Communication is key
- Posted on: Aug 30 2020
A patient came to see me recently with confusion and ambiguity about her eyelid condition, which was causing her great distress and trouble as it had failed to settle down for her. She had ongoing symptoms for over 8 months and had seen a number of ophthalmologists. Unfortunately, although she had received various opinions and treatment plans, her problem still remained.
It can be quite frustrating for a patient to go back over the history of the problem from the start every time they see a new doctor, but after I explained the importance of starting afresh with the history and taking time to understand each step, the patient felt more relieved. Then a full examination was undertaken including steps previously done as a full base line of information was required to try and establish a diagnosis and to formulate an appropriate treatment plan for the patient.
The final step was the discussion of the patient’s condition and future treatment plan. We also took some time to explain what could and couldn’t be resolved with regards to the condition and the potential environmental factors which might influence the symptoms in the future. We agreed a treatment plan and the patient felt much more reassured and comfortable in that she had been listened to and had a better understanding of her condition. She also received a detailed written report, which we provide for all our patients.
I think it is always important to take the time to listen to the history in the patient’s own words and to ensure that there is good understanding of the problem, treatment and expectations.
Mr Paul Cannon
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