploring the chief complaint, and understanding the patient’s perception of their symptoms. Gathering this information helps in formulating an appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Identifying Patient’s Expectations and Goals

Understanding the patient’s expectations and goals is crucial for providing patient-centered care. By discussing their concerns, preferences, and desired outcomes, healthcare professionals can tailor the treatment plan to meet the patient’s individual needs and promote shared decision-making.

Components of the Patient History

Chief Complaint

The chief complaint is the primary reason for the patient seeking medical attention. It is a concise description of the symptoms or concerns that prompted the visit. Healthcare professionals use this information as a starting point to gather further details about the patient’s condition.

History of Present Illness (HPI)

The HPI involves gathering a detailed account of the patient’s symptoms, including the onset, duration, location, severity, associated factors, and any changes over time. It provides insights into the progression of the illness and helps identify potential underlying causes.

Past Medical History (PMH)

The PMH includes information about the patient’s previous medical conditions, surgeries, hospitalizations, allergies, and vaccinations. This history provides context for the patient’s current health status and may have implications for their current symptoms or treatment options.

Family and Social History

The family history examines the presence of certain medical conditions among the patient’s immediate family members. This information helps in assessing genetic predispositions and potential risk factors for specific diseases. The social history explores the patient’s lifestyle, occupation, living environment, habits (such as smoking or alcohol consumption), and social support network. It provides insights into the patient’s overall well-being and potential factors influencing their health.

Medications and Allergies

Recording the patient’s current medications, including prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, and supplements, is crucial to avoid potential drug interactions and ensure safe prescribing. Documenting any known allergies or adverse drug reactions is vital to prevent allergic reactions or adverse events.

Patient Interviews and Patient History

Barriers when Assessing Patients from Different Cultures

When assessing patients from different cultural backgrounds, several barriers may arise, including:

Language Barriers

Communication difficulties due to language differences can impede gathering accurate information and understanding the patient’s health concerns effectively. The use of interpreters or translation services may be necessary to bridge this gap.

Cultural Beliefs and Practices

Different cultural beliefs and practices may influence the patient’s perception of health, illness, and treatment options. It is important for healthcare professionals to be aware of and respect these cultural differences, incorporating them into the patient’s care plan.

Health Literacy

Varying levels of health literacy can affect the patient’s understanding of their condition, treatment options, and instructions. Healthcare professionals should use clear and simple language, visual aids, and culturally appropriate educational materials to enhance patient comprehension.

Stigma and Mistrust

Historical or cultural factors may contribute to stigma or mistrust towards healthcare providers or the healthcare system. Building trust, demonstrating cultural sensitivity, and addressing any concerns or misconceptions can help overcome these barriers.

Learning from an Incident – Improper Blood Pressure Measurement Technique

In a specific incident, I had used an incorrect blood pressure measurement technique, leading to inaccurate readings. I realized that I had not positioned the patient’s arm properly, resulting in an incorrect assessment of their blood pressure. From this experience, I learned the importance of adhering to proper technique, including correctly positioning the patient’s arm at heart level and ensuring a proper cuff fit. I recognized the significance of precision in measurements to provide accurate healthcare assessments and make informed decisions regarding patient care.


Patient Interviews and Patient History. Patient interviews and the gathering of a comprehensive patient history are essential in healthcare assessments. They serve the goals of establishing rapport, gathering relevant information, and identifying patient expectations and goals. By understanding the components of a patient history, healthcare professionals can obtain a holistic view of the patient’s health. Additionally, recognizing and addressing barriers when assessing patients from different cultural backgrounds is crucial for providing culturally sensitive care and promoting effective communication. Use APA referencing style.

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