Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Impertinent Questions in Ilfracombe (Not)

I wasn't in Ilfracombe recently.  In fact I've never been to Ilfracombe.  It is a red herring, as far as where I was working recently.

No, I was somewhere else entirely and I was in an exam for some students who were healthcare professionals.  They weren't medical students.

A couple of weeks ago, in contrast, I was working on an exam for Leeds Institute of Medical Education final year students.  As you know, I don't usually say where I work but I thought that those students were - in general - superb: both knowledgeable and empathic.

I was a simulated patient for that exam and I was a simulated patient (acting the role of a patient, working from a detailed brief) for the exam that wasn't in Ilfracombe.

The students who weren't in Ilfracombe were were - in general - not superb.  They were not superb for two reasons.

The first one was that they had very poor communication skills.  They didn't even seem to have mastered the basics - - introduce yourself, look at the patient, ask them questions, LISTEN TO THE ANSWERS, pick up on cues.

One student didn't even sit down.  He did the whole consultation standing over me, ridiculously near.  I spent the whole consultation wondering when would be an appropriate moment to say "I can see right up your nose."

Some of them asked lots of rather personal questions, without any warning.

"Are you still - - (dramatic pause) - - SEXUALLY ACTIVE?"


"Do you know how to WIPE YOUR BOTTOM?"  (Yes, really.  Truly.)

And they lectured me a lot.

"You should try to increase the amount of exercise that you do."  (But without asking first how much I DID do).

"I must  tell you that you should increase your fruit and veg to five portions a day".  (But without asking how much I DID eat.)

"You must give up smoking."  (This was tricky, because in role as that patient, I didn't smoke, but they didn't think to ask me first).

On many days I am amazed and delighted by the knowledge and sensitivity of healthcare students.

The day not spent in Ilfracombe was not one of those days.  It was, quite frankly, very worrying.


Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

Not Ilfracombe. Given the levels of ignorance exhibited by some of the healthcare "professionals" I'd guess you were really in Lancashire.

8:33 pm  
Blogger Jan Blawat said...

Aha! Now I know where my doctors were trained. All this time I thought they probably just had hearing disorders.

11:20 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

Is everything okay Daphne? You've not blogged for a while and I'm missing you. Fond regards, Lord Pudding x

11:59 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home