June 10, 2014, by Editor

Olivia’s OSCE

Olivia Gunapalan, one of our second year Pharmacy undergraduates, has written a blog about the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) which she carried out in January, 2014.  See Olivia’s blog below:

Some of us have written examinations, some of us have online examinations and then some of us have OSCEs..

OSCEs are the objective structured clinical examination. Sound like gibberish to you? Well me too. Luckily you have me to explain what an OSCE is all about, especially since I’ve just been through one today, I am so glad that is over! It was terrifying. According to Wikipedia an OSCE is designed to test clinical skill performance such as competence in communication, clinical examination and various medical procedures. Most healthcare students (e.g.: Medicine, Nursing, Midwifery, Physiotherapy) have this form of assessment.

Basically in an OSCE you participate in a circuit of short stations. Each station lasts about 5 minutes and you are assessed as you carry out the task. In Pharmacy, these “tasks” can include checking prescriptions, counseling patients (pretend ones of course!) and even giving advice on inhaler technique. Ask any pharmacy student and they will be able to tell you which stations they are most afraid of, for me it has to be trying to diagnose a patient.

There will be a timer and you have to move on to the next station even if you haven’t completed the task. It can be pretty nerve wrecking during the exam when you’re constantly praying the whistle won’t go off during your consultation.

Hope you have a good week ahead. If you’re still having exams pull through, they’ll be over before you know it. (That’s what I tell myself anyway)

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