Over the last two months we have been busy running communication skills activities for eye care practitioners. We’ve been visiting different optometry practices to conduct our CET course with staff there. During these sessions we use video recordings of real consultations to explore communication issues in the consultation. We discuss the consequences that different communication practices can have and encourage our participants to reflect on the ways they communicate with their patients. Although there is a rarely a particular ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to communicate, recognising that different types of question, instruction etc can lead to different kinds of response from the patient can be extremely beneficial as it enables practitioners to make informed choices about how they interact with their patients. Observing video recordings of real consultations is an ideal way to deepen understanding of communication in the consultation.
We have had very positive feedback from our course participants. Here are some sample comments:
“I have learnt more about communication this afternoon than I did during my training”
“We all found your presentation very useful and relevant to real life optometry. I now have the view that video training techniques are the future!”
“Your course was very interesting and helpful. I hope you can come back again. ”
As the project is drawing to a close, we are unfortunately not able to organise any more CET sessions. However, we have recently published a CET article in Optometry Today. http://www.optometry.co.uk/clinical/?sid=700 As the first in a two- part series, our article focuses on soliciting information from the patient. The second part will follow soon and will focus on delivering information to the patient.