November 2023 - Khaira Education
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Monthly Archives: November 2023

November 15, 2023

The Occupational English Test (OET) Writing sub-test isn’t just about evaluating your writing skills; it also assesses your ability to read and interpret complex healthcare situations in a limited time, a reality for practising healthcare professionals. In this 45-minute test, comprising a ‘5-minute reading time’ followed by 40 minutes of writing phase, you get a glimpse of the practical demands of workplace scenarios. On the OET exam day, it is the final segment, held after listening and reading tests.

Utilising the Reading Time

During the reading time, you are not allowed to write on the case notes. The urge to underline major things on the question sheets should be avoided. You are not allowed to pick your pens or pencils while you are reading the case notes during this time. This time is for reading and understanding the case notes and the patient’s situation, a skill honed through OET training by Khaira Education.

OET Writing Tips for Effective Reading Time Utilization

Here are some questions one can try answering while reading the case notes to interpret them better for their letter.

  1. Who is the recipient?

    This question helps you identify the role of your recipient in healthcare or in providing care to the patient and determines what type of information is to be given to the recipient.

    For instance, when writing to a physiotherapist, the focus of the letter would be on the physical condition and ailments of the patient and not the medicines prescribed.
  2. What is the purpose/reason of writing the letter?

    The answer to this question has a major influence on the choice of relevant information from the case notes. For example, it is futile to focus on the details of the patient’s presenting complaints and the processes involved in diagnosing the patient’s condition if the purpose of writing to request social support from a social worker. In a such a situation, in order to provide support to help the patient to enhance her social condition, the recipient would like to know about her social condition more as compared to the management provided for the medical condition.
  3. What does the recipient need to know in order to provide care to the patient?

    While reading the case notes, using your finger, identify what information is relevant for the recipient in order to fulfil the request made by your letter. Try to find reason for each piece of information that you consider relevant.
  4. What information does the recipient not need to know?

    There are some distractors in the case notes given to the candidates as would be in any real set of case notes in a healthcare setting. These are not needed for the recipient to provide the requisite care to the patient. Therefore , they are NOT to be included in the letter.

    The best approach to utilising the reading time effectively is answering the above questions in the order mentioned; this would not just aid your understanding but also your letter composition.
November 14, 2023

Enhancing Clinical Communication in OET Speaking: Reassurance Strategies for OET preparation. In the dynamic field of healthcare, effective communication is as vital as clinical expertise. For OET candidates, mastering the skill of reassurance is a critical component of their training. This blog by Khaira Education delves into strategies to enhance clinical communication, focusing on the art of reassurance for healthcare professionals preparing for the OET.

Strategic Reassurance in Healthcare Settings:

Reassurance isn’t just about allaying fears; it’s about fostering a therapeutic alliance. Professionals in healthcare, whether they be doctors, nurses, pharmacists, or physiotherapists, must learn to provide reassurance that’s both compassionate and informed.

Empathy and Patient Understanding:

Healthcare providers must employ empathy effectively, ensuring that their interactions with patients are not only informative but also emotionally supportive. For instance, a nurse might say, “I understand that this treatment can be daunting, but we’re here to support you every step of the way.”

Tailored Reassurance for Diverse Healthcare Fields:

Each healthcare field has unique communication challenges. A pharmacist might reassure a patient by saying, “We’ll review your medications thoroughly to ensure they’re the best fit for your treatment plan.” In contrast, a physiotherapist could offer, “We’ll tailor your rehabilitation program to enhance your recovery and mobility.”

Avoiding Overpromises in Patient Care (False Reassurance):

It’s essential for OET candidates to learn the importance of avoiding overpromises. For example, a doctor should not guarantee a quick recovery but instead might say, “We’re committed to providing the best possible care to enhance your recovery process, though it may take some time.”

Practical Reassurance Examples:

MEDICINE

For doctors: “While we wait for further tests, let’s focus on managing your symptoms effectively.”

Scenario: A patient is apprehensive about the potential diagnosis they might receive after their tests.

Patient: “I’m really scared about what you might find. What if it’s something serious?”

Doctor: “It’s natural to feel anxious about test results. We’re doing these tests to ensure that we have all the information we need. Once we have the results, we’ll discuss them together and explore all the options. My priority is to keep you informed and involved in every decision about your health.”

