Coming soon: communication training skills courses with CET points!

We will soon be starting our CET accredited communication training skills courses. These are suitable for optometrists at all stages of their career and will cover topics connected to the GOC’s core competencies on communication. We will use our research data and findings to promote discussion of key issues in communication and consider ways to maximise communication between optometrists and patients. Two kinds of course are available – a single session and a double session. We plan to hold sessions in central London in addition to travelling over to interested optometric practices. The two course outlines are below. If you are interested in attending one (or two!) please contact helena.webb@kcl.ac.uk for further details.

Single session seminar:

Communication in the consultation: Understanding different approaches to communication and how they may be applied to activities and challenging scenarios across the optometric consultation.

A successful optometric consultation requires successful communication. The interactions that occur between optometrist and patient are crucial to clinical outcomes as well as patient adherence and satisfaction. Therefore it is highly beneficial to practitioners to maximise their communication skills.

This seminar provides an innovative opportunity for practitioners to deepen their understanding of communication in the consultation, reflect on their own communicative practices and consider a variety of ways to maximise their skills. The content of the seminar draws on video-footage and research findings and promotes peer discussion. Participants will have the opportunity to watch and discuss video footage of recorded encounters as well as to learn about research findings on communication in optometric consultations and discuss their practical implications. During the seminar participants will:

–        Discuss key challenges to successful communication in the consultation, including scenarios they personally find ‘difficult’;

–        Learn about and reflect on different patterns of communication and the consequences they can have for the accomplishment of consultation tasks;

–        Learn about and reflect on different communicative practices in relation to ‘difficult’ scenarios.

–        Discuss methods to maximise their communication skills.

The content of the seminar will focus on 1) obtaining information from the patient and 2) delivering information to the patient. It therefore directly relates to CET core competencies. Participants will be invited to contact the seminar facilitators before the session to let them know their specific areas of interest and this will help determine the particular content of the session. The seminar will be led by researchers from King’s College London, who have conducted a 2 year video-based study of communication in optometric consultations. These seminars form part of a broader collaboration between King’s College London and the College of Optometrists to deliver a communication skills development package for eye care practitioners.

Two session workshop

Video-recording for communication skills development and peer review

 

Communication is central to the success of eye care consultations and it is therefore beneficial for practitioners to work to maximise their communication skills. Video recordings provide an excellent tool for communication skills development, enabling practitioners to observe and reflect on different communication behaviours and the consequences they have in the consultation.

This 2 part workshop provides an innovative way for participants to experience the benefits of using video to deepen their understanding of communication and conduct peer reviews based on the discussion of video footage. The workshop draws on video footage of optometric consultations and research findings from a study of communication in eye care. It also promotes peer discussion.

In part 1 participants will:

–        Discuss key challenges to successful communication in the consultation, including scenarios they personally find ‘difficult’.

–        Learn about different communication behaviours and reflect on them as they relate to the consultation and their own practice.

–        Observe and discuss video footage of consultations in relation to key communication challenges.

–        Learn about video recording for the purposes of communication skills development.

Between parts 1 and 2 (a week) participants will video record some of their own practice and select a short clip (2-3 minutes) for discussion in part 2. The workshop facilitators will provide the necessary equipment and practical guidance on the recording process.

In part 2 participants will:

–        Adopt a peer review format to discuss their selected clips, identifying and reflecting on the communication practices occurring.

–        Relate the discussion to understandings of communication behaviours from part 1 and use this to reflect on their own practice and communication skills development.

–        Discuss the video recording experience and how to incorporate video and peer discussion into long-term communication skills development.

The workshop will provide a constructive, supportive environment in which practitioners will increase their knowledge of communication and identify ways to maximise their own communication skills. The content of the workshop directly relates to CET core competencies and requirements for peer discussion/review. The workshop will be led by researchers from King’s College London, who have conducted a 2 year video-based study of communication in optometric consultations. These workshops form part of a broader collaboration between King’s College London and the College of Optometrists to deliver a communication skills training package for eye care practitioners.

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“Professional Gesture” published in Symbolic Interaction

Based on our original ESRC-funded project we have recently published the paper “Engendering Response: Professional Gesture and the Assessment of Eyesight in Optometry Consultations” in Symbolic Interaction.

Abstract

Many of the procedures undertaken within healthcare require specialized forms of participation that may be unfamiliar, even disturbing, to patients or clients. The practitioner has to encourage and enable participation in the investigation in an appropriate fashion while preserving the structure and integrity of the procedure. In this article, we consider optometry and the deployment of a vision test, known as subject refraction, that provides data to help determine the characteristics of any corrective lens that may be required by clients. The procedure’s ability to establish robust and reliable data relies upon the optometrist’s ability to encourage the client to respond to a series of stimuli without consideration or reflection. That is, the client is required to produce an unwitting response—conduct that might be considered nonsymbolic rather than symbolic. In this article, we also consider the optometrist’s talk and bodily comportment during subjective refraction and how it serves to shape and determine the quality of the client’s response and participation, and in turn to produce reliable test results.

The paper is accompanied by a video-abstract published on the Symbolic Interaction YouTube Channel.