First Monday of February and it is as if everyone in year 2 has suddenly realised that we have practical exams this year (OSCE’s) as well as the written exams.
The clinical skills room is a place where we can practice for OSCE’s, things like how to take blood pressure, test urine etc. The room is set up with all the equipment we need. Considering there are hundreds of us in a year and 4 years worth of students who take OSCE’s – it is definitely not big enough.
I started going into this room in October, my thinking being that it would be better to do a little bit of practice, regularly, rather than a lot at the last minute.
The room used to be about half occupied, but now, all of a sudden it is booked to the max at every free slot we have. The trouble is, even at half capacity you struggle to take a blood pressure accurately due to all the background noise. Not to mention the fact that if there is someone in a higher year practicing a rectal examination (ON A DUMMY!!) for example, you cannot help but get distracted!
The fact that we are being tested on these skills in year 2 is quite a strange concept anyway, as to date our learning has been through lectures. We don’t hit the wards until September.
I can understand the point of getting us used to these exams and testing our communication skills is not a bad idea as they need to ensure we can talk to patients safely and with empathy etc. But being tested on how to perform an injection when we only get taught it once and haven’t had any patient exposure seems a little odd.
My children are still useful for practicing CPR and inhaler technique but not so good, I have discovered, at taking a full medical history from. The second I ask about their bowel habits they collapse into a pile of giggles and start to dance around the room singing songs about poo and wee!
So I’m afraid that means I am looking for friends to practice on….
……………………..if you see me coming with a stethoscope or a urine dipstick – RUN!