NURSING

For nurses: “I’ll be here to monitor your progress and address any concerns you might have during your treatment.”

Scenario: A patient is worried about the pain after their surgery.

Patient: “I’m really worried about the pain I’m going to experience after the operation.”

Nurse: “It’s completely normal to be concerned about post-operative pain. We have a range of pain management options, and we’ll closely monitor and adjust as needed to ensure you’re comfortable. Can I go over these options with you?”

PHARMACY

For pharmacists: “Let’s discuss how to manage potential side effects, so you feel more comfortable with your medication regimen.”

Scenario:

A patient is concerned about the interaction of their new prescription with their current medications.

Patient: “I’ve read about some serious side effects when this medication is combined with what I’m already taking. Is it really safe?”

Pharmacist: “You’ve done the right thing by being cautious about medication interactions. Let’s review your current medications together, and I will explain how this new one interacts with them. Our goal is to manage your health safely, and I’ll make sure you have all the information to take your medication confidently.”

PHYSIOTHERAPY

For physiotherapists: “Your concerns are valid, and we’ll adjust your therapy plan as you advance through your recovery stages.”

Scenario:

A patient is feeling discouraged about their slow progress in recovery from a sports injury.

Patient: “I feel like I should be able to do more by now. Why isn’t my body responding to the exercises?”

Physiotherapist: “Recovery times can vary greatly, and it’s not uncommon to have these feelings. Your progress, while gradual, is steady, and every small improvement is a step towards your full recovery. Let’s look at your exercise plan and see if we need to make any adjustments to support your recovery better.”

Conclusion of Reassurance Strategies for OET preparation:

For healthcare professionals gearing up for the OET, developing robust reassurance skills is essential. By integrating these strategies into their practice, they’re not only preparing to excel in their OET examination but also committing to patient-centred care that resonates with the core principles of their respective fields.

November 13, 2023

In the dynamic world of healthcare, effective communication stands as a cornerstone of excellent patient care. For health professionals, mastering the art of patient-centered communication is not just a skill, but a necessity. This blog post delves into practical ways and techniques to enhance communication with patients, ensuring their needs and perspectives are at the forefront of every healthcare encounter.

Active Listening: A Key to Understanding

Active listening is fundamental in understanding patient concerns. This means not only hearing what the patient says but also noticing what remains unsaid. Techniques like nodding, maintaining eye contact, and summarizing what the patient has said are crucial. For instance, a patient discussing discomfort might hint at deeper anxieties about their condition. Recognizing and addressing these unspoken concerns can significantly improve the care experience.

Simplifying Medical Jargon:

Patients often feel overwhelmed by medical terminology. Simplifying complex medical language into terms that are easily digestible can make a significant difference. For example, instead of saying “You have hypertension,” a more patient-friendly approach would be “Your blood pressure is higher than it should be, which is something we call hypertension.”

Empathy in Action:

Empathy goes beyond understanding a patient’s feelings; it involves demonstrating that understanding. Suppose a patient expresses fear about a procedure. An empathetic response might be, “It’s completely normal to feel anxious about this procedure. Many people do. Let’s go over what will happen step by step to help ease your worries.”

Cultural Sensitivity:

Cultural sensitivity is crucial in patient-centerer communication. This includes being aware of and respectful towards different cultural backgrounds and communication styles. For instance, some cultures may value directness, while others prefer more indirect communication. Adapting your approach to align with these preferences shows respect and enhances communication.

Encouraging Questions and Participation:

Encourage patients to ask questions and participate actively in their care. This could be as simple as asking, “Do you have any questions or concerns about what we’ve discussed?” This not only empowers patients but also ensures they have a clear understanding of their health and treatment plans.

Enhancing patient-centered communication is essential for healthcare professionals. Continuous learning and development through #OET (Occupational English Test) #oetspeaking preparation, #OET training, and #OET coaching can significantly augment these skills. Khaira Education provides dedicated support and resources for healthcare professionals aiming to excel in patient-centered communication. Remember, effective communication is not just about conveying information; it’s about building relationships and trust, crucial elements in the world of healthcare.