Communication Skills Competency 1.8

Competency 1.8: An ability to understand the patient’s expectations and aspirations and manage empathetically situations where these cannot be met

This competency revolves predominantly around the “human” elements of the eye examination and practice.

Best Form Evidence

There is no compulsory evidence requested to demonstrate this competency. The Assessor could assess this competency via Direct Observation.  But, most likely the Assessor will request primary evidence from a selection of your Patient Records.  Given the number of records that you are likely to have for this competency, your Logbook could also be used as evidence. The Assessor may request that you pull a selection of records out to view on the day, so ensure that the information recorded is consistent.  Supplementary evidence could also be obtained, for example, via methods of Case Scenario or Questions.

Real patients have expectations and aspirations.  An optometrist will need to develop the skills to explain to patients these may not be met as situations requiring sensitivity and tact are encountered every day.

Example scenarios:

  • A person with ARMD and low visual acuity, for example, may be looking for a pair of spectacles that will enable them to read N5
  • A young boy may dream of a career in the Royal Marines but who is unaware that he is colouring defective
  • The patient wanting a varifocal lens with a high level of anisometropia
  • A bilateral RP patient of working age may wish to begin driving lessons, but acuities and fields do not meet the standard
  • A dry eye sufferer wanting contact lenses
  • A person with glaucoma wanting refractive laser surgery
  • A patient who has just heard about a ‘miracle cure’ for his wet macula degeneration on the daily news

In fact the list is endless and you may find that you encounter patients on a daily basis.  Have at least three patient records ready to discuss with your Assessor.  Make sure that they are recorded consistently and that you have recorded detail regarding the advice given and actions taken, if any.

Unacceptable Evidence

Disparaging behaviour clearly does not convey the right approach.  The Assessor will not sign off a competency if the trainee is unable to confidently and competently address unrealistic needs of patients sympathetically.

Where relevant or appropriate, the Assessor will look not only for good explanation but alternative solutions wherever possible.

Ask us a question, join the discussion or have your say..

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s