OSCEs scare me. It’s official. Yet there’s that little bit of bolshiness in me that actually thrives on the kick I get from doing stations. I’ve always been that sort of person that enjoys ticking boxes.
I guess that’s why I love martial arts; you have to perform on the grading exam, the tournament or whatever. If you don’t, you fail. Simple.
OSCEs are very similar. You get either 5 or 10 minutes per station to perform your little heart out and vomit back the text book you’ve been eating for the last month.
Let me explain something first…. First year OSCEs are meant to introduce you to the style of the exam. However, they are not mocks, and they do count.
8 stations, 1 rest break. Some stations were 5 minutes and a couple were 10 (sadly not the rest break….).
The theory is that each different station lies behind a curtain or a door. Pinned to the door or the wall near the curtain is your scenario and your instructions. 1 minute to read the instructions and 5/10 minutes to act your socks off and do as you’ve been learning.
I have never ever known an hour to go so fast in all of my life. It felt like one minute I was heading in, and the next I was leaving. If only lectures could go so fast.
With the exception of the Nelly The Elephant station (BLS) and the ‘talk to the consultant’ station, all of the rest of the patients were real.
The ‘talk to the consultant’ station was meant to be the biggest challenge, yet I managed to fluke it….Basically, you were given a piece of paper with a set of lab results and basic history from the patient and asked to interpret it according to what you’d learnt so far in medical school. I’m pretty sure this might have been harder had it not been something I’d studied intensively during my MSc in Human Health. I guess my luck will eventually fade.
Anyway, the most daunting hour of my year was over, and I oddly came out with a huge grin on my face!
Not quite as huge as the grin on my face when I got the results though….108/120 with full marks on 2 stations. Pass mark for the year was 85.