Taking a history

1 Taking a history


Allowing the client to describe the problem without interruption is the fastest way to take a complete history. Admittedly, the information usually arrives in a disorganized order with extraneous detail or no detail at all. Points made will need clarification. Using a template to collect details aids the memory of the interviewer and assimilates the points of interest in a logical order.

Gentle persistence is required. No one likes to be made to feel stupid, so be tactful when phrasing questions. Allow enough time, but do keep control of the situation. After being encouraged to recount the events, owners sometimes repeat the same story several times at which point it would be appropriate to gently deflect them with a new line of enquiry. Elicit information if it is not volunteered but avoid leading questions which limit observations to those suggested by the examiner. Listen to all parties in the exam room, including children. It is vital to get a description of what the client saw or heard rather than their interpretation.

Example: Dog presented for seizures:


Sep 3, 2016 | Posted by in SMALL ANIMAL | Comments Off on Taking a history
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