The role of a pharmacist has expanded beyond just drug dispensing, and there is now a greater emphasis on patient-centred approaches8. Much like in other specialties, pharmacy OSCEs can assess aspects of clinical competence in ways that traditional methods cannot.
An OSCE determines whether a learner can show how something is done, before reaching the highest tier of competency – being able to do it2. A more in-depth overview of OSCEs can be found on a previous blog here.
It may be intimidating to prepare for a pharmacy OSCE compared to the familiar traditional methods, however, there are plenty of resources that offer guidance. Detailed tips for general OSCE preparation can be just as useful for pharmacy OSCEs, nevertheless, The Pharmacists’ Defence Association has some useful pointers specifically for flourishing pharmacists:
- Introduction: Create a positive first impression by introducing yourself and stating your role before getting the patient’s details.
- Patient Information: Ask the patient for their name and date of birth, before delving into their presenting complaint.
- Consent: Ensure the patient is comfortable to continue with the consultation.
- Privacy: Offer to close the diving curtains in a hospital setting, or invite the patient into a consultation room.
- Chaperone: Ask the patient if they would like to be accompanied by someone during the consultation.
- Language: Avoid medical jargon and use simple terms when explaining something.
- Active Listening: Leave space for the patient to speak and let them know you are listening by nodding, maintaining eye contact and repeating the patient’s words back to them.