Good communication skills provide better clinical outcomes and help avoid minor as well as major mistakes. Approximately 60-80% of negligence claims against vets are related to poor communication, with new graduates especially vulnerable. Communication skills are a growing part of the curriculum in veterinary schools, recognising how fundamental clear communication is to good practice.
A Guide to Oral Communication in Veterinary Medicine covers why communication skills are important, the structure of typical communications and suggested approaches, veterinary specific communication pathways and sample scripts between vet and client. Scenarios covered include everyday communication, dealing with challenging situations, different species, different settings, and communication within the veterinary team. The aim is to instil confidence and competence, build professionalism and avoid problems.
Most current teaching is based on a toolbox approach developed from the human medicine model. However, there is no set standard for teaching methodology which is why this is primarily a book for students but also includes a section for educators to provide guidance in this nascent subject.
- What do our clients understand?
- How can we help our clients to understand?
- How can we structure the consultation from the vantage point of clinical communication?
- Defining oral communication skills as they relate to the veterinary consultation
- Defining entry-level communication skills: Reflective writing
- Defining entry-level communication skills: Empathy
- Defining entry-level communication skills: Nonverbal cues
- Defining entry-level communication skills: Open-ended questions and statements
- Defining supplemental communication skills: Reducing medical jargon
- Enchancing relationship-centred care through partnership
- Eliciting the client’s perspective to enchance relationship centred care
- Asking permission to enchance relationship centred care
- Enchancing relationship centred care by assessing the client’s knowledge
- Mapping out the clinical consultation: Signposting
- Communication skills that facilitate client comprehension: Summarising and checking in with the client
- Communication skills that facilitate compliance: Contracting for next steps
- Agenda-setting and the final ”Check-in”
- Defining two new skills that companion-animal clients value: Compassionate transparency and unconditional postitive regard
- Using communication skills to initiate the consultation
- Using communication skills to gather data: History taking
- Using communication skills to gather data: Explaining and planning
- End-of-chapter reading comprehension questions
- Workbook style exercises
- Answer key to workbook-style exercises
- Clinical vignettes for role play