Tips for Interviewing Doctors, Nurses and Staff

Once a staff member has agreed to be filmed for your project please remember that:

  • Their time is limited – they could have been on shift for the last 12 hours and you are the only thing between them and getting some sleep, or going home. Or they might need to rush off to a meeting after your interview.
  • You will most likely not be able to get time with them again, so do not “wing” the interview. Be prepared and set up before the expert arrives. Know what questions you will ask, and how you plan to edit the material together.

For instance, if you are working on a parent-focused video about the importance of the flu shot, you will want the doctor to cover the following points:

  • Why the parent should care (perhaps include important stats or personal story about why they immunized their own child)
  • What is new about the current year’s flu shot
  • Helpful tips for parents to get their children immunized.

If the doctor takes ten minutes to provide four tips, you won’t have a succinct video. Stop and ask the doctor to recap in 30 seconds or less what the main tips for parents would be.

You need to be respectful:

  • Introduce yourself and any team members.
  • Tell them what you are generally hoping to film and how/where the focus will be used.
  • Tell them what your role is and let them know that if they have any concerns, they can ask you to stop filming at any time.
  • Consider their appearance and film them in a flattering way. Make sure they are neatly groomed (e.g., their hair is away from their face and their clothes are not rumpled).
  • If they appear disheveled, respectfully ask if they would like to use the bathroom or touch up their make up or hair before starting.
  • You need to be observant and patient. If they seem agitated or upset, please ask them if they might like to reschedule or if they want a little break before starting.
  • You must have all parties sign the confidentiality and image release consent forms before you film.
  • You must not film medical images without having the proper patient health information medical release consent form signed.
  • Doctors, nurses and staff are not actors. Do not coach them on what to say or how to tell their story. If refining your questions doesn’t draw out the responses or emotion you want, you should end the interview and speak to your Children’s contact to see if you need to find a different spokesperson.

After filming is done it is good to:

  • Thank the staff member for their time.
  • Let them know when you hope to have the project finished.
  • Ask your Children’s contact to follow up with the staff member to let them have a copy of the final project.