Now let’s review some common feedback and responses from patients as we troubleshoot. If a patient is talking or moving while you are trying to capture the measurement, I will sometimes ask the patient to bite down evenly. This results in having the patient keep their mouth closed and still for just a moment while you take that measurement. If you have a small child who does seem like they will cooperate with you, but they are just not tall enough for the table, I will sometimes have them sit on their parent’s lap. Of course, this is to be determined by your doctor, if this is something they would like done or if they would like to just go ahead and proceed with retinoscopy in the exam room. Remember often our chairs are on rolling wheels, so please be sure to warn the patients or hold the chair for them as they get settled.
If a patient asks what does this say:
Good things to remember: that this serves a purpose as objective refraction that won’t contain refinements done by the doctor. It works as a great baseline or starting point or to indicate no change in the prescription. The invention of this instrument was designed to save us so much time! We use a variety of methods to collect data that are important to the doctor in the assessment of their prescription. I’ll also let the patient know that this provides the doctor with curvature measurements.
I try not to give the patient-specific numbers when responding to their questions. Why? It creates anxiety when they hear a number not associated with the numbers you are telling them. The machine is wrong or the doctor is wrong. It is best that this information comes directly from the doctor. Also remember, if abnormalities occur while you are taking measurements or error messages, don’t alarm the patient. Just thank them for their cooperation and move on and be sure to notify your doctor of the abnormalities that were observed.