Respond to your colleagues by constructively critiquing their interview format and providing feedback.
The attached interview format is a combination of components from interview formats used at current and previous practicum sites, as well as a few additional elements that are important to consider. For older clients with diminished capacity, it is may be more appropriate to obtain some information from caregivers or spouses accompanying the client. Additionally, older clients will require a functional assessment of ADLs through questions and observations (American Psychological Association, 2008). Furthermore, clients that are difficult to assess due to being too symptomatic may require information gathering from family or others involved in the client’s care. For example, during a previous practicum experience, a client was very disorganized and psychotic. He verbally agreed to have information discussed with his family, who was in the waiting room, and they provided important background information for the interview.
Interview Format Used by Preceptor
The interview used by the current preceptor generally follows the same format with some additional information. The current practicum site is at a VA facility. Thus, part of the initial interview involves gathering information regarding clients’ military histories, including years of service, job title, type of discharge, and whether they were deployed to combat zones. Another important component of an interview with veterans is whether they were victims of military sexual trauma (MST) (Military Sexual Trauma, n.d.). Additionally, these clients are evaluated in the emergency room to determine whether they require inpatient treatment. Each client undergoes a physical exam and requires medical clearance from the emergency room physician. Another piece of information included at the beginning of the evaluation specifies whether the client is admitted under voluntary or involuntary status.
Most Helpful Element of the Interview Format
All of the interview format elements are essential to developing a case formulation and appropriate treatment plan. The most important aspect of an initial interview is how the PMHNP approaches the client. The PMHNP should approach clients directly and calmly and allow clients to tell their stories to help build rapport (Sadock et al., 2014, Chapter 5.1). Positive client-practitioner interactions, especially upon meeting, can significantly impact the amount of information disclosed from clients needed to conduct thorough evaluations and create treatment plans.
American Psychological Association. (2008). Assessment of older adults with diminished capacity. https://doi.org/https://www.apa.org/pi/aging/programs/assessment/capacity-psychologist-handbook.pdf
Military sexual trauma. (n.d.). U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved November 29, 2020, from https://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/msthome/index.asp
Sadock, B. J., Sadock, V. A., & Ruiz, P. (2014). Kaplan & Sadock’s synopsis of psychiatry: Behavioral sciences/clinical psychiatry (11th ed.). Wolters Kluwer.