The rationale for taking a comprehensive history is also discussed. Knowledge obtained from detailed investigation would help in correct diagnosis and treatment of the patient.
Over the years the nursing field has developed in countless ways in terms of challenges and roles leading to enhancement in nurses’ assessment skills. Grabbing accurate information from the patient about the underlying problem in a systematic, sensitive and professional manner is one of the important health assessment tools. The description of the problem given by the affected individual may reflect different underlying mechanism of the medical condition of the patient. Due to inapt method of treatment for a patient without knowing his history can give rise to a medical error and fatal medical mishaps. Therefore, it is necessary to have full and comprehensive approach while taking history of a patient. The nurse should begin the study of the past events with setting the appropriate comfortable environment, self introduction, stating the purpose of taking history and obtaining consent from the patient (Lloyd & Craig, 2007). Then, connection with the patient should be commenced with basic knowledge of demographic details, such as name, age and occupation of the patient. The article has also focused the sequential nature of the history taking process. History taking should start with the presenting complaint with an open question, which could be narrowed down to specific details according to the manifestations to get clear picture. Then the attempt should be made to know past medical history and mental health status of the patient. This should be followed by enquiring about medication history, family history, social history, sexual history, occupational history. The narrative from the patient should be ended with the systematic enquiry. According to Lloyd (2007), “It involves systematic