Coming soon! Communication skills development portfolio for eye care practitioners

Over the last few months we’ve travelled all over the country to talk to eye care practitioners about communication skills in the consultation. As well as our CET courses we’ve given sessions at universities, conferences and local associations. In addition to that, over 1500 practitioners took the exams associated with our Optometry Today CET articles.

In the final phase of our project, we are working with the College of Optometrists to publish a communication skills development portfolio for eye care practitioners. This will include a guide to communication in optometry consultations and activities for communication skills development as well as a step by step guide to video recording in optometry settings and advice on communication skills-based CET peer reviews and discussions.
Look out for more details coming soon or contact dirk.vom-lehn@kcl.ac.uk for more information.

Helena Webb conducting a communication skills sessions with undergraduates at Anglia Ruskin University

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‘Professional Gesture’ – Research Paper on Subjective Refraction test #optometry

Over the past few years, together with comments at the Work, Interaction & Technology Research Centre (Christian Heath and Helena Webb) at KCL, Will Gibson at the Institute of Education and the optometrists Bruce EvansDavid Thomson and Peter Allen I worked on research and knowledge exchange projects exploring the practical work of optometrists and developing communications training material. some of the research now has been written up and a few months ago a paper “Engendering Response: Professional Gesture and the Assessment of Eye Sight in Optometry Consultations” was published in Symbolic Interaction. This paper focuses on a particular procedure, the so-called Subjective Refraction that involves optometrist and patient in a sequence of interaction through which some of the characteristics of any corrective lens the patient might need, are determined. Some may recognise the test as the better/worse test as it is characterised by a procedure during which the optometrist alternates a patient’s vision by placing a lens in front of their eye as asking, “better with or without”. Our study here was particularly interested in the practice of placing the lens in front of the patient’s eye, a practice that we described as “professional gesture”. Although not specifically taught in optometric training the optometrists in our research deployed the lens by moving it in a particular way in front of the patient’s eye. The gestural movement of the lens in front of the patient’s eye followed almost exactly the same route through the air in all consultations that we filmed.  Our analysis reveals that such a carefully designed gesture is required for the optometrist to be able to arrive at reliable and robust data about the patient’s sight. They need the patient to respond to a series of different stimuli presented in front of them without reflecting about it.

Here is a video-abstract on the YouTube channel of Symbolic Interaction in which the lead author of the paper, Helena Webb, discusses the content of the paper and shows the gesture.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrNOCRx_d0o

CET activities!

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.

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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. ”

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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.

Free CET courses now available in February and March 2014!

Thanks to a project extension we are now able to offer more free CET courses. We can come to your practice in February or March this year to deliver a two hour session on ‘Communication in the consultation’. The course is highly interactive and suited to small groups. We use video footage from real consultations to highlight practical issues concerning communication and communication skills in optometric consultations.

This session delivers 1 CET point and covers:
– the importance of communication in the consultation
– challenges to effective communication in the consultation
– the role of body movement and eye contact
– soliciting information from the patient
– delivering information to the patient
– giving bad news
– approaches to maximise communication skills
When we come to your practice, we bring all necessary equipment – computer, projector and screen. All you need to provide is a room for us to meet in!
If you are unable to hold a session in your practice, we also run courses in central London.
If you are interested in attending a course or would like to know more, please contact helena.webb@kcl.ac.uk

Would you like us to deliver a CET communication skills session at your practice?

As part of our research collaboration with the College of Optometrists we have designed two CET courses on communication skills. In addition to holding some courses in central London, we are able to travel to interested practices and run courses there. 

What do the courses involve?

Both courses are designed to further participants’ understanding of communication in the consultation and identify practical steps that can maximise the ways that optometrists communicate with their patients. The sessions are highly interactive and include the discussion of video extracts of real consultations as well as various opportunities for peer discussion. The sessions are available for small groups – ideally between 2 and 6 people – and are suitable for optometrists at any stage of their career. The two courses are:

Communication in the consultation: Understanding different approaches to communication and how they may be applied to activities and challenging scenarios across the optometric consultation. (1 CET point over one session).

Video-recording for communication skills development and peer review (3 CET points over two sessions).

Further details of each course can be found below.

Interested?

These courses are free of charge and we will provide the necessary materials. We can come over to your practice and deliver the sessions at a time that is convenient to you. A single session is generally planned to last between 2.5-3 hours although this may vary according to numbers of participants and the amount of discussion arising. We can bring along a projector and projector screen, if necessary – so all you need to do is supply the people and a room for us to meet in! 

If you are interested, 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. (1 CET point)

 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 (3 CET points)

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.

Helena Webb quoted in Optometry Today ‘Patients trust eye contact’

Optometry Today! currently runs an article that reports on a video-based study of GPs that highlights the importance of eye contact during consultations. Helena was contacted by OT to comment on the research findings. The article together with Helena’s comments can be found here:

http://www.optometry.co.uk/news-and-features/news/?article=5208

 

 

 

Optometry CET Communication Skills Workshop: Nov 11th, 4pm – 7pm at King’s College London

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.

If you are interested in attending the session, please contact helena.webb@kcl.ac.uk.