Advanced Communication Skills

Module 2


Part 1. Advanced Communications Skills.

In our over 12 years of experience in training doctors to take the MRCEM Part C/OSCE examination we have found that some doctors struggle with many parts of the exam if they have not had training in the modern theory and practice of communication skills.

To help candidates develop their communications skills, we have devoted a large section of this online course to this essential aspect of OSCE revision …

… more in purchased course package.

In this section we will be looking at the background to communication skills training.

Someone might ask ask: “Why bother? Doctors have been talking to patients for years without having this sort of training.”

The answer to this is that when researchers started talking to patients about consultations with doctors it soon became apparent that some doctors communicated far better than others. As research has progressed it has also become apparent that good medical communication can be taught. It is not just a matter of being nice, or of style. There are certain communications skills which can be acquired by doctors in both undergraduate and postgraduate training, and which make a big difference to the outcome of medical consultations … … more in purchased course package.

In the previous section we looked at the evidence around communication in a medical consultation which shows that some doctors communicate much better than others and that successful communication is something that can be learnt by doctors.

In this section we will be using a widely recognised guide to good medical communication skills, known as the Calgary-Cambridge guide …

… more in purchased course package.

The first few headings of the Calgary-Cambridge guide deal with initiating the consultation or session and focus on rapport building as well as identifying the reason for the consultation by open-ended questioning. Establishing initial rapport … more in purchased course package.
In this section, we will be looking at information gathering skills in the consultation. Information gathering is usually necessary in the first part of a consultation before proceeding to a physical examination. However, some of these skills are used more widely during the consultation. For example, the guide stresses the importance of … … more in purchased course package.
Making organisation overt

19. Summarises at the end of a specific line of inquiry to confirm understanding before moving on to the next section 20. Progresses from … … more in purchased course package.

In this video will be looking at the parts of the guide which deal with giving explanations and making clinical management plans with the patient …

… more in purchased course package.

This is the last page about stage two. This video focuses on the closing stages of the consultation …

… more in purchased course package.

There are 15 other headings in the guide, which were not covered in these four videos. These cover similar ground to headings 33 to 52, but go a bit deeper …

… more in purchased course package.

From the above sections, you should now have an understanding of the common communication problems in medical consultations and how the structured approach of the Calgary-Cambridge guide can help doctors improve their communications with patients. We also hope that the videos have helped you identify those areas where you are following best-practice and also those areas where you need to improve. The next step to take in improving your communications skills is to … … more in purchased course package.


Part 2. Examples of Difficult Communications Skills OSCEs



Breaking Bad News – Child

Non Accidental Injury

Non Accidental Injury II


Part 3. Presenting to the examiner.

A number of stations in your MRCEM PartC/OSCE circuit will ask you to ‘summarise your findings to the examiner’ and in some cases also to ‘include a brief management plan for the patient’. Stations which lend themselves to this kind of closure and therefore where candidates are given this instruction most commonly are … … more in purchased course package.


Presenting to Examiners


Part 4. Teaching stations.

OSCE stations requiring you to teach a practical skill to a colleague have become increasingly common in the MRCEM PartC/OSCE exam, probably reflecting the increasing role of Registrars in providing shop floor teaching. The colleague may be a medical student, junior doctor, a staff nurse or emergency nurse practitioner. I addition, … … more in purchased course package.
We often need to teach patients specific skills … … more in purchased course package.


Teaching a Skill

Teaching Inhaler and Spacer

Teaching – Slings


Please note that these videos are copyright protected and are produced and owned by Bromley Emergency Training & Research Ltd. They are for private study only and may not be distributed in any form.