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UNIQUE ROLE PLAYS: Clinical Communication Skills Criteria
The health-care professional’s ability to strengthen the relationship with the diseased is evaluated greatly by OET assessors. In order to create a strong bond with the interlocutor (who happens to be a patient), it is important to do a few mandatory things that will suffice. First of all, the style of asking questions itself must win the trust of the interlocutor greatly. Personal questions about the family life and ailment of the ill lot must be asked using embedded questions. An embedded question is a type of question that is framed using phrases and those stated phrases are a part of another question. This is also labelled as an indirect question which is deliberately used to demonstrate a level of politeness.

RM QUEST Institute of English pioneers in transitional language training in Trivandrum and Kerala as well keeps updating themselves with current trend and advancement following in transitional languages like IELTS / OET etc. And, of late OET has got its prominence among healthcare professionals and many more countries have whole heartedly come forward a positive nod to OET qualified medical practitioners and healthcare professionals to work abroad. As the glorified abroad jobs entice more Doctors and Nurses majorly in to OET training now a days.

RM QUEST Institute stand out among other language schools of its unique training methodology and processes. RM QUEST is a process centric institute rather mere people centric academies running around. RM QUEST Institute of English constantly aiding the overseas aspirants with theirs dynamic TIPS and TRICKS on International English language testing comprise of the four modules! Here detailing snippets of ROLE PLAYS and the TIPS and TRICKS to be affluent speaking skills for the trainees while appearing the OET TEST. Both OET for DOCTORS and OET for Nurses may be benefitted out of it following these clinical communications skills.
The phrases to be incorporated for embedded questions are: Could you tell me, I’d like to know, I’m not sure, Do you know, I wonder, Would you mind and Let’s ask.

When a patient just sees a health-care staff face-to-face, the very first question of any specialist or physician would most probably be:
Why have you come here today?

This question can be restructured as: Could you tell me why you have come here today? If the student’s state: Could you tell me why have you come here today? It is not correct because you must come before forms of to be verb have.

The next question is: How did you injure your leg?

When this question is reframed using a phrase, the main verb must be in past tense and the question word did must be removed otherwise the framed question is wrong.

If the trainee says: Could you please tell me how did you injure your leg? This sentence is incorrect because the base form of the main verb is not altered to past tense.

The correct ways of saying this sentence is: May I please ask what happened to your leg? Could you tell me how you injured your leg?
The third question is: What time did the accident happen? The embedded sentence is: Could you tell me how the accident happened? Is correct.

The other perfect ways of saying the same sentence is: Could you tell me how the accident happened? And could you tell me what time the accident happened? And do you remember what time the accident happened?

The next question is: when did the pain start? The embedded questions are: How long have you had the pain?, Could you tell me when the pain started?, And Could you tell me how long have you had the pain?

Is it a sharp or a dull pain? (This is a yes/no question). This question is framed as: Could you describe your pain, is it a sharp or dull pain?, Could you tell me if the pain is dull or sharp?, Could you tell me if it is a sharp or dull pain?, Could you tell me whether it is a sharp or dull pain? For yes/no questions, the introductory phrases can be used followed by an ‘if’ clause or ‘whether’ to state a question.

Yet another question to express concern is: Does the pain bother you at night? This is said as: Could you tell me if or whether the pain bothers you at night?, I would like to know if/whether the pain is bothering you at night?

Yet another question is: Why you want a prescription for sleeping tablets? This is changed as: Could you tell me or would you mind telling me why you want a prescription for sleeping tablets?

Once a series of embedded questions are asked, the patient answers those question based on which the medical practioners must focus on Empathy + Reassurance in order to create abundant confidence amongst the diseased ones.

A series of conversations between the Health-care professionals and the interlocutors explain how the much needed empathy and reassurance is generated from the answers provided to patient’s grievances.

The diseased person who is suffering from cancer expresses his/her fears of chemotherapy. The nurse empathizes and gives the much needed reassurance to the patient on the treatment in order to eliminate his/her fear phobia.
Patient:- I have heard that chemotherapy and radiation has severe side effects. I am truly scared to undergo this treatment. What if my hair falls out?

Health-care professional:- It is a well-known fact that all chemotherapy patients experience hair loss while this treatment is administered. (The health-care professional recognizes the fears of the patient)
It is also common to experience some nausea and vomiting in the early stages of this treatment. Please do not be anxious of the side effects as they are only temporary. (The health-care professional empathizes with the patient)
We would give you the medication that can stop the nausea. Your hair will also grow again. Until your hair grows, you may wear a wig or a scarf. (The health-care professional gives reassurance to the patient)
Chemotherapy will kill the cancer cells once for all. (The health-care professional provides the benefits of chemotherapy)

The mother of a son who is absolutely diabetic expresses her worries to the health-care professional on her son’s precarious condition.
Patient’s parent: I am absolutely worried about my son’s diagnosis. How can Tom manage his condition?
Health-care professional: Well, Mrs. Johnson, I can see that you are very concerned. (The health-care professional empathizes the psychological condition of Tom’s mother)
Let me reassure you that if we can control Tom’s sugar levels to a state of normalcy by way of medication, he can live a normal life without any troubles whatsoever. (The health-care professional reassures Tom’s mother.)

