GP Stage 3 Simulated Consultation - Healthcare Professional 5
Jamie, one of the Healthcare Assistants on the ward and a good friend of yours has asked to speak to you during your morning break. During your two months on the ward you have got on very well with Jamie and have found Jamie to be very reliable and efficient.
You are Jamie, one of the Healthcare Assistants on the Medical Ward. You have arranged to speak to one of the SHO Doctors who you know well during the morning break. You take great pride in your work and are concerned that the quality of your work may be slipping (although not to the extent that patient safety is being compromised). You are anxious about this, and would like to find out from the doctor whether they feel that recently you have not been able to complete your work to the normal high quality. This recent anxiety has stemmed from being told by the Ward Sister that you need to ‘pull your socks up’ after a relative made a complaint regarding the lack of feeding assistance for elderly patients during mealtimes on the ward. You personally feel that the regular staff shortages are a significant contributor to this problem, although you are concerned that your recent diagnosis of hypothyroidism may also be affecting your ability to work as efficiently as previously.
You would like advice from the doctor if you should commence medication for the hypothyroidism. If asked, you report that your symptoms are weight gain, feeling tired and sometime constipation and your GP recommended no medication presently and a repeat blood test in one month. Given that the doctor knows you relatively well (and in your option better than your GP), you very much value and would appreciate the doctors medical advice. You are quite persistent in your requests for medical advice and reiterate that your current GP does not know you very well.
Your primary concerns are that you may lose your job if you receive any further complaints and additionally, without medication your weight gain may increase further. You are hoping that the doctor can provide you with clear medical advice regarding whether to commence medication. At home, you live with your three cats and do not have any concerns.
This consultation tests a doctor’s ability to provide empathetic support to colleagues without offering direct medical advice. Excellent candidates will manage this delicate balance, advising the colleague to see their GP for medical advice given their experience and impartiality. Candidates offering direct medical advice, or a complete lack of empathetic support will be breaching their duty as a medical professional and as such will be deemed unsuitable for GP training. Additional potential solutions include relaying your positive personal impression of Jamie's work as well as offering to provide this positive feedback directly to the Ward Sister, should Jamie agree to this. Finally, it would be important to safety net Jamie by advising that if there were ever any clinical concerns regarding personal competence or staffing levels (with an associated negative impact on patient care), these should be escalated promptly.