Chapter 2 – Therapeutic Communication and Interviewing

Concluding the Interview

Concluding the interview has three main purposes:

  • First, to ensure that you have understood everything necessary in order to best care for the client.
  • Second, to ensure that the client has had the opportunity to share what is important to them and add any additional information.
  • And finally, to ensure that the client knows what the next steps are with regard to their care. Be specific and don’t assume the client knowns what to expect. Offer them handouts if available so they can review information at home.

As part of the conclusion, you should provide a brief summary of the data you have collected. This summary should reflect what the client said and may include paraphrasing what they said. You might start the summary off by saying “The interview is coming to a close and I would like to share a summary of what we discussed.” The length of the summary will depend on the comprehensiveness of the interview and the complexity of the client’s needs, but it is usually a few sentences summarizing the pertinent data. This can be followed up by a couple of questions such as “Did I capture what you said accurately?” and “Is there anything else that you would like to share with me that is important to your care?”

Finally, you should discuss the next steps related to the client’s care. For example, these may include a physical assessment or having another health professional come in to talk with them. Make sure you ask the client if they have any questions before concluding the interview. Finally, close the interview in a therapeutic way, which may involve using the name that they prefer to be called and thanking them for sharing their information.

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Introduction to Communication in Nursing by Edited by Jennifer Lapum; Oona St-Amant; Michelle Hughes; and Joy Garmaise-Yee is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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