Patient Perspective Example

Patient Perspective Example
Melbourne Classical Radio Do you want to know how to pass the OET speaking exam? Then keep read! In today's article, we're going to look at one of the clinical communication criteria: understanding and incorporating the patient's perspective. 

We'll look at what these criteria actually means and how to improve in this area. Let's get started! So what does understanding and incorporating the patient's perspective mean? In this criterion you need to demonstrate that you are listening, acknowledging, and responding to what the patient has said, you also need to link explanations back to the patient's concerns and ensure that you are finding out about their concerns and exploring them. 

So how can you improve in this area? Let's take a look at an example of a nurse eliciting and exploring concerns. Nurse: Hello, my name is Sam and I am one of the nurses here in accident and emergency. I can see from my notes that your daughter is having a flare-up of her eczema. Is that right? Mother: Yes, that’s right. 

It’s the worst flare-up she’s ever had and I’m quite worried, so that’s why I brought her here. Nurse: Sorry to hear that. I’ll take a look now, but can you tell me what’s worrying you the most about it? Mother: Well, she’s been scratching it so much that it’s weeping now and I am worried that there may be an infection We can see that the nurse elicits information at the beginning of the conversation to check that they've understood the situation correctly. 

The mother then says that she's worried about the flare-up and the nurse takes this opportunity to find out more about her concerns. Now let's look at responding to patient's cues, take a look at these two examples, which one do you think is better? Mother: It all happened so fast – I looked away for one second and then she grabbed the knife and there is so much blood there it looks terrible. I am so worried! Nurse: Ok, so let me explain what we are going to do. 

First I’ll clean the wound and apply an antiseptic cream. After that I’ll apply a dressing, is that ok? Mother: It all happened so fast – I looked away for one second and then she grabbed the knife and there is so much blood there it looks terrible. 

I am so worried! Nurse: I can see how worried you are. It’s terrible when our kids hurt themselves, but you did the right thing bringing her here and we will take good care of her wound, ok? That's right, the second one is better. In the first extract, we can see that the nurse has not seemed to notice or respond to the mother's concern and has moved straight on to explaining treatment, in the second extract, they have picked up on the mother's worry and respond to this appropriately. 

Now let's look at some more examples of responding to patient cues. Patient: Well the rash just started on my stomach, but now it’s spread everywhere. Nurse: I see. So can I ask when you first noticed the rash? Patient: Yes, about 3 days ago, and it’s spread gradually since then. Mother: It just looks so awful and I feel so guilty that he got burned in the first place. When can he see the burns specialist as I really don’t want him to have any scarring. 

Nurse: I can see how worried you are about possible scarring and we will talk about seeing the burns specialist in a moment, but first I’d like to talk to you about what needs to happen before your son can see the specialist. Is that ok? The doctor here acknowledges what the patient has said and responds appropriately to find out more information. In this example, the nurse acknowledges what the patient has said and that the concerns will be addressed but signposts that they need to talk about something else first. 

It is important that you always respond to patient cues even if you need to address the concerns later in the interaction. Now let's take a look at relating your explanations back to ideas concerns and expectations. Take a look at this next extract, notice how the nurse relates his explanation back to the mother's specific concerns. Nurse: So, we’ve talked about your son’s dressings and what you can do to help your son’s burn heal at home. 

Now I’d like to talk to you about scarring, ok? Mother: Yes, do you think it will be badly scarred? Nurse: I know it looks very sore now, but first we have to let the burn heal. Once it has healed, then we can refer your son to the burns specialist and they will be able to have a look at any possible scarring that there may be. 

I understand that you want to see the specialist as soon as possible, but it is important for it to heal first. The mother is expressing concerns about possible scarring to her son's arm due to the burn, the nurse relates their explanation back to the patient's concerns about this possible scarring. Here are some ways you can improve in this area of your speaking. 

Practice addressing patient concerns in a variety of ways, it's important that you respond naturally and with variety of language. Patient concerns should always be acknowledged, ensure that you acknowledge all concerns, especially if you are not addressing them at that exact moment. 

Take time to explore their concerns and don't just rush through the tasks because you were concerned about the five-minute limit. Relate explanations back to their concerns, this will ensure that the patient feels you have heard them and addressed all of their worries and concerns. 

Check to see if you have addressed the concerns when you've given your explanations and related back to their concerns, check to see if they have any other questions. Top tips for understanding and incorporating the patient's perspective. 

Respond to patient concerns every time, it is essential that the interaction is as natural as possible and that you acknowledge and explore their concerns. Address patient concerns with your explanations, make sure that these explanations you are giving will reassure and answer your patient's questions. Listen carefully, it's important to focus on what is being said so that you don't miss any cues, don't be afraid of asking them to repeat themselves if you have missed important information. 

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