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May 15, 2023

Read the following dialogue and respond to two of the discussion questions below:


Provider: Hello, Ms. Jones. Do you care if these _____ [RN, PA, MD, APRN, PT, etc.] students listen to our discussion?

Ms. Jones: I guess not. I just want to feel better. I just hope you can help me.

Provider: I’m sure we can, so tell me why you’re here today?

Ms. Jones: Well, I’m having a pain in my side and…

Provider: Which side?

Ms. Jones: It’s on this side.

Provider: When did you first notice the pain?

Ms. Jones: It started last week and hasn’t really stopped. I was having kind of a rough week.

Provider: How would you rate your pain? If 0 was no pain and 10 was the most pain you’ve ever had, how much would you say this pain is?

Ms. Jones: Uhh, well, sometimes it’s as high as a 6, but right now it’s probably more like 3 or 4. But maybe …

Provider: Sorry, just a few more questions. Do you feel like vomiting, or have you vomited? And any diarrhea?

Ms. Jones: I’ve felt a little queasy, but I haven’t thrown up. And I have diarrhea.

Provider: So how many times a day are you having a bowel movement?

Ms. Jones: Two or three times, and its pretty loose.

Provider: We call that loose stools, but not diarrhea unless it’s more than five stools per day. We’re almost done with the questions, but can you tell me if you’ve ever had any abdominal surgery?

Ms. Jones: No, do you think I need surgery?

Provider: No. When was your last period?

Ms. Jones: I’m pretty irregular, so I’m not sure if I had one last month or the month before.

Provider: Are you on the pill?

Ms. Jones: No, but I don’t think I’m pregnant.

Provider: We’ll get some blood to be sure. How about urinating, are you peeing more than usual, or burning when you pee?

Ms. Jones: I don’t think so.

Provider: Well, we’ll check your urine, too. Any blood in your stool, or is it ever black?

Ms. Jones: I haven’t seen any.

Provider: Okay, we’ve got what we need; now I’m going to have the students step out, and we’ll get some blood and urine for tests, and then we’ll do your exam.

Ms. Jones: Do you know what’s wrong with me?

Provider: Not yet, but I’ve got some ideas, and the blood and urine tests and your exam should help. Just try to relax, and I’ll be back in a few minutes.

Discussion Questions

How would you describe the communication that occurred between the provider and the patient?

How did the provider’s interruptions of the patient’s communication contribute to or detract from the provider’s information gathering?

Describe how the provider’s nonverbal behaviors communicated his or her status and role? What specific examples support your observations?

What verbal communication from the patient would you like to have expanded? Why?

What verbal communication from the provider would you like to change? Why?

Identify three or four behaviors (verbal and/or nonverbal) that would help to enhance an interpersonal relationship between the provider and the patient.

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