A significant number of the pre-registered nurses who attend our OSCE face-to-face training and assessment schools have not completed their pre-course studies online. Some cram in their self study just days before attending training and we are effectively starting their pre-course work with them. The vast majority are competent quick learners and go onto to pass the OSCE exam first time, but some entered the test centres unsure, lacking any confidence. They become so focused on the more complex matters of nursing they forgot the very basics, such as hand hygiene or identifying themselves on an assessment chart.
Of course, text anxiety is an issue and we have strategies in place to improve their performance on exam day, but for those playing catch up at our schools, there is simply not enough time to address it. The errors they make are ludicrous and would never be repeated and thankfully they all go onto to pass the OSCE exam second time, but the approximate cost and upheaval of arranging a resit is approximately a thousand pounds. It is clearly evident that some pre-registered nurses are struggling with life in the UK. They are time-limited with work and expecting them to properly complete their pre-course work after a strenuous shift is naive, and we have to better support them in their study.
We therefore suggest that every candidate about to attend our training schools should be compelled to study during their working day for at least one hour a day, preferably in the morning, or during an extended lunch break. This study time should begin two weeks before our training and assessment.
A case in point is Alder Hey Children’s hospital who have supported their nurses during their working day and the two cohorts they sent to our training school in Liverpool, forty nurses in total, all sailed through their OSCE exam first time.
Proposal to Hospitals and Trust / Care Homes
We have received plaudits from people in the Health Care sector, but senior staff at Alder Hey warrant just as must praise because they worked with us and recognised the importance of putting in that little extra support. For the next six months at the very least, new arrivals from abroad will have to self isolate for two weeks and this is a fantastic opportunity for them to complete their self study before coming to us.
Let us work together and we can make a resit a thing of the past.