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Buying Equipment to Practice for the OSCEs

Updated: Jul 25, 2021

Summer OSCEs are approaching fast for us and these days I’ve been feeling as if I haven’t had enough practice for the OSCEs. Because of the pandemic we had limited time slots scheduled for us to practice and although the medical school has scheduled extra time for us these last few weeks, I just feel the need to go over some skills. The OSCEs being a cumulative test for the skills we learned in both Year 1 and 2 is also worrying for me. We have had a few scheduled sessions to go over Year 1 skills again but I just feel like they weren’t enough.

So, I’ve been thinking of how I can get more practice for the OSCEs at home and I wonder if I should buy some of the equipment I need to practice. Obviously, I won’t be able to buy every single equipment for all the skills that are being tested because there are a lot and that’s just not practical but I want to buy some of the basic and less expensive ones if I can.

The equipment I’m currently thinking of getting are:

  1. A stethoscope – I’ll be needing to buy a stethoscope for clinical years anyways so I was thinking why don’t I just get it now. It’ll be useful when I practice taking the blood pressure and also for clinical examinations that involve auscultation (listening to parts of the body with a stethoscope).

  2. A tendon hammer – I was going to buy this for the last OSCEs because it would be useful for the neurological examination but since I practiced with Jean and she had one, I put off buying it.

  3. A manual blood pressure monitor aka sphygmomanometer – measuring blood pressure will be one of the skills tested in the OSCEs. This is one of the skills I feel I’ll need more practice on.

  4. A peak flow meter – I probably won’t get this one but I’m considering whether I should because I’ve had tutors say that most medical students don’t know how to get patients to use it correctly.

I am not sure how much getting all these will add up to but hopefully it won’t turn out to be too expensive. But, I just want to say that getting these things to practice at home are just my personal choice and not all medical students need to buy these to score well in the OSCEs. I just want to have a peace of mind knowing that I can practice some of the OSCE skills in my own time with the equipment I have. Also, if you are not studying medicine in the middle of a pandemic, you probably won’t need to buy any equipment to practice at home because you might be able to just go into the medical school to practice at your own time.

That’s all for this week’s blog today. I just wanted to share with you all what I’ve been up to these few days and how I am thinking of preparing for the upcoming summer exams. Hope you enjoyed this blog! Follow us on IG and check out our other blogs if you want to read more about our med school journey or applying to medicine. 


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