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Journal Review Essay

The article authored by Lloyd and Craig (2007) describes important factors to consider when collecting a patient’s history.  The rationale behind the procedure is based on the increase in the responsibilities of nurses, which now includes taking the histories of patients.  The assessment of every patient is based on several components, of which medical history plays an essential part.  In addition to a patient’s history importance, the collection of this information by a nurse allows the establishment of a relationship between the patient and the healthcare professional.

The article discussed in fine detail the critical stages of patient history taking.  In order to prepare for the collection of information, a nurse should be aware that a patient could come from various environments and show different medical conditions and thus respect plays a critical role the assessment of the patient condition.  The cultural and religious beliefs of every patient may be different and thus a nurse should be competent enough in recognizing such differences.  The importance of privacy and confidentiality is also important in this procedure.

Communication skills are also important when taking the history of a patient.  The nurse should also be capable of listening to the answers of the patient.  It is also important to get the consent of the patient to disclose any information pertinent to the assessment of his medical condition.

  History-taking also involves an appropriate order of questioning the patient and this generally starts with a question regarding the patient’s identity and then asking what his chief complaint is.  The precise details of the complaint will also influence the choices of diagnostic procedures that will be performed.  The article also enumerated the cardinal symptoms that are important to consider when taking a patient’s history.

a. What was done well and what could have been improved in the article?

The article was done well because it discusses in length all the important aspects of the topic such as the structure and order of the history-taking process and the list of symptoms that should be checked upon presentation of the patient at the hospital.

b. Why did this article interest you? Or did it fail to interest you?

The article is interesting because it critically presents the process of history taking and how it could influence the diagnosis and procedures that would be conducted in the hospital.  The article is important because nurses should be aware that history taking is a critical process that should be performed in a standard way in order to fully cover all important aspects of patient assessment.

c. Does the material presented in the article relate to you or your area of practice?

Yes, the material presented in the article related to me and my area of practice and that I have learned essential points on how to handle the responsibility of collecting information from a new patient.

d. Was the health assessment strategy beneficial? Could you adopt it in your practice?

Yes, the health assessment strategy is beneficial because I can now follow a better procedure in taking a patient’s history.  I will definitely adopt the important points of this article to my practice in order to better serve the patients.

e. Was the health assessment strategy explained clearly?

The health assessment strategy was explained clearly and specific examples were also provided that fully clarified any questions that I might have.

f. Should more research/articles be written about this area of health assessment?

I think that articles of this kind should be written and read because this will effectively help healthcare professionals in improving their skills in taking care of patients.

g. What population or individuals does this article apply to (i.e.: who will benefit the most

from this article)?

Patients will definitely benefit from this article because these are the individuals that healthcare professionals take care of, and this is strongly influenced by the interactions that take place between the two parties.  Knowledge on the proper approaches to history taking will allow healthcare professionals, especially nurses, to perform this task in the most professional way.


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