Sunday, March 9, 2008


Once a rapport is developed with the individual, begin the questioning with inquiries that are the less intrusive, less threatening. Have a process by which you methodically interview so that you obtain all the pieces of information. Your process will be structured according to the goal of the interview. For example in the operating room as a circulating nurse I needed to verify, the patient's name with his name band. This was accomplished by introducing myself, then the patient would respond by telling me who he was. I needed to know if the patient had eaten anything in the previous 12 hours, so I would ask when did you last eat or drink? This would be followed up with when did you last have water? That question would be followed up with do you smoke, chew tobacco or chew gum? You get the idea, very direct questions for specific pieces of information. When interviewing a geriatric patient the questioning needs to go at a slower pace for two reasons. Sometimes the patient takes more time to process what you are asking or they may need more time to formulate an answer or you as the interviewer may need additional time to listen for clues in the response to determine what the next question needs to be. The skilled interviewer learns through experience when to stick with the interview plan and when to venture to secure additional information.

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