Obtaining a Health History – Step-by-Step Guide for Nurses

How to Quickly, But Thoroughly, Obtain a Health History From Every Patient!

This is part 1 of a 4 part series covering health assessment. Part 2 is an physical assessment overview. Part 3 is a complete guide to vital signs. Part 4 is a step-by-step guide to a head-to-toe assessment. Part 5 is a step-by-step guide to a mental assessment.

How Do You Conduct a Health History Assessment?

Check out this FREE, complete, concise guide for a health history assessment!

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What in the World is a Health History Assessment?

The Encyclopedia of Surgery defines a health history as “a current collection of organized information unique to an individual. Relevant aspects of the history include biographical, demographic, physical, mental, emotional, sociocultural, sexual, and spiritual data.”

A health history is most commonly obtained through a clinical interview between a health care provider and the patient. Family and friends may contribute if needed. Information may also be obtained through the patient’s previous records.

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Does it Even Really Matter?

Every patient requires a health history. The health history aids the health care providers by providing vital information that may assist with diagnosis and treatment of the patient. It also determines a patient’s baseline, so that any new changes can be noticed quickly. Essentially, the health history is the foundation for the entire process of health care and the relationship between the patient and the health care providers.

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