Tuesday, June 19, 2012


I have just arrived from our OSCE (pronounced as [Os-kee]; stands for Objective Structured Clinical Examination, or general animal clinical examination); and I'm so exhausted!

It's the first time since February 2012 that I'd been out of reach and cut off from any internet connection for almost six hours.  We were not allowed to take any electronic gadget (the reason why I don't have any photo to show); with our overalls, lab coats and boots on we were only allowed to bring our stethoscopes, thermometer, nurse's watch and a bottle of drinking water (in a transparent container, labels off) and nibbles with us.  We were required to be in the 'quarantine room' an hour before the exam started for some briefings and reminders.  Our arms were meticulously checked for any markings and notes that could possibly aid us during the exam, and we're even escorted in the loo 'coz we're allowed to get some personal relief before the OSCE commenced.

There were two watchers/escorts in every 6 students, and they were taking us to all the stations located around the Roseworthy campus.  Thanks for the free shuttle and the shuttle driver, and to the escorts who allowed us, at least, to talk to each other during the transport (we're not supposed to).  I just can't imagine how much did the university have to spend to conduct an OSCE, but it's none of my business, of course, because my only concern was to get a passing mark on all the stations!

O.S.C.E. STATIONS (there's an examiner and guards in each and every station):
1.   Communication Skills at the Companion Animal Health Centre; 9 minutes.  There was an actor who took the role of our client- whom we were suppose to discuss about the condition of Percy- an 18-month old dog who, according to the laboratory tests, got histiocytoma.  The options- surgery or not?  I don't know if I had presented the case very well and clearly to my client, and if I had showed enough empathy, especially that I was aware that it was all acting.  The actor was good and I was a bit intimidated!  We were, actually, videotaped... and the university's resident psychologist (our lecturer) will gonna watch the video and mark us for that.

2.  EQUINE at the university stable, 7 minutes.  We're asked to perform a palmar digital nerve block with all the scrubbing/asepsis, choice of needle gauge, anaesthetic and syringe; there's also some very important theoretical questions like: "What are the desensitized structures and the onset of drug effect/when to start the lameness test?"

3.  EQUINE, still conducted at the stable, 7 minutes.  Perform a nasogastric intubation in a horse.

4.  EQUINE, 7 minutes.  Perform a general cardiovascular examination to a horse as a routine health check and in a sick animal.

5.  CATTLE at the university's cattle yards, 7 minutes!  I was actually happy because we only got steers.  Perform a complete gastro-intestinal examination on the LEFT side of the beast!

6.  CATTLE; still at the yards, 7 minutes.  Perform a complete cardiorespiratory examination on the LEFT side of the steer (not only on the thorax) and perform an abdominal pain test.

7.  SHEEP; at the university's Small Ruminant Holding Shed, 9 minutes.  Perform a complete clinical examination for a sheep.

The time went so quick, before I could digest what I did on the previous station, we're up for another station!  I didn't have the luxury of time to prepare my mind for the next station.

I was a bit disappointed beacause there's no swine or poultry station because I feel those are my strength.  I believe these food animals are equally important in the professional life of the veterinarian, too!  Oh well...

Okay, I have to get an hour and a half of sleep now, I still need to prepare for the Companion Animal, and Wildlife & Pocket Pets for tomorrow's OSCE; we still have 4 stations left. 


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