Communications skills are an important area of performance for all clinicians. This section offers you the opportunity for exploring and potentially improving your communications skills but this is NOT a compulsory part of the appraisal process.
However, if you are interested in using one of these tools, you could also consider using this as evidence for Domain 2 as a quality improvement activity.
For more information, please visit Consultation Skills on main toolkit.
This obviously requires a collaborator, preferably one who is trained in the techniques of observation and feedback. However, if no-one is available to you in this role, you may wish to consider trying the technique as part of a sessional doctors' group.
It is better for a small group of you to work on this than to work in pairs: the feedback will be more objective and there is less likelihood that you will avoid giving constructive but possibly critical feedback. Remember, if you decide to undertake work of this type and you are new to it, it is helpful to work on the basic principles:
You may be able to get help from your local postgraduate centre for activities like this, and it is always worth asking.
It will probably be difficult to set up video opportunities in practices where you work infrequently, but practices with whom you have an ongoing releationship might consider this as a useful educational facility. Many training practices already have consulting rooms with fixed video equipment.
Remember that it is very important to observe guidance on permission and confidentiality.
A sample video consent form is available for download below.
If you want to use video material, make sure you consult with your appraiser first.
Handling requests for advice or help on the telephone may be part of your locum work. On most occasions the caller will not be known to the doctor. Accurate, effective and empathetic communications are particularly important. It is also very important to ensure that the outcomes are clearly understood.
Some organisations record all telephone conversations and they provide a rich resource for reviewing skills in this activity.
Observing guidelines on confidentiality, you could:
An example of a structured template is available for download below.
To be signed by Patients (and anyone accompanying them) before and after consultation
This page was last updated on: 18/08/2016
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