Unlocking the Power of Health History: A Case Study of Adolescent Athlete Akon

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Taking a thorough health history is an essential aspect of nursing practice as it provides vital information about an individual’s health, lifestyle, and potential risk factors. This essay aims to discuss the process of conducting a health history on a family member named Akon, a 14-year-old basketball player. The essay will also address the challenges faced during the interview, the utilization of interviewing techniques, and the significance of the collected information in determining a client’s health status. All the information presented is based on an interview with the individual and follows ethical considerations, having obtained proper consent.

Conducting the Health History Interview

Akon, a 14-year-old boy who actively participates in basketball, was chosen for the health history interview. The purpose of the interview was to gather information about his overall health, including his medical history, family history, and current health status. The interview was conducted using open-ended questions to encourage Akon to share his health-related information willingly (Brown & Williams, 2020). The process included asking about his medical history, any chronic illnesses, allergies, and current medications. Family history was also discussed to determine if there were any hereditary health conditions.

Willingness to Share Information and Encouragement

Akon displayed a willingness to share the information during the interview. This willingness might be attributed to the familiar setting, as well as the rapport built before the interview. However, at certain points, he seemed reserved and hesitant to discuss his sprained foot in detail. To encourage him, I employed active listening techniques and displayed empathy. I assured him that the information he provided was important for a complete assessment, which could help healthcare providers offer appropriate care. Gradually, he became more comfortable sharing the details, thereby enabling a comprehensive health history assessment.

Challenging Parts of the Interview

The most challenging part of the interview was discussing Akon’s sprained foot. He appeared to be uncomfortable discussing the extent of the injury and the level of pain he was experiencing. Recognizing his discomfort, I employed therapeutic communication techniques such as giving him time to express himself, using neutral language, and showing understanding without judgment. By maintaining a non-threatening and empathetic environment, I was able to gather the required information without causing further discomfort.

Comfort Level and Interviewing Techniques

Overall, I felt relatively comfortable taking Akon’s health history due to the training received in conducting health assessments and the prior establishment of rapport. Several interviewing techniques were used during the interview, such as open-ended questions, active listening, and reflecting. Open-ended questions allowed Akon to share detailed information, while active listening ensured that I grasped his concerns and feelings accurately. Reflecting his responses back to him not only confirmed my understanding but also made him feel heard and valued.

Overcoming Interviewing Technique Difficulties

While most interviewing techniques flowed smoothly, one technique I found challenging was “summarizing.” Summarizing involves condensing and restating the information to clarify understanding. During the interview, I attempted to summarize Akon’s medical history, but I realized that it could be overwhelming for him due to the technical terms used. To overcome this difficulty, I adapted my approach by simplifying the language, breaking down the summary into smaller sections, and confirming his understanding at each step.

Significance of the Health History

The information collected from Akon’s health history holds substantial significance in determining his health status. By documenting his medical history, allergies, and medications, healthcare providers can make informed decisions about his care. The family history assessment helps identify any potential genetic predispositions, allowing for early intervention and preventive measures. Furthermore, the details about his sprained foot enable healthcare professionals to provide appropriate treatment and pain management. The comprehensive health history forms the foundation for his care plan, ensuring that his health needs are addressed effectively.


Conducting a health history interview is an essential skill for nurses as it provides a holistic understanding of an individual’s health status. Through a case study of Akon, a 14-year-old basketball player, this essay demonstrated the process of gathering information, challenges faced, utilization of interviewing techniques, and the significance of the collected data. The interview highlighted the importance of rapport-building, active listening, and empathetic communication in ensuring a successful health history assessment. The information gathered aids healthcare providers in making informed decisions, devising appropriate care plans, and promoting overall well-being. As a nurse, mastering the art of health history interviews is crucial for delivering patient-centered care and fostering positive healthcare outcomes.


Brown, E. F., & Williams, L. K. (2020). Patient-Centered Health History Taking: A Comprehensive Approach. Nursing Research Quarterly, 28(2), 12-25.

Smith, A. B., & Johnson, C. D. (2019). The Art of Conducting Health History Interviews: Strategies for Effective Communication. Journal of Nursing Practice, 25(3), 45-58.