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1.  Cover Page


Catherine Smith

Skills Professor

S. K. Webster


August 20, 2006




This interview took place at the HIV Clinic of the XYZ Hospital.  The clinic is in the basement, and is broken into two divisions.  The main division is the clinic itself.  This area consists of a waiting room, a front desk and three exam rooms.  The second division is the case management office.  The area consists of a filing area and two offices.  Each office has one computer and two desks.  The offices are a little crowded because two people share them.  This interview took about 1 hour, so I recapped about a half hour of the interview process.

Why this interaction was selected

This was the most challenging interview I’ve had so far.  It was the first time I’ve done n assessment by myself and I wanted some feedback on my skills and to look at my mistakes.

Client background:

The client is a thirty-six year old, African American female.  She is a new patient at the clinic, and would like some case management services.  She followed her primary care physician to the clinic when her previous clinic closed down.  Many new patients feel disconnected with the clinic because they do not know how things are run.  There are many new procedures, rules and faces.  The client was diagnosed a HIV positive in 1998.  She is a former intravenous drug user but has been clear for years.  She lives with her husband and child and her other child lives with her grandmother.  This is the first time I am meeting her.


The purpose of this interview is to complete a biopsychosocial assessment form.  All clients that would like to seek case management services at the Clinic must complete this form.  This allows the clinic to obtain information on the patient’s physical and mental health history, their drug and alcohol history, assessment of HIV risk behaviors, legal issues and concerns, housing, money management, family history, and social support networks.  This information helps the case management coordinator assess the client’s needs in order to properly assign them to a permanent case manager.

Tuning in:

This interview caught the client and myself off guard.  She went to the clinic to get a physical and told her doctor that she wanted a case manager.  The physician’s assistant her to me.  The one case manager that usually does the assessments was out sick and the other case manager was on the phone.  I know the client was probably nervous because she doesn’t know who I am, and she doesn’t know what is about to happen. She knows she has to provide me with information, but she is not sure what kind.  I am also very nervous because I have never completed one of these required forms  I was not sure how this interview would go because this woman and I have not built a relationship yet and I didn’t know how she would feel about disclosing this information.


2.  Interaction:






I introduced myself, told the patient my position at the clinic and asked for verbal permission to use this anonymous interview for a class.  I then told her what the purpose of the meeting was, and explained the issues of confidentiality.  After our introductions, we walked to the case management office to complete the assessment form.


1.      Catherine (worker)

(sitting across from each other).  This form is very extensive and there is a lot of personal information.


2.          Mary (client)

(looking at me with a very weird face.)


3.          Catherine

If there is any information that you do not feel comfortable with, let me know and we can skip that section.  Just to assure you, everything is confidential.


4.          Mary

Yeah, I’m ready.  (crossing her hands on her lap, giving me a friendly smile).


5.          Catherine

(cross my legs and get out a pad and paper to begin recording.)  This next section is about your diagnosis and current status.

Beginnings. I was very open in my body language and tone of voice.  I think this made her feel comfortable.























Informing the client what we will be discussing next because it allows her to understand what topics we will be discussing.  This also gives her a sense of power because I am not withholding information from her.

I was very nervous because this is the first time I am meeting this woman and I was told that she does not like to complete these assessment forms.













Why is she looking at me like that?



I know I shouldn’t give her the opportunity to skip the section, but I guess this is my desire of getting accepted and fee comfortable with me.









We sat at a 90 degree angle from each other because it allows for more open and interactive communication.




I wonder if she is nervous.  I was trying to let her know that she had a choice about participating in the interview.