It is the responsibility of the health professional to maintain a logical sequence apparent to the patient as the interview unfolds. An ordered approach to organisation helps both professional and patient in efficient and accurate data gathering and information giving. This needs to be balanced with the need to be patient-centred and follow the patient’s needs.
Flexibility and logical sequencing need to be thoughtfully combined. It is more obvious when sequencing is inadequate: the health professional will meander aimlessly or jump around between segments of the interview making the patient unclear as to the point of specific lines of enquiry.
Task: Rearrange the nurse’ questions in order:
Try it (Patient is a 12-year-old Helen with claustrophobia)
- As far as I can relate your experience with other people with this condition, I believe that you should avoid remaining in a closed room for a few years.
- Have you ever felt claustrophobic while in a lift?
- How did you feel when you saw that you could not stay alone in a room?
- What about feeling short of breath, sweating, chest pain?
- Breathe slowly and deeply while counting to three with each breath.
- How about there are others in the lift?
- Well, Helen, now we shall move to the first occurrence of this behavioural change that you experienced. You said it first happened a year ago?
- Well, would you tell me the kind of changes that come over you when you have an episode of this condition?
- Finally, visualize and focus on a place or moment that brings you calm.
- Do not worry, Helen because this is a very common condition. It is almost curable with medication, a number of therapies and exercise.
- Focus on something safe, like time passing on your watch.
- Remind yourself repeatedly that your fear and anxiety will pass. Challenge what’s triggering your attack by repeating that the fear is irrational.
NB: Write down on a piece of paper and check during the Zoom Session