OT  Skills Guide

Domiciliary eye care: communication challenges

This OT  skills guide will share insight on communication during a domiciliary sight test

OT has published a series of four video skills guides focused on providing domiciliary eye care. These guides aim to demystify and educate viewers about key aspects of domiciliary eye care, from the kit you require in order to perform sight tests, to communication tips, adapting for bedbound patients, and the legal requirements of this mode of practice.

In this skills guide video, domiciliary optometrist at the OutsideClinic, Ciara Nichleirigh, discusses working with patients who have a difficult time communicating.

Communication challenges

Talking viewers through how to communicate with patients at various stages of a sight test, at the start of the appointment Nichleirigh highlights the importance of the introduction. “Introduce yourself when you arrive at their home at their eye level so they can see you – you can tell when they are looking at you rather than looking around the room so you can check they are hearing what you are saying,” she explained.

Nichleirigh emphasised: “In domiciliary eye testing, you are a guest in their home.”

Discussing the test itself, Nichleirigh explained: “Repeating or explaining what you are doing throughout the eye test is important for everyone, but a lot of patients we see may have dementia and they may not remember ever having an eye test or who you are, so explaining each step as you go along helps to put the patient at ease.”

OT would like to thank OutsideClinic for supporting the making of these videos, as well as the University of the West of England Bristol for allowing us to film in its facilities.