October 2023 - Khaira Education
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October 27, 2023

Effective communication in healthcare goes beyond mere transmission of facts. It’s a nuanced blend of ensuring that the patient understands the medical intricacies while also acknowledging their emotions and apprehensions. Herein, we delve into two pivotal categories of questions in the OET Speaking test and offer an expanded array of examples for each

1. Clarity Checkers:

These are the guardian angels of patient comprehension, ensuring that the essence of what’s been discussed hasn’t been lost in translation. In other words, the intent behind these inquiries is to ensure that miscommunications are minimized, as these can lead to potential medical errors or poor adherence to treatment protocols.

Contexts:
After explaining a new diagnosis, detailing a treatment plan, or discussing potential risks and benefits of a procedure, it’s imperative to ensure the patient understands. By prompting them to ask questions or paraphrase the information, you can ascertain the patient’s comprehension level.

Examples:
__- “What questions do you have?”

  • “Is there anything that you’d like to ask about what I’ve just explained?”
  • “Could you recap what we just went over?”
  • “To make sure you’ve understood correctly, could you please repeat to me what we’ve discussed ?”
  • “Do the steps we discussed seem clear to you?” Or “ In your own words, can you describe what we’ve discussed?” __

2. Emotion Explorers:

These are the bridges to a patient’s heart, ensuring they feel seen, heard, and understood on an emotional level. These questions help to build trust and rapport.

Examples:

  • “How does that sound?”
  • “Are there any fears or concerns you’d like to share?”
  • “On a scale of 1-10, how comfortable are you with this?”
  • “How does this make you feel?”
  • “What are your thoughts on this?”
  • “Are you comfortable with this plan?”
  • “What concerns or worries do you have about this?”

Contexts:
When presenting potential treatment options, like lifestyle modifications, or discussing a significant diagnosis, it’s beneficial to know how the patient feels. By asking about their feelings, you can address any emotional barriers to care and ensure that the patient feels supported.

Activity: Determining Appropriate Question Types in OET Speaking

Based on the context, decide if a Clarity Checker or an Emotion Explorer is more appropriate. Then, craft a suitable question for each scenario.

Scenario 1: You’ve just explained necessary lifestyle modifications to a patient who recently had a heart attack. The patient has agreed to make these changes.

Scenario 2: A young athlete has been told they need to take a break from sports for three months due to a knee injury.

Scenario 3: A couple has been informed about potential challenges in conceiving naturally, and IVF is suggested as an alternative.