Thursday, May 3, 2007
Comms Skills / OSCE
Today was our final year 3 Comms skills training - on ethics. With OSCE's 13 days away, we were all nervous, but everyone seemed to do quite well, even the one person who through nerves seems to do the opposite to what seems sensible. We discussed each scenario beforehand so we have notes in case we get that scenario in the OSCE.
My case was a woman whose mum was in a nursing home, aged 86, and had had a recent attack of pneumonia, and she wanted her mum to be allowed to die next time she was ill. The matron had refused to allow this. The mother was confused since her hospitalisation for pneumonia, and I as GP* had to explain about 'powers of attorney', 'legal duties to preserve life' and was supposed to check what other family there was (I forgot this one). I am convinced that in the OSCE I will probably wash my hands before and after the communication skills sessions as well as the examinations.
*(why do they spend years telling us we are not Doctors, only for them to make us pretend to be Junior GP's in OSCE's???????)
The rest of my group had interesting scenarios as well - a drunk wanting his medical records kept confidential from his boss; a mistake by a hospital outpatient clinic resulting in a woman having a 10 month delay before being told her cancer was inoperable; a worried parent whose child had an allergic reaction to a first dose of amoxycillin, wanting to complain; and a man who felt he was badly treated by a fellow GP.
Of these, the misdiagnosis was the one I thought was most difficult, but it was handled really well by one fo the blonde female mature students, who really does have a gift for communication skills - she's really good at it. In fact I think we mature students sometimes are better at Comms skills because we bring different and more life experiences. However the younger students generally get the facts correct!!!