After clearing IELTS,CBT and the whole NMC registration process, my next hurdle was to clear OSCE exam after reaching the UK. I called some of them who cleared OSCE and searched the whole Northampton site. It was really hard to get some idea about this exam. Moreover I was in real stress to get all study material by myself without much training from the hospital where I currently practice. Because the passing rate is just between 48%-53% of those who appear the exam. And you have just 2 attempts, if you fail in the second attempt you need to go back to your country. They have got a strict evaluation process. It is not basically a difficult exam. But the only thing is to remember each steps of procedure in a sequence. I am sharing some helpful notes and tips here to support those who are planning to write OSCE. I don’t want you all to wander in dark without any idea about this exam. Be ready to face any circumstances before you come to the UK.
There are 6 stations for the exam, that even divided as assessment station and skill station again. The 4 stations come under assessment, which is Assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation. The other 2 skill stations can be either BLS, wound dressing, IM or subcutaneous injection. But learn all skills and they can ask any two out of these for skill stations.
The exam centre is planned exactly as a U.K. NHS hospital. All stations will be in different rooms. So it’s good to work few days in any NHS hospitals before appearing the exam. We need to follow all waste disposal protocols and infection control policies as NHS.
Each station is 15 minute. Read all instructions written on the door before going inside each room.
First step is Assessment. It will be an actor acting a condition. All you need to do in this station is environmental safety for patient, comforting the patient, checking NEWS or Neurological observation, and asking questions related to Activities of daily living. All the observation charts and ADL’s paper can download from Northampton site after booking the exam.
In planning- it is a writing station. You are asked to write two condition related care plans with interventions and self care elements. Try to put signatures and dates wherever asked.
In implementation- you are asked to give oral medication. You will be given a full filled medication chart with patient details including Stat drugs, PRN drugs, antibiotics, and other routine drugs. You will be failed in this station if you overdose or underdose the patient, giving allergic drugs, and not checking expiry of drug. You will get a sample drug chart from Northampton site. Practice using that filled chart.
Evaluation- it is a writing station. you will be asked to write a transfer of care letter. Download template paper from site and practice writing.
Skill stations are two. Here they check your skills in practicing procedures
BLS- follow U.K. NHS guidelines of CPR. DRABC method of CPR. here they are not checking carotid pulse like AHA. Practice compressions by using metronome app and set the rate as 110 and practice. Poor depth and rate is a direct fail.
Dressing- you can see a dressing OSCE video in YouTube where a Philippine nurse in blue scrub is showing wound dressing. Learn that exact steps. There is also a video in Northampton site but the practice is not so perfect. I found the YouTube video better than the other. Always gel your hands after each step for safety.
Injection- IM or insulin follow royal marsden text book
Follow these steps exactly as it is. Make your own procedure by mixing the preparation and administration steps. The technique should be correct or else you will fail. Use safety needles always. Activate the safety device each time after use. Or else use scooping to recap the needle.
Always check patient ID, explain procedure and gain consent, check allergy, ask pain and rate it before starting procedure. Always gel hands. Document correctly after each procedure. You can dawnload even all skill station papers from their site.
Wish you all the best