OSCEs & Repeated Behaviour

I first heard about ‘OSCE’s some years ago. Those training to be health care professionals – doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, radiographers etc – were talking about ‘OSCE’s – (pronounced ‘oskeys’).

I discovered it’s a form of assessment, a practical exam – an ‘Objective Structured Clinical Examination’. There’s a circuit of a number of 5-15 minute practical tasks. Each student visits each station and is examined on specific practical skills.

Nick’s an actor. He spent yesterday at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital acting – presenting a case study for medical students as part of their OSCEs. He had to present the same scenario to each student in turn by his words and actions… repeated identically.

At Saturday’s wedding reception I knew many of the people there. I could guess who would be chatting in groups, who would be sitting alone, who would be dancing, who would be first to the bar or front of the queue to get food at the buffet! Predictable, repeated behaviour.

Reading this morning St Paul’s thoughts on those who repeatedly show ‘…hatred discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissentions, factions, envy, drunkenness…’

…and those who repeatedly show the ‘fruit of the Spirit… love, joy , peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…’

Many families develop Christmas traditions – when and how the Christmas tree and decorations must go up, who goes to whose house when, what must be left for Santa, when presents may or may not be opened… behaviour that must be repeated each year.

We look back with warmth and affection remembering past Christmases with nostalgia –enjoyable and important traditions – carol services, treats, childhood memories…

We look back with sadness and regret. The past tradition that can’t or won’t happen, the family member that was with us for many years but won’t be there this year…

Musing …my family tell me the behaviours I repeat – some with affection, some with complaint. I pray that my repeated behaviours will be ‘loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind…’

2 thoughts on “OSCEs & Repeated Behaviour

  1. They didn’t do OCSEs when I qualified but I have had to do some over the last ten years or so at training courses, and I hate them! They seem very artificial and to test one’s acting skills – minimal in my case – as much as clinical abilities. Conducting a complete assessment, even if the patient is an actor, is much easier than having to do specific parts only out of a routine in a limited time and out of context.


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