SITUATIONAL REASSURANCE | OET Speaking Tips | Assured Impact

Speaking tips for Situational Reassurance

The OET speaking sub-test consists of one task divided into two separate role-plays. You will act as the health professional in the role-plays, and the other person will be your interlocutor (playing a patient ). These role-playing scenarios will imitate any interactions you might have in your particular area of healthcare. Read more about Situational Reassurance

Before the role-plays, you will also speak with the interlocutor in a warm-up conversation; however, this conversation will not be graded. The speaking component of the occupational English test is intended to assess the real-life interactions between patients and medical professionals. The speaking subset aims to assess the test taker’s communication skills in comprehending and conversing with a native English speaker. 

The candidate’s proficiency in the subset of speaking English is evaluated using a number of criteria for the speaking subtest. The candidate’s proficiency in speaking English is evaluated using a number of criteria for the speaking subtest. The criteria include Linguistic and clinical communication.

The linguistic criteria assess intelligibility, fluency, language appropriateness, and grammar and expression resources. The clinical communication criteria put much emphasis on evaluating the signs of relationship building, taking the patient’s perspective into account, gathering information, and providing structure.

The linguistic criteria assess intelligibility, fluency, language appropriateness, and grammar and expression resources. The clinical communication criteria evaluate the signs of relationship building, taking the patient’s perspective into account, gathering information, and providing structure. Situational Reassurance validates empathy for feelings/predicament/emotional state in a roleplay.

Practising attentiveness and respect with patients builds trust, laying the groundwork for a cooperative relationship and ensuring the patient understands your motivation to help.

Situational Reassurances are most effective on patients who require validation to put their minds at ease. Simple usage to begin your practice is,

‘… So, I know you are very concerned about the situation. Please relax.’
Or
‘… There is nothing to be overly concerned about, so set your mind at ease.’

Situational Reassurance can be structured to particular circumstances. For example, the following assurances can be used to validate the quality of the health professionals assisting.

‘Let me reassure you that the doctors and nurses over here are well trained and highly experienced to handle any inconvenient.’


Another one goes like this,
‘Let me reassure you that we are well trained and are equipped to handle any inconvenient situations’
A patient is more anxious at the start of a procedure that requires such validations and can be more relaxing for the patient.
Reassurances can also be offered if a patient is anxious because of a negative experience.


For example,
‘I apologise for the tough experience you had. I will make sure that this will never happen again.’
The idea of reassurance is not only about how you put them into sentences but also about the intonations. A proper tone with the necessary pauses will therefore work the best.


Another one,
‘I know the concern that your progress is low, but I can reassure you that you are making steady progress.’
The emphasised usages of phrases like, ‘Please set your mind at ease,’ relax’, ‘Calm down ‘, and ‘We are here to help you create an excellent and comforting experience for the patient in several healthcare settings.


Compared to the other English test, you do not have to wait for the examiner to ask you questions, and you are not expected only to answer them. Instead, use the situation to establish rapport, comfort and understanding between the healthcare professional and the patient.

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