What strategies would you employ to obtain a complete health history? Provide a rationale for why you think these strategies would be effective.

During an initial visit with a patient, information gathering is a critical aspect of care. The healthcare provider begins by asking the patient to provide their medical history to assess presence of prior conditions that might affect the treatment intervention moving forward (Nichol et al., 2022). However, situations may arise where the patient is not able to respond to the questions asked regarding their medical history. For example, a patient may have physical, mental or emotional impairments which impacts their ability to learn or even articulate their thoughts. When encountering a patient with such limitations, it is important to incorporate visual materials and gestures instead of relying solely on verbal instructions (Pratt & Searles, 2018). Patients will be able to point at images that highlight how they feel. A patient with a speech impairment will point at an image of an angry face expressing their level of pain. Additionally, I would involve a family member who is aware of the patient’s history to fill in the gaps and provide accurate information. This intervention also applies to infants and children who cannot communicate effectively.

Healthcare providers might also encounter patients who do not speak their language thus hindering the entire history-taking process. When interacting with patients who speak a different language, it is important to involve an interpreter. Evidence shows that healthcare interpreters not only improve communication between patients and caregivers but also improve patient outcomes (Kasten et al., 2020). When faced with the challenge of obtaining health history of a patient who speaks a different language, I would engage the services of interpreters who are trained to translate spoken word. Lastly, while I would adopt the use of gestures and symbols to improve my interaction with patients, I will ensure that I first undergo cultural competency training to avoid offending my patients. 

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