Are you an aspiring UKRN? One of the tests that you need to pass is the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). In a recent interview with Christine, an expert from IELTS Medical, the leading premier training service for healthcare professionals, we gained valuable insights into the New OSCE, which became effective last November 14, 2022. Read on because this article will provide you with valuable tips to help you succeed in the New OSCE and achieve your goal of becoming a UK Registered Nurse! (UKRN)
What Are The Changes in the New OSCE?
The recent updates in the OSCE include an addition to the Assessment phase, which now incorporates the ABCDE approach:
Moreover, the time allocated for the Assessment phase has been extended from 15 to 20 minutes.
During the planning stage, the focus is solely on the nursing care delivered by the nurse. As part of the recent changes, the time allocated for planning has been reduced from 15 minutes to 14 minutes.
In the old OSCE, the SBAR station is a silent station where you will write all your evaluations, but in the new OSCE, you have 8 minutes to write and verbalize the SBAR handover that you will do to whomever they ask you. It is crucial to always read the scenario carefully to ensure accurate and effective communication during this station.
New Skills Stations in the New OSCE:
Administration of Suppository
The Administration of Suppository station focuses on assessing candidates' ability to safely and correctly administer suppositories. Suppositories are solid medications that are inserted into the rectum or vagina for localized or systemic effects. During this station, candidates may be evaluated on their knowledge of the appropriate technique, patient positioning, and adherence to infection control practices.
Key Tips: Familiarize yourself with the steps involved in administering suppositories, including patient assessment, hand hygiene, proper positioning, and documentation. Practice with simulated scenarios to enhance your skills and build confidence.
Bowel Assessment is a station designed to evaluate candidates' ability to perform a comprehensive assessment of a patient's bowel function. This includes assessing bowel movements, identifying abnormalities, and recognizing signs of constipation or impaction. Candidates may be required to demonstrate effective communication skills while conducting the assessment.
Key Tips: Review the anatomy and physiology of the gastrointestinal system, including the process of digestion and elimination. Practice performing bowel assessments on both simulated patients and real-life scenarios to refine your skills in recognizing abnormalities and communicating findings.
The Nasopharyngeal Suctioning Station will test your skills and proficiency in nasopharyngeal suctioning which is a method used to remove secretions from the upper airway. Candidates may be evaluated on their knowledge of appropriate suctioning techniques, infection control measures, and patient comfort.
Key Tips: Understand the indications, contraindications, and potential complications associated with nasopharyngeal suctioning. Familiarize yourself with the equipment used and practice proper technique, considering patient safety and comfort
The Nutritional Assessment station evaluates candidates' ability to assess a patient's nutritional status and develop appropriate care plans. This may involve assessing dietary habits, identifying nutritional deficiencies, and providing appropriate recommendations to improve the patient's nutritional intake.
Key Tips: Review the fundamentals of nutrition, including different food groups, dietary requirements, and common nutritional deficiencies. Practice conducting nutritional assessments, interpreting findings, and developing care plans tailored to specific patient needs.
Oral Care Plan
The Oral Care Plan station focuses on assessing candidates' competence in providing comprehensive oral care to patients. This includes performing oral hygiene procedures, assessing the oral cavity for signs of infection or abnormalities, and promoting oral health education.
Key Tips: Familiarize yourself with oral hygiene techniques, such as brushing, flossing, and mouthwash use. Understand the importance of oral care in preventing oral diseases and maintaining overall health. Practice performing oral care procedures and communicating oral health education effectively.
The Oxygen Therapy station evaluates candidates' knowledge and skills related to the administration and management of oxygen therapy. Candidates may be assessed on their understanding of different oxygen delivery systems, appropriate flow rates, monitoring patient response, and ensuring patient safety.
Key Tips: Study the different types of oxygen delivery systems, including nasal cannula, face masks, and Venturi masks. Understand the principles of oxygen therapy, including indications, contraindications, and potential complications. Practice setting up and administering oxygen therapy while considering patient comfort and safety.
New Professional Value Stations
Concealment of Bed Status
The Concealment of Bed Status station examines candidates' commitment to transparency and honesty in providing accurate information about bed availability in healthcare settings. Candidates may be evaluated on their ability to effectively communicate bed status to colleagues and ensure timely and appropriate patient admissions.
Confidentiality is a fundamental principle in healthcare, and this station assesses candidates' understanding and practice of maintaining patient privacy. Candidates may encounter scenarios that require them to handle sensitive patient information appropriately and demonstrate knowledge of legal and ethical guidelines related to confidentiality.
The False Representation station assesses candidates' integrity and ethical decision-making by presenting situations that require them to resist the temptation to misrepresent themselves or their qualifications. Candidates must exhibit honesty and authenticity in their professional interactions.
This station evaluates candidates' commitment to accurate and honest documentation of patient observations. Candidates may be presented with scenarios where they must identify and report clinical changes accurately, without resorting to falsifying or omitting crucial information.
Candidates are assessed on their ethical behaviour and professionalism in relation to accurately recording their work hours and activities. The Falsifying Timesheets station aims to ensure candidates understand the importance of honesty and integrity in maintaining accurate records.
The Hospital Food station focuses on candidates' understanding of the importance of providing appropriate nutrition and dietary options for patients. Candidates may encounter scenarios that require them to address patient dietary needs, allergies, and cultural preferences while ensuring the provision of safe and nutritious meals.
