Start off with some open-ended questions that will allow the person to tell you in their own words what has brought them to make the appointment.
'What has brought you to see me today (use their first name, e.g. 'Peter', 'Natalie')?7
'How may I help you today (use their first name, e.g. 'Peter', 'Natalie')?'
'Let's start by you telling me about what's brought you to see me today (use their first name, e.g. 'Peter', 'Natalie').'
Paraphrase and record what they tell you. Using their first name indicates that you are talking personally with them.
'Has this ever happened before?' (Is it therefore a first occurrence or is this a chronic problem for which they have not sought help before? Are there any systemic symptoms? (For example, fever, myalgia/arthralgia?) If it has happened before, is it the same as before? (Briefly describe: is it worse or the same or indeed getting better?)
'When do you notice the symptoms?' (For example, is there pain on passing urine?)
'Who did you see for this last time?' (Briefly describe: it may be the GP or a Family Planning Clinic.)
'Did they give you any treatment?' (If yes - did it ever go away? Briefly describe.)
'Have you tried any self-treatment?' (If so, what have they tried and what was the outcome? This will give you a good idea of why the person has come and give you some clues as to the potential infection and your subsequent management. You may now either go straight into the sexual history or start with the more generalist health questions.)
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