“Deal with it” is a card game that allows players to test their communication skills.  The game can be played in groups (for example, as a staff training exercise), individually (to self test) or be used as part of the assessment process by educational bodies.

Each pack contains 55 cards: 50 scenario cards and 5 action cards.  Each scenario card has two different conditions to explore: this generates a total of 500 possible scenario/condition/action combinations so there is plenty of scope for repeat play without too much repetition.

The scenario cards consist of the following information:

  • a brief summary of the situation
  • a) a prescription and an ocular condition or b) two ocular conditions.

The action cards each have a different communication task on them.

Before you begin, separate the action cards from the pack, give them a quick shuffle and place them in a separate pile.

Decide how many scenarios you wish to attempt per round.  The first condition/prescription on the card is more appropriate for testing dispensing or basic ocular pathology knowledge while the second is more challenging.  You can choose which to answer based on your current knowledge or the group can decide beforehand. 

Allocate a set amount of time for each player to respond to the action card.  You can allow the player a few seconds to read their cards and formulate a response before starting.  Once the player is ready to start, a timer should be set.  For students and those wishing to self-test, a longer answer time can be used (e.g. 2minutes) but, for group play, a one minute interval should be adequate.


If playing in a group:

  1. Each player should be dealt the agreed upon number of scenario cards.  They should be kept face down on the table until it is that player’s turn. 
  2. An action card is taken from the top of the pile and placed face up where it can be seen by all players. 
  3. The oldest player goes first.  The player turns over one of their scenario cards and the timer starts.  After the specified time interval has elapsed, the player stops. 
  4. Other members of the group are encouraged to give feedback on the player’s communication.  Feedback should be constructive and focused on both content and delivery. 
  5. The next player is the person sitting to the left of the previous player - the game moves clockwise around the group. 
  6. A new action card is drawn and placed face up where it can be seen by all players.  The round continues until every player has used each one of their scenario cards once.


If playing alone:

If the cards are being used to self-test, decide how many scenarios you wish to try.  As mentioned before, there are 400 possible scenario/condition/action combinations so don’t try to work your way through the complete deck of cards in one sitting!


  1. Allow yourself 1-2 mins per scenario and record your task.  Instead of feedback from a group, you’ll be critiquing yourself so filming is strongly recommended. 
  2. Set a timer with an alarm and try not to look at it during your task. 
  3. At the end of the interval, play back the video and concentrate on your tone, facial expression and body language.  Play the video again but this time listen to the words and content.


Other ideas:

Use the cards as a training exercise for your entire practice (receptionist, optical assistants/consultants and other team members), to brainstorm or storyboard what the perfect visit would look like for that patient.  Beginning with the patient or carer's first contact with your practice and ending when the patient collects their glasses or leaves the practice after being referred.  What should be asked at each stage in the process and how can communication between team members be improved?


Use the cards as the basis of a one hour peer review with your professional staff, making the communication and dispensing competencies core to the discussion.  


Use the cards as part of the interview process or assessment process in practice or at university.


PRICE: £30.00 each, free P&P


SOLD OUT! Please use the form below to contact me and I'll e-mail when they are back in stock!


Please contact me using the form below if you are interested in buying 10 or more decks.

Deal with it

Communication skills are central to the roles of optometrist and dispensing optician.  Clear, efficient and sympathetic communication can avoid patient complaints, misunderstandings between team members and help build a solid practice team.


From students to optom-managers, we all have to learn to adapt our communication style based on the needs of the situation.  We want to provide the best possible care for each patient, regardless of their ability, personal circumstances or physical limitations but, in practice, it is often easier to have a "one size fits all" approach to our patients.


"Deal with it" is a game developed by an optometrist for optics professionals and those in the process of qualifying.  It can be used in practice as a team building exercise or as part of your regular staff training.  


No preparation is required to use the cards - just pop open the box and you are ready to start.

how to play


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Glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness worldwide with an estimated 64.3 million people between 40-80 living with the disease.  As a consequence of aging populations, especially in Africa and Asia, this number is set to rise to 111.8M by 2040.


Glaucoma is a acquired progressive optic neuropathy characterised by thinning of the retinal nerve fibre layer (RFNL) and damage to the optic nerve.  Structural changes can be directly imaged through the use of OCT or stereo examination of the optic disc.


Functional loss, i.e. damage to the visual field, may preceed structural changes or may appear several years later. This structure-function disparity makes diagnosis and monitoring of glaucoma challenging.  


A pilot study at Glasgow Caledonian University found that people with glaucoma had more difficulty detecting differences in shapes and, in one case, a pre-perimetric defect was found in one observer's "good eye". This raised the possibilty that our shape discrimination test could provide a simple yet powerful method of detecting early glaucomatous functional loss.


Our ability to judge deviations in shape is in the hyperacuity range - for example, many studies have found that humans and primates are very good at spotting perfect circles.  It is surmised that our visual system uses global pooling of shape data rather than looking at the individual parts of the shape to make a decision on its circularity.  


Other interesting results include our brain's superior ability to detect closed contours in noise and the fact that it is easier to detect a deformed shape if the whole of the shape is affected rather than a section of its circumference.


Using radial frequency (RF) shapes, a two alternative forced choice test was devised which allowed the detection threshold to be estimated for deformed shapes.  This threshold in normal observers is between 0.2 and 0.5% of the radius of a circle (as mentioned above, in the hyperacuity range).  Early results indicate this sensitivity is not affected by blur but it may be affected by pathologies that cause local retinal and cortical damage, such as glaucoma.  I will be investigating the use of RF shapes as a more accessible and perhaps more sensitive measure of the visual field than standard automated perimetry.


Glaucoma & perimetry

Shape processing

About me

I'm a qualified optometrist working part time in practice while studying for a PhD in visual neuroscience.  I'm in receipt of a College of Optometrists scholarship to study shape perception in glaucoma with a view to developing a shape based visual field test.  


As well as glaucoma and shape processing, I'm interested in perceptual learning, crowding and accessibility.  


Since beginning my PhD in April, I have been teaching myself Matlab and C#.  


I'm also passionate about communication and have a blog which details my experience of the pre-registration period and my work in practice.  Recently, I've developed a communication card game called "Deal with it" which is now available for purchase (it will also be an app, when I've mastered C#).  


When I'm not working or at university, I'm SCUBA diving (sometimes in Scotland, mostly in warmer climes), travelling or baking. 


Please use the form below to contact me.