Building Health History Essay

Analyze communication techniques used to obtain patients’ health histories based upon social determinants of health

· Analyze health-related risk

· Apply concepts, theories, and principles related to patient interviewing, diagnostic reasoning, and recording patient information

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.  Building Health History Essay

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.

This week, you will consider how social determinants of health such as age, gender, ethnicity, and environmental situation impact the health and risk assessment of the patients you serve. You will also consider how social determinants of health influence your interview and communication techniques as you work in partnership with a patient to gather data to build an accurate health history.



FOCUS: My assigned Case E Adolescent Hispanic/Latino boy living in a middle-class suburb

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.
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.
ow 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

Building Health History


Various factors including age, gender, ethnicity, and the environment impact the health status and illness for individuals. When obtaining a patient history, these factors should be considered to ensure effective communication. It is important to tailor communication techniques for each specific patient to develop a trusting therapeutic relationship and partnership (Norouzinia et al., 2016). This assignment will analyze the case of the adolescent Hispanic/Latino boy living in a middle-class suburb.

The patient is an adolescent and there are numerous physical and psychological differences when compared to adults and children. Adolescents are likely to engage in risky behaviors and may be influenced by factors like peer pressure, parental attachment, academic performance, extracurricular activities, social media, and self-esteem (Telzer et al., 2017). Even though adolescents have a likelihood of engaging in risky behaviors, studies show that Latino/Hispanic adolescents view binge drinking and drugs as risky and thus they are less likelihood of engaging in such risky behaviors (Chung et al., 2018). It is also important to consider the environment of the patient to determine what may influence disease or health. He stays within  a middle-class suburb and this is suggestive that the patient has a high likelihood of accessing healthcare, education, and has community resources to facilitate a healthy lifestyle.

Practitioners should use communication techniques likely to encourage adolescents to open up and feel safe. The use of open-ended questions can prompt comprehensive answers from an adolescent patient. It is also important to be respectful, listen, flexible, and assure the adolescent patient of confidentiality during the communication process (Norouzinia et al., 2016).

A pre-visit questionnaire has been shown effective when communicating with adolescent patients because it enables the patient to identify any concerns before verbal interviewing (Saqr et al., 2018). Additionally, the pre-visit questionnaire facilitates individualized patient interview and it should handle issues common among adolescents such as drug abuse, smoking, alcohol use, bullying, peer pressure, sexual activity, self-esteem, weight concerns, academic performance, among other aspects (Telzer et al., 2017). Before starting the interview, it is important to engage the patient in a discussion about the day-to-day experiences to facilitate an effective communication process.  Building Health History Essay

HEEADSSS would be the appropriate risk assessment tool to use for this patient. Being a middle-class living in suburbs, the patient is less likely to have major health issues and the screening should include potential issues that affect the health of most adolescents. The HEEADSSS screening tool is used to obtain psychosocial history regarding adolescent issues and this allows an advanced nurse to identify potential or actual problems for adolescent patients (Goodyear-Smith et al., 2017). HEEADSSS tool covers education/employment, home environment, daily activities, depression/suicide, sexuality, drugs/alcohol, as well as safety from violence and injuries.

The targeted questions for the adolescent Hispanic/Latino boy include:

  1. How are things at home and how would you describe your interactions and relationships at home?
  2. How is your academic life at school and what are your favorite classes and subjects?
  3. How do you feel about your physical appearance?? What do you like or dislike about it?
  4. What are your hobbies and what do you and your friends do for fun?
  5. Does any of your family members or friends smoke, use drugs, or take alcohol?
  6. Do you take alcohol, drugs, or smoke?
  7. Are you sexually active?
  8. How would you describe your typical mood? Do you have a problem sleeping?


Chung, T., Creswell, K. G., Bachrach, R., Clark, D. B., & Martin, C. S. (2018). Adolescent Binge Drinking. Alcohol research: current reviews, 39(1), 5–15.

Goodyear-Smith, F., Martel, R., Darragh, M., Warren, J., Thabrew, H., & Clark, T. C. (2017). Screening for risky behavior and mental health in young people: The Youth CHAT program. Public health reviews, 38(1), 20.

Norouzinia, R., Aghabarari, M., Shiri, M., Karimi, M., & Samami, E. (2015). Communication Barriers Perceived by Nurses and Patients. Global journal of health science, 8(6), 65–74.

Saqr, Y., Braun, E., Porter, K., Barnette, D., & Hanks, C. (2018). Addressing the medical needs of adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorders in a primary care setting. Autism: the international journal of research and practice, 22(1), 51–61.

Telzer, E. H., van Hoorn, J., Rogers, C. R., & Do, K. T. (2018). Social Influence on Positive Youth Development: A Developmental Neuroscience Perspective. Advances in child development and behavior, 54, 215–258.

Building Health History Essay


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