October 13, 2017 by hallyrh
And so the OSCE was finished yesterday, and my feelings about it are dark, cold, and gloomy – exactly what my room looks like at this very moment. Haha. Things are not looking well for me but yes, they usually don’t when my birthday is approaching. It’s like tradition and I’ve grown to dread it. Two years ago for my birthday, I had a horrible ear infection that involved some mild fever and excruciating drainage clearing sessions with the EENT. Last year, for my birthday, the Abu Dhabi gig got cancelled.
For this year, I fail the OSCEs.
Well to be fair, I don’t have the results yet, but looking back at all the little errors I made during the test and snowballing them, and reading from online forums that some of the test takers got failed over the most mundane things, my failure is almost 100% certain.
I don’t know if I can discuss anything detailed here since I signed a confidentiality agreement, but let me just pinpoint my mistakes. As vaguely as I can, not mentioning anything thay would reveal exam conditions.
- I ran out of time in the IM station and I don’t even know how it happened. I used to finish right on time during practice sessions but then I was all over the place during the actual exam. When the invigilator called out to us to follow him yesterday, I thought we were merely going to fill out or sign some more forms cause our exams weren’t till 11.45. I was stunned when I was led to my first station so I think my mind just kind of short-circuited at that point, and then every examinee’s worst nightmare happened to me: I suddenly could not remember a thing about IM injections. Haha. Anyway. I ran out of time because, for God-knows-what reason, I took so long in preparing the damn medication. I don’t think I broke any rules or anything, but because time was running out, I had to rush through my documentation and missed the part where I had to put the ampule batch number because I already chucked the ampule into the sharps bin. I didn’t have enough time to amend that through words either. So yeah. Basically I’ve already failed in the first station. Haha.
- But I decided not to dwell on it cause it’s going to affect the entire exam. But, as per my beloved Murphy’s Law: everything that can go wrong will go wrong. And so I head to the ANTT section, big smiles. Everything was going fine so far till I opened the damn dressing pack. A, I forgot to put the sterile drape on the patient (which I pointed out to the examiner), and B, the alcohol swab I used to clean the Normasol packet slipped from my hand and fell into my sterile field. Aaaaaargh. Two options: repeat or amend? Well 2 minutes on the clock is not enough to re-open another wound pack. So I hastily told my assessor that in the actual set up, I would have chucked the entire pack in the clinical bin and obtained a new one. But naaaah, I’m pretty sure that didn’t save me from failing. Pfft. (I hate being a dropper. Why do I always drop things? 😬)
- I managed to declare a proper NEWS score for my patient but ran out of time in the assessment station. I was on my way to do my last handwashing when the assessor declared that the time was up. I didn’t manage to address all the stuff on the table but I managed to address what I think was the most important one. And I think I may have told the patient to keep her cane within reach on her stronger side, out of panic. So yeah. Snowballing, snowballing.
- Planning was all right. But just because I am a negative person in general, I’m gonna go ahead and say they probably think my care plans are not specific enough. 😬
- Implementation was all right but of course I missed a few things. Of course. My friend who took the exam with me asked if I noticed the omission code on one of the medicines. I was like ……Noooo..? But I managed to give 2 tablets and documented everything that I needed (I think). But because I’m Negative Eve, I’m gonna go ahead and assumed I failed this one too. Woo hoo! Looking like a full re-sit. Smashing. 😬
- The evaluation station was all right and I had like a full minute left on the clock. About 30 seconds left, I turned the last page over and holy crap, there was another section that needed filling in at the back. Ha-haaaaa. I don’t know what happened, I’ve been practicing evaluation for weeks and I should have known all the sections that needed filling in, but that still managed to escape me. Aaaaargh!!! So I had to rush into writing something quickly but at that point my mind went blank. I managed to write down RISK FOR INFECTION and RISK FOR EXACERBATION OF BREATHING DIFFICULTIES with my fingers cramping because I could hear the invigilator’s footsteps fast-approaching. Gaaaaaaah!
It was an overall horrible experience full of nail-biting anxiety. I cannot believe I wasted the Trust’s £900-exam fee because of such stupid errors that I know I wouldn’t have committed if I didn’t have the jitters and if I didn’t have grim-faced assessors watching me. I understand the time pressure and all cause as nurses, we’re supposed to be trained to work under pressure, but that along with the shakes (and your brain cells going haywire) is the perfect tandem to failure.
So yes. At the very back of my mind where a small, blink-and-you-miss-it amount of positivity resides, I thought maybe this is the year when the annual birthday gloom terminates and I could enjoy my week-long yearly leave without having to worry about any exam anymore, hurray! But naturally that was smashed into fine powder. And I’ll sprinkle that powder over my birthday cake this year. Haha!
Aaanyway. My housemates are all still fast asleep and it’s almost 9 and I think none of us are feeling well at the moment. All of us had a pretty grim experience yesterday, but I think if anyone were to pass among us, it would be Lois. She worked the hardest for it, I think she deserves it. If they failed her then they’re nitpicking, and some pretty colorful words of spite may or may not come out of my mouth. Haha.
What I’m going to do is: take a looooong bath, listen to piano music, make breakfast, list down all the things I did wrong and think how I can amend them.
… Or pop open the wine our landlords gave us from Spain and bash people on the internet.
Haha! Jk. I’m turning 29 a few days from now and I need to set my priorities straight.