Helping you from diagnosis to treatment options
Oncological telemedicine consultation combines the expertise of the veterinary oncology specialist with the convenience of remote communication technology. Through virtual consultations, the specialist can provide guidance on cancer diagnosis, treatment options, and management strategies. This is turn can offer valuable support and reassurance for the owner during a challenging time. We believe this represents a significant advancement in the accessibility and quality of care for pets facing a cancer diagnosis.
Strategies to improve your communication with the owners for oncological cases and beyond
Great communication with owners should be considered as part of a high quality veterinary assessment. in fact, making a diagnosis is not the only important part of your assessment, being able to create trust and collaboration with the owners plays a big role too.
Here are some strategies you can implement to improve communication with the owners:
1. Active listening: being able to devote your full attention to what the owner conveys, not only during history taking but also after treatment has been commenced.
2. Being present: avoid looking at your phone or computer or emails and instead establish an eye to eye contact with the owners
3. Use of open-ended questions: avoid asking questions which have a yes or no type of answer. If you are limited on time (let’s face it, who isn’t?) try to use just one open ended question.
4. Allow 1-2 minutes for the owner to be able to voice any doubts without being prompted
5. Use diagrams and drawings to improve the explanation of pathophysiology
6. Empathy: make sure you let the owners know you understood the emotional side of the diagnosis too.
7. Closed loop communication: use short summaries to reflect back what the owner said
8. Place yourself at the same level of who is speaking, trying to match the owner position (standing vs sitting)
9. Improve: dedicate part of your CPD to develop communication skills and seek feedback from colleagues
To conclude, we believe that improving communication can improve the overall quality of our work and standards.
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