A word to OSCE takers

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by CHERYL LIPAS DAMATAC

Appreciate a trust who gives you a month of OSCE training.
If you are given choices, look forward to what the trust could offer for your OSCE preparation. I applied through an agency and because I don’t want to take heaps of interviews from different trusts, so I preferred to go to the first trust who will first hire me. “Kung ano ang mauna kumuha sa akin dun na ako”. I did not somehow even bother to ask hows their OSCE support. My visa was processed smoothly, accommodation and all sorts except that we are only given 10 days of OSCE training while working as HCA band 4. I thought it was normal and it was ok since other trust and candidates did the same.
Two months after the training we haven’t received any examination date yet so I took it on my own. I became impatient and I contacted all the examination centres to ask for available dates. I was able to find a schedule and booked my OSCE. Since our OSCE fee will be deducted from our salary I just paid my OSCE using my savings.
On the day of the examination, I was with a group of candidates from different trust. I was able to talk to their group and they were so accommodating. Despite loud sighs, we still had room for discussion before our group briefing. Don’t hesitate to ask questions during the briefing before your exam.
During my exam, my assessor and the actors were nice. (Actors do also give hints if you missed something so be attentive during your conversation) Think that your assessor and the actor will be the least of your priorities during the exam. Don’t be anxious about what is uncontrollable. The result was released and unfortunately, I failed my implementation because of my coding and verbalization. I coded it right but I did not put my signature beside the number so it was a critical fail. I tried to reflected on my mistake and I thought I just followed what have been taught us. I was hesitant to contact our preceptor as it would have meant blaming her for my error. Failing the exam was mentally and financially draining, plus 1 month of waiting for my resit was torture. I used the error of my preceptor as my outlet but to be honest there were also reasons why I failed the exam. I was able to find courage to inform my preceptor about my mistake. I admire her for not covering the error. She instantly acknowledged the error and she apologised. So what I saw was not the error but admiration of her for being brave to correct the mistake. I think it was the closure I needed, I reflected on my mistake and just focused practicing for my exam.
I had my resit. It was the same scenario from my first exam and they also added some other medications from my previous exam. In the end of my exam, I was literally breathless for verbalising everything in the prescription. I used to have 2 or 3 minutes left during my practice but during my resit I was left with 30 seconds on the clock. Again, my hope for passing my 2nd exam was 50/40/10. 50% with question why they added more medications, 40% of my thinking was it was a sign that it wasn’t for me, I needed to go back to the country where I worked and my one year stay in UK would be short-lived. I started applying for a nurse post again in NZ, computing how much will I pay if I terminate my contract and I also checked flight tickets for October. (It might sound exaggerated but it was what it was when you had the feeling of failing the exam for the second time). 10% was my faith that I would pass my exam. I worked in palliative care and I can literally feel the phrase when a doctor tells a patient that you only have months to live. But as doctors say, those months are a leeway to have a room of faith, prayer and hope.
It was also 4 days after the exam and the result were not released yet. I was tempted to text Kua who also had his resit and he replied; “Nakakakaba pero may time pa tau para magpray”.
To end, I was so blessed passing the exam and Kua passed his exam too.
With this experience, I do now understand other applicants asking about how the OSCE support of this trust and that. If I should have been careful at the beginning, I should have done the same. I did have a wrong mindset knowing that if I fail, I still have a good rebound though it will also drain me financially.
Options, options, options. More trust more options. I was with other trust during my exam and their trust were generous. I can see that they were well supported by their trusts. They were given one month focused OSCE training plus all expenses paid road trip from arrival to UKRN. They were also booked by their trusts 2 days in the hotel so that after the exam they can relax and explore the city. I was sooooo envious. If you have this treatment during your OSCE days, be grateful to your trust. Also, cheers to trusts who do these.
Practice using the marking criteria, exam centres are black and white, it is what it is. VERBALISED. I also ask others who failed and most of them failed because they did not verbalise. Documentation principle, not documented, not done. In the exam, not verbalised or was not done. Practice to verbalise everything what is in your head. Be ready to rectify if you missed and did a mistake. If frozen, you are allowed to pause your time to collect yourself.
Pray..pray…Pray..The Holy spirit is a gentleman. It comes when you call. Activate your Holy Spirit cause when you need it, it will override your preparations.
Matthew 17:20
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Your faith even how small as a mustard seed can move mountains. Nothing will be impossible for you.
As my coworkers said, I cant wait to see you in your blue uniform. With this, I’ll pass it to you too.
Mabuhay….


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