How should we communicate, listen and respond to patient in ophthalmology?
In this current age, the importance of the patient’s role in improving our healthcare system and the level of care we provide is more than evident. As a healthcare professional, looking at one’s practice from the patient’s aspect allows you to notice, amend and develop many aspects which you will never be able to do alone. Additionally, unlike the old days, when engaging with patients and obtaining their opinion was difficult, often leaving the doctor isolated in his clinic and away from his community, things have changed and more flexible interaction methods are now present. Having an eye disease could be life changing; therefore, we should ensure that we listen properly to what patients feel and say. This should take place on both an individual and organisational basis; for example, when being involved in a discussion with a patient, one need to maintain eye contact, allow sufficient time for the person to express their views and feelings, be reassuring by showing empathy and support and ensure all concerns are taken seriously. These are critical points when listening to what patients say.