Candidates are assessed on their ability to recognize and respond to signs of impaired performance, whether in themselves or their colleagues. This station emphasizes the importance of patient safety and maintaining professional standards in healthcare practice.
The Laboratory Results station evaluates candidates' competence in interpreting and responding to laboratory test results. Candidates may be presented with scenarios that require them to communicate abnormal results promptly and accurately to the relevant healthcare team members.
The Racism station examines candidates' understanding of diversity, cultural sensitivity, and the importance of providing equitable care to all patients. Candidates may encounter scenarios that require them to address racist attitudes or behaviours and promote inclusive and respectful healthcare environments.
The Witnessed Abuse station assesses candidates' ability to respond appropriately when witnessing abuse or mistreatment of patients or colleagues. Candidates must demonstrate their understanding of their role in advocating for patient safety and reporting any instances of abuse.
New Evidence-Based Practice Stations:
Ankle sprains are common injuries that require appropriate assessment and management. As a healthcare professional, you should familiarize yourself with the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) technique, which is commonly used for initial treatment. Additionally, understanding the importance of providing pain relief and promoting mobility during the recovery process will be beneficial.
This station focuses on caring for individuals with Asperger's Syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder. Educate yourself about the characteristics and challenges associated with this condition. For those with Asperger's Syndrome, a supportive setting requires effective communication and comprehension.
Bedside handover involves the transfer of patient care responsibilities from one shift to another. It is important to learn effective communication techniques to ensure accurate and comprehensive transfer of patient information. Emphasize maintaining patient privacy and confidentiality during handover, respecting their dignity and rights.
A crucial tool for the early diagnosis of cervical cancer is cervical screening. Familiarize yourself with the recommended screening guidelines and procedures. Understand the significance of obtaining informed consent, ensuring patient comfort, and accurately documenting the screening process.
Cranberry Juice and Urinary Tract Infections
Explore the evidence surrounding the use of cranberry juice for preventing urinary tract infections. Understanding the limitations and potential benefits of cranberry juice as an adjunctive measure will be helpful. Demonstrate knowledge of other preventive strategies and appropriate patient education regarding urinary tract infections.
Dementia and Music
Recognize the potential benefits of using music therapy for individuals with dementia. Learn about the positive impact of music on mood, cognition, and overall well-being in dementia patients. Consider how music can be integrated into care plans and therapeutic interventions for individuals with dementia.
Fever in Children
Fever in children can be concerning for parents and caregivers. Understand the principles of assessing and managing fever in pediatric patients. Learn about appropriate temperature measurement techniques and when to seek medical attention. Emphasize the importance of providing comfort measures and proper hydration.
Restraint use should be approached with caution and adheres to ethical and legal guidelines. Familiarize yourself with the indications, alternatives, and documentation requirements associated with restraint use. Understand the importance of patient safety, dignity, and rights when considering the use of restraints.
Saline versus Tap Water
This station explores the difference between using saline and tap water for wound care. Understand the rationale behind using each solution and the potential benefits or risks associated with them. Demonstrate knowledge of wound cleansing techniques and appropriate solutions based on wound characteristics.
Tips on How To Pass the OSCE for Aspiring UKRNs
Tip #1: Stay Calm and Confident
During the OSCE, it's natural to feel nervous, but it's crucial to stay calm and confident. Remind yourself that you have prepared for this moment, and trust in your knowledge and skills.
Tip #2: Thoroughly Review the Paperwork
Before entering each station, take the time to read and understand all the paperwork provided. Make sure you comprehend the questions and instructions to provide accurate responses and secure the correct answers.
Tip #3: Stay Hydrated and Well-Fed
While the examination allows you to ask for water, keep in mind that once you enter the OSCE center, you won't be allowed to leave for up to four hours. To perform at your best, ensure you have eaten before the exam to avoid taking it on an empty stomach.
Tip #4: Prepare for the Appropriate Level of the OSCE
The OSCE has specific standards to meet for each level. Familiarize yourself with the requirements and ensure you are well-prepared to demonstrate your competency at the expected level.
Tip #5: Bring Identification Documents
On the day of the exam, remember to bring your passport and other necessary identification documents. Failure to do so may prevent you from taking the OSCE. Be diligent in checking the candidate information handbook and the test centre's website for additional information.
Tip #6: Allow Sufficient Time for Arrival
Avoid unnecessary stress and potential delays by allowing ample time for travel. Consider factors like traffic, train delays, or tube delays, depending on your location. Arriving early ensures a calm and composed mindset before the examination.
Tip #7: Familiarize Yourself with Royal Marsden Documentation
The OSCE is based on documentation from the Royal Marsden Hospital. Take the opportunity to explore their website and study their documentation. This additional resource can enhance your preparation and improve your understanding of the OSCE content.
Tip #8: Dress Professionally and Appropriately
Remember that the OSCE is a professional examination that simulates a clinical setting. Dress in appropriate attire, including proper footwear and hair grooming. Avoid wearing nail polish to adhere to the standards expected in a clinical environment.
Tip #9: Stay Updated with the Test Center's Website
Regularly check the website of the Clinical Test Centre (CTC) where you will be taking the examination. Be aware of any updates or changes that may occur, ensuring you have the most current information regarding the OSCE.
The New OSCE brings important updates that every aspiring healthcare professional should be aware of. You can better prepare for the exam and improve your chances of success by being aware of the changes, becoming familiar with the marking criteria and following our tips. Remember, with the right preparation and mindset, you can overcome any challenges and achieve your goal of becoming a UK Registered Nurse (UKRN).