Ethics, communication skills, and the law ('practice skills') are important in all aspects of modern health care. Doctors and nurses must be sensitive to the ethical aspects of their work and understand the legal framework within which clinical decisions are made. Well developed skills of communication, with patients, their relatives and other members of the clinical team, are a key feature of good clinical practice
Until recently, the important of practice skills has been relatively neglected in health care education. This situation is changing. The UK General Medical Council, for example, has recently identified three aspects as part of the core of the medical course, and the move to degree courses in nursing has led to an increasing focus of practice skills in nurse education.
The Oxford Practice Skills Project (OPSP) team have developed a course, within the University of Oxford Clinical School, which covers the teaching of practice skills in an integrated manner. This course is widely recognized as one of the most systematic developments of education in these areas.
This manual describes the OPSP course in detail and provides teaching materials. Although developed initially for medical students, it should be helpful to all those involved in teaching ethics, communication skills, and law in health care.
Each Seminar is described in detail
Tutors' guides are provided
Student handouts are included
Contains guidelines for introducing 'practice skills' into a busy clinical curriculum
Includes over forty case histories for teaching and examination
Gives details of many useful sources and resources
Details a variety of teaching methods together with their advantages and disadvantages
Provides an ethics teaching toolkit for clinical teachers new to this area
Readers are welcome to photocopy any part of this manual for their own teaching
1: Chapter 1: Background and overview
2: Chapter 2: Syllabus
3: Chapter 3: The Practice Skills Seminars
Introduction to the Practice Skills Course and tutorials in General Communication Skills
Introduction to English and Welsh law
Introduction to medical ethics
"Do not resuscitate"
"Have we got a consent form?"
Treating patients without their consent
"We're desperate for a baby": Some ethical issues of assisted reproduction
Anger and aggression in patients and their relatives
Practice skills when working with children: Consent to treatment and child abuse
Rationing healthcare - ethical issues
4: Chapter 4: Tutorials in General Communication Skills
5: Chapter 5: Examination and assessment
Appendix I: Introducing a course into the Curriculum
Appendix III: Teaching methods
Appendix IV: Ethics teaching toolkit
Appendix V: Sources and resources
Appendix VI: Reading guide
Appendix VII: Case vignettes