The patient has a wrong notion about steroids. He/she is of the opinion that, steroids are harmful drugs and the health-care professional convinces the diseased on a variety of steroids used for all kinds of treatment.
Patient: Well actually the word steroid scares me to the core. Steroid is a banned drug you know. The Olympic Games is currently going on in Canada. I am a keen viewer of the Olympic Games and believe me, I have heard a lot about illegal drug abuse and banned drugs and the word steroids is often the talk of the day so I just feel they must be bad for one’s health.

Health-Care Professional:- Let me assure you that there are 200 different types of steroids. It is a large family and not actually a bad word. (The health-care professional convinces the patient on steroids used as a lifesaving drugs also)
This Corticosteroid medication you have been prescribed is totally different from the one used for Olympics.
For you, the Corticosteroid is very safe and will manage joint pain. (The health-care professional reassures the patient to alleviate his/her fears of consuming steroids).
The health-care professional must use positive language wherever and whenever necessary to create confidence amongst the diseased lot.

The caretaker of pets asks the Health-care professional on the need to desex dogs.
Caretaker:- Why is desexing recommended?
Health-care professional:- That’s a good question. It is important to reduce the number of unwanted puppies, desexing prevents puppies from roaming, fighting or causing nuisance to neighbours. (The health-care professional uses a positive language and convinces the caretaker on the bad effects of puppies’ habitat increasing considerably which can be a sort of threat to the commoners)

The patient is a chain smoker and the health-care professional explains on the effectiveness of quit smoking programme.
Patient: Does this quit smoking programme really work?
Health Care Professional: I am glad that you asked. Yes, the success rate of this programme is really magnificent. Many of my patients who participated in the quit smoking programme were able to quit smoking successfully. I am sure it can help you as well. If you like, I can fix an appointment with the coordinator of quit smoking programme. (The health-care professional talks positively on the quit smoking programme to convince the chain smoker to enroll for the same)

The well-wisher of the patient Maria is worried about her operation and so she expresses her concerns to the health-care professional.
Maria’s well-wisher: I am so worried. Maria has never had an operation before. Are there any risks?
Health-care professional: I do understand your concerns but let me explain that, any surgical procedure is subject to a certain amount of risk but let me reassure you the staff here are very experienced and they will take good care of Maria’s body. Serious complications are rare and the good news is that, it reduces a number of infections. (The health-care professional talks positively on a surgery to lessen the anxieties of Maria’s well-wisher).

The health-care professional also has a duty to clearly state the risks and consequences with an intention to persuade a non-complaint patient. The negative outcomes are clearly explained to the diseased who do not act in accordance with a wish or command. The core skill here is exhibiting the ability to provide longer and more detailed responses to convince a patient follow medical advice.

The patient is subject to all sorts of ailments yet he/she is not willing to bring about lifestyle changes.
Patient: I don’t think I can change my lifestyle.
Health care professional: I do understand but if you continue to eat an unhealthy diet and do limited exercise, the heart disease and obesity could aggravate drastically which might continue to put you in an inactive state so to be healthier you must eat the balanced diet as stated in the prescription. That is why it is important to make lifestyle changes now. Do you think you can do that?(The health care professional explains the negative consequences of not heeding medical advice)
Patient: Yes (The health care professional has succeeded in passing the responsibility to the patient with regard to bringing about life style changes).

The patient who is confined to bed is reluctant to get out of bed simply because he/she wants to take rest.
Patient: I just don’t want to get out of bed today. I just want to rest.
Health Care Professional: Well that may not be in your best interest, you need to start mobilizing today. If you stay in bed and don’t move about, it may take longer to recover and you will be at an increased risk of developing bed sores or chest infection. On the other hand, if you start moving about, you can build your body strength and be independent. That will help you to get ready for discharge. (The health care professional explains the repercussions of not being mobile to the patient)
Patient: All right I will start mobilizing as per your instruction. (the health care professional succeeds in enabling the patient to take responsibility of his/her health.

The patient does not like to be confined to bed so he tells the health care professional of discharging him from the health care centre.
Patient: I really need to start work straightaway. I don’t have time to just lie around.
Health care professional: It is natural to feel that way, but if you go back to work too soon, you may not get fully recovered from the disease and your diseased condition is likely to get worse. So that’s why you shouldn’t do that. The best advice is to get complete rest. What’s more important your long term health or your work? (The health care professional elucidates the negative aspect of going for work without being fully cured of the disease)

Patient: My long term health (The health care professional gets a commitment form the patient)
In order to score well in clinical communication skills criteria of OET speaking, asking embedded questions, showing empathy, providing reassurance, using positive language and explaining risks and consequences must happen concurrently while doing a role play.